Return to The Wrtings of Robert L. Harrison
WWII - Robert L. Harrison MoMM/2c
4 July 2001    Where to begin?
Yesterday (3 July) after spending an evening reading a good book I decided to check my e-mail before going up to bed.

I knew when I saw "Dad" in the subject line what that e-mail would say. It was Roger, Bob's son, with a brief note of Bob's death, and informing me that he had posted the notice on the BBS.

Such a hollow feeling... that instantaneous in-the-gut  "this is not happening" feeling that we get when such news arrives.

Where to begin?

My wife and I read the BBS postings as they unfolded - one after the other. I on one computer, she with a box of Kleenex nearby on the other computer. I kept getting up and roaming around the house. Taking my coffee out onto the dark porch and sitting there thinking about Bob and how he had been doing so well and how I had been looking forward to calling him when he got home and was able to talk. Now - it will not be.
Suddenly he has gone.

Where to begin?

The letter "e" perhaps is a good place to start.

When I taught various life science courses at the local college, a very early lab each semester for freshmen involved learning to use the microscope. One training session involved a standard lab exercise where the students examined the letter "e". It was only a typed letter and one thing that everyone noticed right off was that under high magnification it becomes merely speckles of dried ink embedded in paper fiber. It no longer resembles an "e". 

Just so many little black speckles.

But those twenty-six letters are not mere speckles of ink on paper nor are they just pixels or bits of light on a computer screen. When arranged and rearranged just so, they convey ideas, thoughts, points-of-view and memories. Those twenty-six letters paint pictures and stir emotions. And most importantly they allow us to exchange those ideas and thoughts.

My cousin Bob had mastered how to arrange those speckles and those bits of light on a computer screen so very well.

He is gone now and I miss him terribly. He is the last of that branch of my family. My uncle and aunt and all their kids; my five first cousins from Connorsville, Indiana are now gone. All that remains are the memories and the old photographs. I know all of you have your own family concerns so I'll try not to over do this Harrison family thing.

Bob made so many posts and most of you have mentioned how he touched you in different ways with his wit and writing style and poetry. You on this board and and my dear cousin Bob had a special thing going with each other. For that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I thank you for for the happiness you gave him the past four years.

Where to begin?

Well here on Ron Martini's board it began in 1997.

I had mentioned in a posting prior to his lung surgery that I was convinced that Bob got from all of you as much or more than he gave. I am convinced that these cyber relationships and activities, even if they did not prolong his life (but they may have), at least they enhanced the quality of it far beyond what we will ever know.

He rarely complained about his health overly much - and when I would ask he would just give me the facts and then quickly change the subject. I had mentioned to someone once that with the immobility Bob's ailments imposed upon him he still had this keen, sharp mind but it was trapped in a malfunctioning life-support system. I guess that life support system finally gave way yesterday afternoon.

Where to begin?

I was looking back at some of his writings early this morning that I had saved on my computer and noted on each of the four Christmases he had made a posting. I found three of them but I think I will close with featuring this - his first one from 1997.

1997 was the beginning of four rewarding years for Bob - and for us.

I'll let Bob tell you what was on his mind that first Christmas on the BBS.
He said it best.

Thank you all.... Thank you Bob.

Sid Harrison

Here are His Christmas 1999 and Christmas 2000 posts.
Links to my collection of Bob's writings are centralized here.
Funeral Arrangements for Robert L.Harrison:
      Shirley Brothers Funeral Home
      9606 East Washington St.
      Indianapolis, Indiana 46229
      Visitation     Friday 6 July    4-8 PM 
      Funeral services    7 July   Saturday  Noon
From Indianapolis Star Newspaper Online

July 05, 2001

ROBERT L. HARRISON 76,  Greenfield, died July 3. He was an industrial engineer 30 years for Chrysler Corp., retiring in 1989. He was a graduate of Indiana Central College. Mr. Harrison was a Navy veteran of World War II. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association. Services: noon July 7 in Shirley Brothers Washington Memorial Chapel, with calling from 4 to 8 p.m. July 6. Burial: Washington Park East Cemetery. Survivors: wife Lucille Brewer Harrison; children Bobbie Peck, Larry, David, Roger Harrison; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren.

Contact person:

Roger Harrison       (Bob's son)

Cards may be sent to: 
    Mrs. Robert L. Harrison

    1519 Bittersweet Dr.
    Greenfield, IN 46140-2507
Family reunion - 1939
All the uncles, aunts, cousins, Grandma and Grandpa
Bob on ground 3rd from left. me in Bill's lap on Bob's left

Family reunion 1939 - All the cousins
Bob on far right - Sid on left on ground

Lucille (Bob's wife) and Bob -1975