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NOTE: New Memories are added from time to time...

July 22, 2021: Bobby Russ

On earth, a single person is like a grain of sand on a beach. To the casual observer, the people blend together to form a beach. We don't examine each grain and often we don't think about how each individual contributes to the larger picture. It's just a simple fact of life. It comes... it goes. The cycle continues on and most people won't have ever known the impact that one of those grains of sand could have on another.

Today, I sit thinking. What does a year mean? 365 days... 8760 Hours... 525,600 Minutes... 31,536,000 Seconds. The time in a year can bring so much to us. Having lived a number of years, I couldn't even have imagined what life would have brought me a year ago. When I was a kid, I had a vision of what I imagined what life would be. As life twists and turns, I learned to adapt. Create new plans and dreams. Over the decades, I've written new patterns, new plans and even new dreams.

One year ago... 3 simple words. To most, it's just a simple statement. The power and emotion of 3 little words can be more than one can imagine. 3 simple words. One year ago... it echoes in the mind of those who have lost someone. Time marches forward without any concern of any individual grain of sand like myself or others. It will progress. Our choice is simple... do we progress with it? Can we adapt? For some, the choice cripples them. I've heard stories of individuals who have lost their partner and couldn't find their way out. The saddest story I have heard recently was one who lost their partner and decided that time should not move forward for them either. Often, in the darkest hours of our lives, we contemplate what our future should be or even if we should. Time is unrelentless.

One year ago... I woke up like many other days to give her a kiss before she got called into work. It was nothing abnormal. There were no signs. She cared. The work "mistress" had called and demanded her to be there. I remember all the what if's my mind went through. What if she had decided to stay home? What if I had convinced her? What if... what if... what if...

But in the end, one year ago, a tragedy happened. Nothing I could say or do now can change that. The grain of sand that was such a deep active part of so many other grains was taken away. She was swept into the ocean of history. I can't not even begin to tell all the stories that the people who knew her have. These memories... these treasures is what made that grain of sand so special to not only me, but to others.

I want to share 3 stories that were posted on that fateful day when they heard the news:

From Debbie Kumm Peoples:

You just never expect to hear that a friend has been killed in an accident. Renee and I shared many conversations-both work related and just crazy laughs-at work. I truly missed working with her when she moved to another store. We only talked a few times in the last year, but I knew she would be there for me if I needed her. Such a joy to have known her . My heart goes out to Bobby and their family.

RIP Renee. ... Be sure to let the ones you love, know that you love them.

From Christina Mills-Mills Buckley:

So very hard to wrap my head around the fact that you left this world today. Folks, if I've learned anything in the last 8 months, it's to cherish what we have. The ppl around us can be taken in the split of a second, without any warning. Today, this world lost a beautiful person. A very dear friend of mine. The next time your saying good bye to that special person, make sure you tell them you love them. You never know when God calls them home. Bobby, your in my thoughts and prayers. R.I.P Renee Row. I love you and miss you forever! Always a part of our Walmart 4565 family...

From Matthew Albright:

Renee Row I remember when I first met you at Chili’s when Bobby Russ was introducing you to his friends in New Port Richey.

Bobby was going through a rough time, so our guards were up as we were trying to protect Bobby from further heartbreak but you won over all of us. You were warm, funny and happy. In short, you were what Bobby needed.

The dinner sucked and the service was abysmal, but the discussion and good laughs made the whole experience a night to remember.

Since than, you, Bobby and me have had our fair share of talks and laughs over food and each time, my brain goes back to that memory.

We were a friend to all who crossed your path, a mentor to anyone that you could teach and one of the few, truly good people that I have come across and had the chance to meet. It’s only natural that you and Bobby worked so well together. It was like two parts of a heart finally joining together and beating as one.

It is said that only the good die young and that much is true today. The world has lost a good soul today but you will live on in many good stories and better memories.

There are some very key points. We never know what will happen. Life is short. One thing that Renee was good at was trying to enjoy the free time we have. I was blessed to be able to share that with her, but I was only one grain of sand among others that were impacted by her. As I sit here thinking "one year ago..." I am filled with incredible emotions that are all over the place. In the end, I choose to move forward creating new dreams and plans while cherishing the time I had with her. It was an amazing journey. I can say that even though I now know the end of that journey, I wouldn't have traded it for anything in the world. She made me a better person and I was proud to be in her life sharing our life together. I can always play what if's, but instead I will continue to focus on the joy she brought me and others.

As such, I want to share one final story as we remember the woman who was. Back in 2015, Renee wanted to do something special for me. As many of you know, I love the Minions. So, for my birthday, we wanted to make a minion birthday cake. Not a store bought one. She wanted to make it special just for me. It's those little touches. The care that was put into it. She was not a master baker by any stretch, but I remember the smile I had by the simple concept she proposed. The final outcome was great in my opinion. The picture below is that cake.

As this day winds down, remember the stories of people around you. Cherish every moment you get and sieze the day! You never know when your journey with them is over. If you have a loved one near, hug them just a little tighter. Never forget to say "I love you" and know that someone will cherish your memory like many cherish hers. Thank you for the journey we shared, Renee Row.

NOTE: New Memories are added from time to time...