I met him while indulging in one of my favorite pastimes- attending Sunday open houses. He was a young realtor, and his houses were the type I was most likely to seek out: restored Victorians near downtown. Usually, I dislike realtors (and all salespeople). They seem too busy selling to be authentic.
Yet I was at ease with Robert E. Ever aware of people's judgements and games, I felt free to be myself in his presence, even the time I was his only visitor. We spoke and speculated, marvelling at bygone building standards.
He sent me his newsletter which listed houses he'd sold, offered advice on home buying, and exposed who he was. He was an award-winning body builder and a model. He was crazy about his young niece and documented every milestone of her development. He also happened to be a lawyer, and offered free legal advice concerning real estate.
He took life more seriously than most. Each newsletter featured inspirational messages and tips for setting goals and reaching one's full potential. Robert E. was a motivational figure in the lives he touched. He set an amazing example for those of us wanting to live our best possible lives.
I just found out that Robert E. took his own life. His handsome, smiling face visits me persistently. I'll never know what happened, but whatever it was, it wasn't worthy of this.
Robert, thank you for gracing my life.