Tosca Reno

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Flowers for My Husband, Robert


In the fall of 2011 I planted several thousand daffodils on a hill at our home in Caledon. Robert always loved that cheerful welcome as he pulled into our driveway after a long day at work. I got the idea from a story Bob once told me about his friend J. Paul Getty. At Getty's house grew a similar mass planting of naturalized daffodils on a much larger scale blanketing the entire hillside of the great man's home. I wanted to surprise Robert by planting enough daffodils so that one day our hill would be a carpet of yellow, too.

The last time we drove up the driveway together, after Robert received his final radiation treatments, we both still had hope in our hearts that we were fighting the cancer together and we would win. Robert was too weak to get out of the car so I stopped at the foot of the hill and opened the window for him letting him enjoy his flowers. The dafs were just beginning to show and he drank in the sight with pure pleasure. He said, "Tossee, my girl, what a sight! I love it! I am looking forward to feeling better soon so I can walk through the daffodils with you." That was what was special about Bob. He loved the good things in life but he could be blissfully happy with the simplest of things, too. I loved that about him. He was a man who appreciated life and lived it to the fullest on many levels.

I walked through the daffodils myself today April 14th thinking how much I would miss my husband.  The loss is staggering and I wonder if I can make it but I know how to be grateful too; grateful that I was swept off my feet by this man and loved so well. Grateful that he chose me. Grateful that, although briefly, I have been painted with his glorious colors and special brand of love and humor. I can hear him saying to me now, "Tossee it's time to train. Glutes, calves and abs today!"

Now I will do it on my own with the coaching of my beloved Bob ringing in my ears.

90 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. It's beautiful, the pic, as well as the words.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this...

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  3. Tosca, I am keeping you and your family in my prayers. God will keep you during this difficult time in your life....

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  4. Hugs to you and your family. Robert will be right there with you, among your field of gold.

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  5. Oh, Tosca, my heart is aching for you. I am so very sorry for your loss, you and your husband have been a great inspiration to me and to so many I know..that and a loving family is certainly the greatest legacy that any of us can aspire to.

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  6. Tosca you are touching all of our hearts with your thoughts of Bob. I am sitting hear crying my heart out reading this...it's like a movie ending that breaks your heart. I love to journal out my feelings and thoughts, it really does help the healing process...keep it up and keep sharing your beautiful memories of life with Bob!

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  7. His spirit will shine through you.

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  8. I love how open you can be sharing what is in your heart. Allowing yourself to feel, remember and enjoy what is.

    Hugs,
    Donna in Calgary

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  9. Tosca, I am so so sorry for the loss of Robert. I thought you would have more time with him. Nevertheless, it seems to me that he shared a cherished life with you and you inspired one another and that makes for a very beautiful marital union! I can only imagine that he passed away with full knowledge of your love and that is a blessing not every one has. I pray that you draw strength to forge ahead, both from Robert & from God. Your life of healthy nutritional living is an inspiration to me. May the Lord be your greatest comfort during these days now.

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  10. Beautiful, Tosca. I'm so sad for you. The world has lost a great man who touched so many different lives. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

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  11. Remember the good times and they will live forever in us. We're with you and thank you for sharing with us.

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  12. I am willing you lots of strength to get through these day. We all know tough love bob wouldn't stand for any slacking off in the gym.

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  13. **wipes tears** Thank you for sharing, Tosca, please share more, it may help you. {{hugs}} You and the family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  14. beautifully written. So sorry for your loss

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  15. Beautiful. He will continue to inspire so many of us whom he has never met. What an incredible and generous legacy. Sincerest sympathies & love to you and your family.

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  16. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings during this difficult and very private time. So many of us feel like we lost a friend and our hearts are breaking for you. It is wonderful that you are able to see the gratitude as well as the grief in your life and hopefully that will ease your heartache some.

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  17. What a beautiful story , thank you for sharing it during this difficult time. You are a beautiful person and I know that your husband is enjoying his garden from where he is now, still cheering you on.
    Xoxo

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  18. Tosca, I have thought of you every day since I first heard the news on the 11th. My heart breaks for you. I can see how much you adored each other when I look at pictures of the two of you. I wish you peace and happiness. I'm sure those simple little daffodils will be among your prized possessions.

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  19. This is Lovely, brought tears to my eyes.

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  20. Thank you for sharing...you move me to tears! I know that you will continue to be an inspiration to us all as your inspiration embodies Robert's spirit. Thank you for taking time for all of us in this most difficult time for you!

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  21. Thank you and thanks to Robert for sharing your life then and now...may God bless you and keep you during this time of suffering.

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  22. You put it so beautifully! Keep going strong!

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  23. Thank you for sharing your intimate moments with your husband. He will be greatly missed and not only for being a presence in the fitness industry but as a man I take advice from every month in Oxygen. MY heart is breaking for you. We lost a very close friend to Cancer a few years back at the age of 51 and have watched his wife's life change. Struggles still every day. But with her family at her side she continues to love on life. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 36. I am 37 now and just had my one year "survivor birthday" on the 12th of this month. I am getting back into the gym and doing what I love. Pressing forward because of Oxygen and all it's motivation. I have so many limits, forever, and it's now my hearts desire to create workouts for survivors with reconstruction. We can't workout like a regular augmented women. I use your articles for guidance and advice. My prayers are with you. Take as much time as you need. Your fans will be here when you are ready! Angie Christine of TuffPhit.com

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  24. Thank you for sharing this. It is just beautiful, the love that you shared. The kindness and tenderness are evident in your writing. I am keeping you close in thought and prayer. No doubt that you have a long road ahead in healing and grieving such a great loss, but I am so thankful that you have such memories to lift you up. Much love.

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  25. Tears are streaming down my face reading your post ... someone once told me that when a person passes they are not gone, they are still with you and around you, just in a different form ... I took great comfort in those words at that time ... I hope they are of some comfort to you now ... sending you many blessings at this difficult time ...

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  26. Beautiful Tosca! Prayers go out to you~

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  27. Tosca, im so sorry for your loss..I feel as though I lost a dear friend myself...see Bob changed my life....I was in a not so good relationship and not healthy...I was in a book store and picked up my 1stlife oxygen magazine in fall 1998...my life has since change for the better....Bob inspired me...iwill miss him....you and your girls are in my prayers

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  28. All of these blog posts have been bittersweet but heartbreaking, even for someone like me who never got the chance to meet Bob. Watching the TV special your family did a few years back made me feel just a bit like I knew you all, and Bob's passing hit me harder than I thought because of it.

    Hugs to you and your daughters, Tosca.

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  29. There is a beautiful song by Shinedown called Miracle... "you are the miracle in me'... tread softly on your aching heart Tosca.. he will always remain the miracle in you <3

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  30. Dear Tosca,
    I wrote something to you last night before I went to bed about using the balancing tools of nutrition and exercise that Robert first helped you learn, and that you have refined and made your own and shared with all of us. Then as I got ready for bed I reflected on how hard it might be to be surrounded by a life that you built together, a lifestyle with a foundation and a center that is all about health. Every time you exercise, every time you prepare a meal and or eat, or do anything that has to do with your life and business, Robert must be with you. It must take incredible strength to keep moving forward through this intense time of pain and mourning, and to keep Eating Clean, and to keep training your body when everything you do must remind you of him. Bittersweet maybe. Maybe it's a way of honouring him, as you mourn him. Maybe the tears pour out with the sweat. I know I feel cleansed of my own personal pain every time I do a weight work out or dance at the gym. It doesn't all come out at once, but a little each day... Thank you for sharing your journey with us. This is an intensely personal process for you to go through, but one that so many people who's lives you've touched can relate to, and empathize with you, and want to offer you some kind of support in return for all that you've given us.

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  31. Tosca,
    I have just recently discovered you and your husband Robert. I am so sorry for your loss and the incredible pain you are suffering through now. I hope you find inspiration to keep going and growing, as you have inspired so many of us.

    Daffodils
    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

    William Wordsworth

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  32. as soon as i read this i was reminded of my mother.. she too planted hundreds of daffodils in her yard.. and she too died of lung cancer almost 14 years ago.. my daddy still refuses to cut the grass until the last daffodil has bloomed.. my heart is with you Toska as well as your family,, may you have millions of memories to comfort you from here to your eternity

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  33. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. We love ya girl!!!

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  34. You are such an inspiration Tosca, I pray that you are held through this tough time and that these precious memories will continue to carry you through each day. What a beautiful love you shared! Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

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  35. Dear Tosca,
    My heart is breaking for you. Wishing you much love and peace. You have been in my thoughts constantly. Hoping the wonderful memories you and Bob have shared will help you and the girls get through this difficult time.
    Dawn

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  36. {{Hugs}} to help keep you strong. My heart aches for you and your family.

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  37. Losing a loved one is an unbearable pain we must suffer, but filling your life with his memory and legacy will give you the strength and courage to face each new day as it comes. The daffodils will be a never ending gift, they will continue to remind you every year of the love the pair of you shared and they shall continue to grow in volumes as your love for one another did year after year. I am so sorry for your loss Tosca, continue to keep shining and be that inspiring force that Bob would want you to be. xoxo

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  38. Thank you Tosca for sharing your beauty.

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  39. What a blessing to enjoy such sweet love! Praying for you & your family in this time of great loss.

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  41. What a beautiful story. Thankyou.

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  42. Tears have come to my eye's I feel your pain and loss. You are such a amazing person, inspiration,truly a blessing, I do not know how or where you find the strength .. I believe Bob is with you every second of the day. And to share with us what you are going though,we are blessed to also have you with us. A quote someone said to me,
    Anyone can give up,it's the easiest thing in the world to do.But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart , that's true strength.And that is who you are,your daughter's are lucky they have you beside them at this very sad time.. Such beautiful memories,such a beautiful love,such a beautiful family..Bob you are there Angel look after them even more now then you did when you where here,they need you to guide them. I also had a friend in Milton on Derry road that planted many daffodils on a hill and each year as I drive home ,I stop and look how beautiful they are and remember everyone I have lost to cancer and who are fighting now.. I have daffodils in all my gardens and to me its like a smile being so bright ,Bob is smiling down on you as he fell in love with someone so strong and now you are showing us in many ways how we can keep going as well no matter what we are facing. God Bless you Tosca.. And Thank You for being you.. xo

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  43. Love this. Thanks for sharing!

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  44. ... "Now I will do it on my own with the coaching of my beloved Bob ringing in my ears."

    You'll never be alone again. He'll be there with you, every step of the way. Listen closely.

    God bless you and yours.

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  45. Beautiful, Tosca. Keep remembering, writing and reflecting...it is good for the heart and soul. As you always tell us, take it one day at a time. I'm sure looking into the future feels like a never ending uphill climb without Bob, but just take it one day at a time. Bob is smiling down at you today and he WAS with you today while you walked through the fields of daffodils. He is always with you. Much love, Lauren

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  46. Yours is a beautiful story of true love. Although his mortal life is over now, he is with you always. His energy will take you and your family forward - your job on earth is not done yet, and he also wants you to fulfill your destiny still. So many depend on you for that destiny Tosca. Be strong for the journey ahead. Be strong. One day, you will be together again in eternal love and run through heaven's daffodil fields together, hand in hand, young and strong again...

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  47. Such an amazing story. Thank you for sharing such intimate moments with us. I know the pain is great but God's strength and the memory of your beloved Bob will help you get through. <3

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  48. Tosca, it takes incredible strength to share such intimate moments in your life with your followers. Please know that I feel your pain with you and I cry with you. Time will move you forward and you will find your way with all that Bob taught you and shared with you. Bless you and your family.

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  49. Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard but always near. Still loved and missed. Mhar

    He's right there beside you walking through the flowers.

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  50. Crying...AGAIN!!! Still so hard to digest! LOVE YOU!!!!

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  51. Achingly beautiful....you made him so happy, I'm sure. So much love there....

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  52. I'm sure he was walking through the flowers with you, hun...

    You are in my thoughts and prayers...may God give you the strength to move gracefully forward and continue to treasure and enjoy the man you love through memories.

    Warmest hugs.
    Krista

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  53. Tosca my heart aches for you and your family and what you are going through. I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting you and your husband at the 2011 Arnold. We spoke briefly of my fight with cancer on several occassions as you signed my Eat Clean book. I could see then the love that you two shared. You both were an amazing duo and I believe with all my heart that his spirit will always be there looking out for you. Much love and prayers for you and your family.

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  54. Thank you, for all that you have and continue to share with all of us, Tosca. Every aspect of your home is sure to be filled with wonderful and powerful memories of the life that you and Bob shared together. It is very apparent how much love, affection, and admiration the two of you had for each other. That is a very special gift from God, and each year, your beautiful flowers will bloom, reminding you of the simple yet loving & appreciative, & caring man your husband was, and forever will be, in your heart. My thoughts have been, and continue to embrace you & your daughters through this most difficult time. Unlike what others may say, it does NOT get easier... and time does not heal all wounds. But what I have found personally is that through our beautiful memories and sharing our stories of our loved ones with others, it does get easier to talk about. We mourn for a long, long time. And then magically, one day, your painful mourning will have appeared to change into grateful memories.... you will give thanks to the Lord for being a better person having known your loved one, and you will celebrate your loved one in honor and memory for the rest of your life. Sure, it will take time to get to that point. But, until then, you are blessed with a wonderful family and many, many loving friends to whom you can talk to and pay tribute to Bobs life and legacy. You are a strong woman, Tosca Reno. You are my Warrior, my hero, my mentor. And even Warriors cry. Love, hugs, prayers to you and the girls. I am thinking of all of you today and always. XOXOXO

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  56. Thank you so much for sharing this, and your journey. It's amazing how you can inspire us, even while you go through this difficult time. Wishing love, strength, hope, and comfort to you and your family and close friends.

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  57. Thank you for such a beautiful blog. My heart goes out to you and your family during this difficult time. He will always be with you :)

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  58. Beautiful, Tosca. Thank you for sharing your husband's memory with us. We are continuing to pray for you and your family. May you be strengthened, even in this time of grief.

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  59. Your love for each other is an inspiration. To do something so special for the man you love. It is so wonderful that he got to see it. I will buy some daffodils today and think of how I should love and cherish time with my loved ones.You and your family are still in my prayers.

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  60. Tosca that is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. My heart is so sad for your loss. I too will plant some daffodils in his honor. Such an amazing legacy. I work at a gym and I carry a copy of Oxygen magazine to share with the members about what a great fitness magazine it is and always tell your story with "Tough Love" Bob. Give yourself time to grieve. I too lost my husband 10 years ago to cancer and it was a very long time for me to heal. Praying for you and your family always. With love xoxox

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  61. Tosca, I thought of you this morning when I woke up! I was aware of the pain you would be in trying to go through a day with out your beloved husband! I prayed for God's strength for you and your daughters to make it through this very tough and trying journey! I too suffered a loss of a beloved and dear friend who I thought would be there for me for a much longer time than he was! I cried, wept, prayed, worked and tried to exercise as much as possible (and others were praying for me as well)and by the Lord God almighty's grace I made it one day at a time! This year is 5 years from the time my friend passed and went home to be with the Lord! I can say when I look back there were times I even asked God why am I here? I want to be with him and I honestly did not think I could make it as far as I have come! I sincerely pray His angels to minister and comfort you and your family daily and to give you the strength, courage and fortitude to live and to live like your dear and precious husband as well as others would want you to do! Your an awesome woman created to do great and beautiful things! Robert obviously got you atarted and now with a loving Father you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! Blessings and love to you Tosca!
    Deborah Singer RMT

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  62. Tosca,
    My heart breaks as I read these deeply beautiful words of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May God strengthen and comfort you, and may you find peace in Bob's love and memories that can never be taken from your heart. He cherished you. Remember, he is ALWAYS with you.

    http://learningtoexhalewitht.blogspot.com/2012/04/in-memory-robert-kennedy-1938-2012.html

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  63. You were blessed to have such a wonderful man in your life. Our families prayers are with you and yours.

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  64. I lost my father to cancer on November23rd of 2009. This year I lost my mother to the rarest cancer on February 1st. I do understand the pains & how we hope we will beat cancers. Thank you for sharing your story. I will always cherish every moment we spent together. It a blessed you & Robert shared so many memories together. God bless you & your family.

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  65. Sometimes it seems impossible to go on. Lost my husband of 30 years on 6/29/10 of brain cancer, sitting now in our living room where he passed away. You seem much more at peace somehow...I am still very full of anger and cannot seem to deal with it all yet. I wish you more of that peace as you go forward...it is just such a hard thing to do.

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  66. Psalm 84:6 "Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also fills [the pools] with blessings." -- I hope that one day soon this field of flowers will be a place full of joy and blessing for you.

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  67. Tosca, I am so sorry for your loss. God give you courage. It's a shame great people like him go so early. My prayers go to you and your family. Regina

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  68. May God's blessings and love shower down on your heart today! The road is long and hard when you loose someone you love. May his memories sustain you and help you at this very difficult turn in the journey of your life.

    (((hugs)))
    Amy Jo

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  69. I have tears as I just read your post Tosca. Stay strong during this unimaginably difficult time. Keep him always in your heart and your ears too! Prayers and love, Shelia

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  70. Tosca,
    Thank you for sharing with us at this most difficult time. You and Bob have touched millions. My heart goes out to you and your family.
    Colleen

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  71. Tosca thank you for sharing. I hope you will continue to write and share these memories, and that by doing so it will help you heal, just as it's helping us to know you more and to be inspired further by yours and Bob's strong bond. We should all aspire to have such a wonderful relationship. Hugs to you and yours at this most difficult time.

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  72. Okay Tossee, lets train today, the way your beloved Robert would want you to continue. I join you! Be blessed!

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  73. Oh Tosca.......you are strong, you will keep going. Bob will always be in your heart and head...He'll keep you going through your workouts, work and life....wonderful you have those daffodils to walk through each and every year to reconnect with the one dearest to your heart. My heart is heavy for you .....you will continue to conquer.

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  74. Tosca: I have been where you are--I was widowed by cancer nearly six years ago--and I can only say that there is no way to properly grieve such a loss, except to keep going forward, a little bit every day.

    That doesn't mean that there won't be many days that you won't feel like it.

    That doesn't mean that there won't be days where giving into the sadness, the loss and the pain is simply the only available choice.

    And it doesn't mean that it will never get better. But it will not get better right away, and it will not get better simply by being strong, or moving forward, or continuing on.

    All it takes to conquer grief is time. And there is no timeline, and no right way to do this. You owe no one an explanation of your process; take the time you need.

    [I would encourage you to read "I'm Grieving as Fast As I Can" whenever you feel ready to. It helped me a great deal.]

    Wishing you comfort from his memory and from those who love you.

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  75. Tosca - I am inspired by your strength and poise. I pray for you and your family. Rob, although I never met him personally, was an amazing man. RIP.

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  76. What a beautiful memory, and a blessing to have had the joy of such a love. I am so sorry for your loss, he was an extraordinary man. Big hugs and prayers to you and your loved ones.

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  77. Tosca:
    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you. You both inspire me tremendously. I had a dream of one day being able to meet both of you one day.
    Trust in God, lean on Him, He will carry you through this difficult time.
    Praying for you,
    Tammy McDermott
    queenmcd@gmail.com

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  78. Dear Tosca,
    You write so beautifully about your beloved husband. I hope giving us a glimpse into your beautiful life with him offers you peace during this sad time. Remember, we are always listening too.

    Much love to you and your family,
    Erica

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  79. "Tossee..." Priceless. Brought me to tears. So sweet.

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  80. Beautiful words. Thank you for sharing.

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  81. This is an absolutely beautiful post. My heart goes out to you and your family as you miss your wonderful husband, father and friend.

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  82. I'm shedding a tear for you...beautiful post. Keep shining brightly, Tosca!!

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  83. I know you WILL make it. It doesnt seem like it in this moment, but one day you will come out of your tunnel of grief. I promise you that! I believe in you!

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  84. That is so beautiful... This made me smile just hearing how much you two loved each other and how you used each moment to tell each other:) Not many experience a love like this. I am so happy you both did. Thinking of you and your family. Thank you for sharing these awesome love stories with us.

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