Remembering Bob …

Well, yes, it has been way too long since my last posting. An event at work today triggered a memory I just had to start talking about. It involves Bob Glasstetter, a systems guy we hired to take over the administration of our Blackboard server(s) which would lighten my load in that department.

I was happy to have Bob join the team and he was a genuinely nice guy. A Navy veteran, we had not only that in common but he had one son, Brandon, about 13 years old, and he sat in the cubicle next to me. He always had a positive outlook on things. A yin to my yang I suppose.

By now you noticed I am referring to Bob in the past tense. On April 21, 2004, in the dimly lit cubicle in the corner of Rockwell Hall, Room 221, Bob’s heart gave out. He was 49. I was on a walk at the time, it was at lunch and I was coming back into the office from a trip to the health benefits fair at the student union. When I entered the office, Amy Kearney was completely rattled and Pat Pesyna from across the hall was on the ground next to Bob in his cubicle trying to get a response from him. He was half under his desk.

I took my coat off and ran to the bathroom thinking I had time — he probably passed out, I though — and that if needed I could help out without being distracted. By the time I got back to the office, public safety officers we “on the scene” and trying to revive Bob. I called Ruth on her cell phone at the health fair and told her to get back to the office. Before she arrived, paramedics from the City of Pittsburgh arrived and began working on Bob. I stood by and tried to console Amy while waiting for Ruth.

Ruth arrived and so did our director. We did not have any information on Bob’s wife’s phone number at work, an elementary school. I quickly jumped onto my computer and did a Google search and found the number at the school. Ruth took over trying to phone Bob’s wife while everyone else started coming back from lunch. I had called Michael on his cell to let him know as well.

We all retreated to the street to await word on Bob and were there to see the paramedics carry him out on a stretcher. I was holding the door for them and when I looked at Bob?s face when they carried him through the doors, I could tell he was either already gone or not going to make it.

It should not have been a surprise then when Ruth called from the hospital — she went with him in the ambulance — and told us Bob did not make it. His wife was there when they declared him dead. We all pretty much lost it. All I could think about was Brandon and how something like this would impact my family and boys.

I have not really talked in depth to anyone about this. On the way home I stopped by Marcinko’s and he was not in. Ann was there so I talked to her for a while. I was anxious to see Lisa and Max and Connor. It has deeply touched me, having lost Dad not too long before this, seeing Bob’s family trying to cope, etc. Death is creeping closer, I feel it in my knees and sometimes chest when I get “flutters” near my heart, a little too often any more for my comfort. I chalk it up to stress and the (more than a) few pounds I have added in the past year or so.

Today a woman in the office across the hall passed out after a meeting and public safety and the paramedics were once again buzzing around the second floor of Rockwell Hall. She will supposedly be OK, but again, a little too close to home.

With some luck, I’ll add yet more content to this area in the next few weeks. This posting alone could warrant a change in the name of this Blog :-)

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