This article brough back so many memories. I didn't know the Otterbourgs, but I did know Bob and Mary. Bob and Mary were the elderly couple who our young family moved in next door to. We got to know them slowly, as it was clear there were things we both needed from one another. My children's Grandparents were in Pennsylvania, and Mary's story telling was just what they needed. Bob taught them the beauty of a gorgeous yard in a modest neighborhood and the work you need to put into it. Mary had terminal cancer, and Bob refused to leave her alone. At times, we would go sit with her while he went to pick up meds, or other times, we piggybacked their grocery shopping with ours. Their romance was something for Nicholas Sparks and they were beautiful beautiful people. One night, the ambulance arrived. We knew Mary would be leaving us any day. And, knowing what was likely happening next door, I went over to lend any help I could, in any way that Bob needed me. A ride, a conversation, coffee, someone to just sit and grieve with, or simply a hug and go home. I got there, and was amazed that it was Bob in the ambulance. He'd had a heart attack, and Mary had somehow mustered the strength to call 911. This was a lady who hadn't stood in months, or further, hadn't even been able to hold the book when she read to my daughter. Bob was taken to the hospital 20 minutes away, and was a handful because they wouldn't let him go home. Mary passed 2 days later. Bob stayed in the hospital terrorizing the staff for 2 weeks before he was taken to a nursing home. I was there visting Bob when his son came and told him that Mary had passed away- I hadn't had the heart to do it. I want a love like that. My dear friend Bob is gone as well now, and I know he and Mary are living the happy healthy lifes they were missing. Mr. Bob Otterbourg, I'm sure you and your lady Sue touched so many hearts, that you'll never even realize how many people drew strength and inspiration from you. Please think of her with a smile - even if there is a tear in your eye :) I know I did today.
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Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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