---Alice Abrams

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Very Hard Year

Photo 1.  NASCAR car driven in honor of Robby's service
Photo 2.  At high school graduation
Photo 3.  Back from training
Photo 4.  March, 2011, with G-Ma

One year ago today, March 21, 2011, we lost our Marine, Robby Rawlins.  I have been thinking for days how I could do something to honor him, but I have been empty in spirit and in heart.  I'm crying as I write this, but I've decided just to celebrate his life - that's what he would've wanted.

Robby had behavioral issues when he was little.  One day, mom and dad came home only to find that Robby had decided to remove a few light bulbs with his BB gun.  He also redecorated the mirrors, thinking they looked better with a few scattered holes. 

I remember one Sunday in church, as the congregation stood to sing, he took off running on the pews that were now minus their occupants.  If I remember correctly, it took a couple of us to corral him. 

It wasn't until later that he was diagnosed as having ADHD.   After receiving some help in the classroom, and getting involved in sports was he able to work off some of that excess energy.  He graduated from high school and went immediately into the Marine Corps, a longtime dream of his. You can understand why we were so very proud of him.

He served one tour in Iraq, was stationed in Guam, participating in the ceremonies commemorating the battle of Iwo Jima.  When he came home, he brought me a baggie with some pieces of sea glass and shells.  He couldn't have brought me anything better since I've always been on the hunt for bits and pieces of treasure like that - and I don't believe he even knew it.

Shortly after his death, his sister, Ashleigh, discovered that she is pregnant.  And yes, it is a boy.
Robby's full name was Robert (named for his dad, grandfather and great grandfather), William (named after my husband and Leah's dad), Rawlins.  His nephew's name is Robert William Smith.  His legacy and those of the men who passed before him will continue.

The above photos are the memories I keep close to my heart:  The boy he was and the man he was becoming.  The last photo was taken in March, 2011, and was the last time I saw him.  The disarming smile and mischievous gleam in his eyes is how I hold him in my heart.  

I love you to the moon and back, dear Robby, dearest grandson....


katherine. said...

You can totally see how he loved you...and how you all loved him.

By all accounts a wonderful young man. I know you all miss him so very much.

I've been honored to read of him here on your weblog Grace. My prayers for you, and yours.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

my heart breaks reading this honey. just hugs, that's all i have, well that and some tears.

hugs, bee

Sandee said...

I'm so sorry honey. I can't imagine nor do I want to.

Super big healing hugs. :)

Linda said...

I know that time does eventually heal all wounds but sometimes it takes a lot longer than we think it will and sometimes, well, sometimes I don't think our wounds heal so much as they scab over just enough for us to almost forget they're there until something comes along to knock the scab off and there we are - feeling that same pain all over again.

I can only imagine the pain that you still feel at the loss of your beloved grandson but it sounds to me like he was a wonderful young man and I've got no doubt that he touched many lives during the course of his short one leaving behind many happy memories and the knowledge that he was able to become that which he aspired to be - a US Marine.

Anyhow, I'm just babbling here but do know that I think of you often and pray that knowing that Robby is watching over you will somehow help ease the pain even if just a little bit for a little while.

Hang in there, my friend.

katherine. said...

Just stopping by today to let you know I am thinking of you and your family.

I'm not sure "thanking" you for the ultimate sacrifice is an appropriate choice of words, but know that my gratitude is heartfelt. Y
ou and Robby's parents are on my prayer list today.

Desert Songbird said...

Every day was a gift; a blessed and wonderful gift. Knowing that doesn't ease the pain, but I imagine it helps enjoy the memories that much more.

My continued prayers to you and yours.

Sandee said...

Sure have missed you. Thanks for stopping by today. Big hugs my friend. :)