Celebrating Bobby: Stories from His Life, #3

A friend had given Bobby a ride to the airport. It turned out that he got there in plenty of time–early, in fact. So early that he fell asleep at the gate where he was to board and missed his flight. Thank goodness for a kind ticket who agent took pity on him and got him on the next flight.

Meanwhile, our sister Betsy had found out what had happened and was waiting at the other end–a bit nervously. Would she recognize him? Neither of us had seen him for several years–not since our mother had died ten years ago.

We were used to Bobby’s rough appearance–after all, he lived on the street. But what had ten years on the street done to him?

I wondered if he was addressing our philistine concerns or his own sense of inadequacy when I talked with him on the phone and he said, “And, Patty, I’ll look as nice as I can.”

I didn’t know what to say. My heart was breaking. So, in typical Donohoe fashion, I resorted to humor.

“Well, Bob,” I said, “that would be good since it’s important to look as nice as you can in order to get on an airplane these days.”

Then I waited to see how he would take my comment. I didn’t have to wait long. He burst out laughing and said, “Thank God for Donohoe humor. God, it’s good to talk with you!”

But I was still in for several surprises when we saw him.

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