I was blinking through tears as I read the words in an email from Brenda Cogley that said, “I wanted to email you because he loved you so much. Bob passed away this morning.” I was sitting in the airport with Noah about to board our plane from Honolulu to Sacramento. Tears streamed down my face as I handed my phone to Noah to read the news. I couldn’t talk. I was in disbelief.
Bob Cogley was my dialysis nurse at Johns Hopkins. He was a vital part of my medical team. I spent some of my darkest days with him. He played such an integral role in keeping me alive. All of these memories flooded my mind and consumed my thoughts.
I was recently asked by the magazine, Renal Business Today, to write an article for their November issue on what is was like being on dialysis. With all of these emotions welling up inside me from this news, I needed an outlet to release them. As we boarded the plane, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to write. I opened up my laptop and the words flowed right out of me, like Bob was guiding my hands on the keyboard. I relived my dialysis days and created an article titled, “A Dialysis Legacy.” This is a tribute to Bob, which I will share with you when it is published in November.
In a blink of an eye our world can change. We can receive the best news ever and all of a sudden be floating high. We can receive news that we have lost a dear friend and become devastated. We can be healthy and drop to our knees in pain, like when my cysts would bleed. We can be deathly sick and have our health restored, when one receives the gift of life.
When moments like this happen, everything becomes clearer. Puts into perspective how precious every second is. Makes one realize that their day isn’t that bad and it could be worse. That we should be grateful for all we have. Make the best of every healthy day. Why does it take difficult moments to put life into perspective?
Bob’s memorial took place on September 14th. With living cross-country from the service, I was unable to attend. It was very hard for me to not be there. I shared the article I wrote with Bob’s wife, Brenda. She and her daughter loved it so much that they asked if they could read it at his memorial service. I was so touched and grateful by this as I felt I was a small part of the celebration of Bob’s life. I hope he was smiling down from heaven. In lieu of flowers, Brenda decided to have those interested to donate to the PKD Foundation. She said, “Bob would have wanted to help find a cure for the disease that you have. He was so proud of the volunteer work that you do.” I am in awe and so grateful.
Hard to swallow that such a special man, who is part of the reason why I am still alive today, is no longer with us. This news brought out so many emotions for me. I know it is easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day routine and the stress that surrounds us. My goal and what I strive to do is to embrace every day; slow down and remember to enjoy and live in the moment; and tell our loved ones how much they mean to me. Why? Because everything can change in the blink of an eye.
Here’s the link to Bob’s obituary: http://ww.peacefulalternatives.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=1584109&fh_id=14153
If you are inspired by Bob’s story, please make a donation in his honor to the PKD Foundation www.pkdfoundation.staging.wpengine.com/donate