August 14, 1953 – May 4, 2020. For me every day of my childhood was an adventure. A day of what next, living life to the fullest and everything, and I mean everything, was with a test of faith. I am Ann Bob’s sister, blessed with Bob as one of my older brothers. As you can imagine my childhood was full. I learned to walk because Bob would grab my dolls and yell, “Catch me if you can!” I learned to ride a two wheeler because he placed me on his and pushed me down Kent hill all the while yelling, “Yea, look at you go!, just peddle.” I learned to swim, as you might guess, as he pushed me in the pool all the while yelling, “swim, swim, swim faster!” And I did. I not only learned how to walk, ride, and swim but I learned how to be fearless. To stay with it, to keep moving beyond obstacles and to trust that everything was going to be okay. I felt safe and protected with him. He taught me to find the fun in fear, to play hard, get dirty, never give up, test the waters, and never let me forget that he had my back. His love for family and friends was evident. Not a day would go by that the back door and/or front door would swing wide open and there would be standing not 1, but 2, 3, or more of his friends. Mark, Paul, Chris, Mike B, Mike S. And of course Gibbs to name a few. The laughter, the conversations, and the affection that they would all extend to my mom, Mrs. E, as they would call her was so mesmerizing. Tough guys with big hearts.
Being Bob’s sister in high school was, let’s just say, never dull. He was my protector. And not that he knew that he was but he was. I was off limits to his rivals, his friends and apparently to every other guy at Heights High School. Once they realized I was Bob Eastburn’s sister, well let’s just say I never saw them again. Somehow I never minded for being Bob’s sister. It was all worth it. For I knew the real Bob, the big hearted. The one that was always there for you. The one that his presences alone made everything kind of special. My life was blessed by Bob. His energy, his laugh, and the twinkle in his eye was a magnet and he was the instigator, the one that gave me permission to be more, to be great, to test the limits.
Now when I close my eyes I see Bob smiling, waving his arms, taunting me as if to say, keep laughing, get dirty, feel the wind in your hair, do more, and always know that I have your back. Bob you are the one that inspires me to laugh louder, to hug longer, to ride faster, and to live my life to its fullest. Until we meet again I am forever your fearless and loving sister.
Ann Oswald Laird