On Tuesday, January 17th Robert Fløholm passed away unexpectedly and my baby sister became a widow at the age of 31. Her pain is so great and there is so little you can do, but listen and cry and be there. But in my case, I’m far away…
The loss of Robert is truly the worst thing to happen to our family. Natalie had such a hard life. She was struggling to get through school as a single mom, up until the moment she met Rob. My sister was transformed by this love. Robs work ethic and accomplishments inspired, and she found a new drive to get her through the last years of her program. In the adult nerd that was Rob, my nephew was able to embrace his difference and give side-eye to his school adversaries by gaining the confidence in himself that had always been missing.
Rob and Natalie, were the most unlikely couple judging from the outside, because of their differences in language, race/ethnicity, height and age. But when you learned more about them, you realized they were a perfect match. Rob as a well-established engineer, and my sister as a student of architecture, enjoyed traveling to admire buildings, avid puzzling, lectures at the university, and trivia nights at their local pizza parlor.
My sister is so in love. This man meant everything to her. He was her best friend. They had so many plans together. They were absolutely so happy and so great for each other. He brought out all the lovey dovey cheesiness out of her, showing us a side of her we had never seen. She was her true self, the loving woman she was always meant to be. I am so angry that their time together was cut short. This is so cruel.
As a big sister, it’s my job to protect my baby sister, a job I failed miserably at, time and time again. And once again I’m powerless to do anything in the face of my sisters biggest heartbreak and this profound tragedy. I’m so sad for my sister.
I will be flying in to Houston on Wednesday to be with my sister for as long as I can. Until then I’m keeping busy, writing, going to meetings, events, cooking, crafting and doing everything I can to forget that this nightmare is real. Please send my family and especially my sister a lot of love and prayers.