Before you start reading, I want to let you know: this will be a sad one because, today, I’m writing for my personal healing and have already been crying, so you know…
The other night, I got to go to The Prelude again. It’d been a while, and I thought I hadn’t gone because my life had changed, and I’d been pretty busy working, leaving my husband, and starting a new life with my daughter, but as it turns out, something more had been keeping me from there, or should I say, some”one”…
I don’t even know where to begin [sigh], so I’ll just tell you what happened.
It all started when Carolyn asked me if she could go to her friend’s game. I thought, “Cool! I’ll go hangout at The Prelude. I haven’t been there in so long,” and it just so happened that my friend, Alicia, was performing, so I looked forward to surprising her.
As soon as I walked in, it felt like home. I said hi to some friends and hung out by Bobby. It was so nice, and when my friend got there, I sat with her. We were chatting, smiling, laughing; everything seemed wonderful, but after she started singing on stage, I noticed something behind her.
There, on the wall, was Rob Johnson’s guitar. It took everything I had not to break down and cry.
So, pretty much, the rest of the night went that way. More friends joined our table, and during every song, I’d watch who was singing and glance at Rob’s guitar…watch who was singing and glance at Rob’s guitar…watch who was singing and…
All the while…fighting back tears. Now, here comes the sad part. [I bet you thought we’d already been there.]
All of a sudden, I remembered recording Rob all the time. At one point (back then), I thought, “I won’t record; I have this song” or “I’m recording him too much,” but once he passed along, I realized how little I had, and it crushed me. Apparently, it “still” does, so out of fear of losing someone else, I started recording; all the while…glancing at Rob’s guitar.
And so it went…for two hours.
After the place closed, some of us stood outside to say goodbye, and I lost it. I told them how the night went and how I thought Rob’s passing was what’d been keeping me away from The Prelude. My friend hugged me and told me to stay away as long as I needed, and from the amount of tears that are gushing out right now, that may just be forever. Who knows.
Now, for another sad part that no one knows but Katie (I think).
Leading up to Rob’s misfortune with drugs, I’d noticed some changes in him but didn’t realize they were red flags, until it was too late.
From the beginning of our friendship, Rob learned how much I loved Jesus and how much I wasn’t a fan of cussing, so when he was around me, he wouldn’t cuss. I never asked him to do that; that’s just the way Rob was…a gentleman, but on one of our trips to Mexico, I noticed a shift.
For him to cuss around me was so out of character, but every other word was a cuss word. At the time, I thought he’d just had a bad day (which he had), but moving forward, that behavior never changed, and I never asked him about it.
Another red flag was how he’d become super paranoid about certain people. I’d just listen but never question him about it.
Now, we enter the realm of guilty thoughts.
Could I have done more? If I had said anything, would it’ve made a difference? Would he still be alive, singing so beautifully, filling every room with his incredible laughter?
Anyway, for some, life goes on.
Just so I don’t leave us on a super sad note, there’s something else I’ve recently realized.
Right after Rob fell into a coma, I applied for a position at Origins. I didn’t realize the lasting impact that’d have on me or on others’ lives. In a way, I’m helping “Rob” by helping other people, and when they come into treatment from an overdose, I thank God they’re alive, and I tell them about my beautiful friend who didn’t make it.
To everyone around him, Rob gave such hope, such joy. Honestly, I don’t know where I’d be right now without knowing him. When I’d met him, I was going through such a difficult time in my life; I felt like I was at the end of my rope, yet Rob grabbed that rope and lifted me up, and here I stand and live and breathe, and for the rest of my life, I have the beautiful chance to pour into others who are struggling, not just with drugs or alcohol but with life in general!