Blog #20 – Goodbye to a Dear Friend

Last time we wrote you, we were just finishing up our first ever cruise on the Holland America Noordam, which took us from Istanbul to Athens stopping in Egypt to see the pyramids.  It was such a memorable and enjoyable eleven days so we decided to take a second cruise from Athens to Rome, stopping at many of the Greek Islands, Venice and Croatia.

Well at the start of this week, Steph received bad news from her best friend Cara.  After three and a half years of battling cancer, Cara’s father had passed away.  We were at a cafe in Venice, relaxing our feet and checking our emails when the news came in.  Our hearts broke instantly and for the first time on this trip, we truly considered jumping on the first plane back to Toronto. 

Bob was like a second dad to Steph for the past fifteen years.  He was there throughout Steph and Cara’s university years, was often the chauffeur to their parties, allowed more than one silly sleepover in the basement, and was standing proud at their graduation.  Between weekends at the cottage, Christmas Eve at Gran’s, and countless nights out celebrating big occasions, there has not been one special moment in Steph’s life over the past fifteen years that Bob wasn’t part of.

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He was one of the most caring, generous and happiest people we have ever met.  Throughout his illness he was always positive, even when he wasn’t feeling well.  It has been so hard not being at home for Jan and Cara and the rest of the family, and not being able to give him a proper goodbye. 

So naturally we’re not in the mood to be funny or write about the places we’ve been this week.  This week we just wanted to write about our beautiful friend Bob, who we will never forget. 

Now, more than ever, we can’t wait to get home, but until then, everyone in Bob’s family should know we are thinking about them and love them all very much. 

Before we sign off for this week, we must send out a special thank you to Rick and Sandra from Winnipeg, whom we met and spent much time with on this cruise.  They were so nice and great companions during this tough time.  They did their best to lift our spirits and it was great getting to know them.  We hope someday to meet again. 

This morning we disembarked the ship and started our dry land portion of Europe, beginning with Italy.  There are many countries we hope to see and many friends who are making the trip out to see us.  It will be so nice to see them as this week has definitely made us miss everyone from back home.  Life truly is way too short.