I Know Why

     When I woke up yesterday morning I thought it was just another day.  The sun rose, the birds chirped and the earth continued to rotate.  How was I to know what a great loss the world would suffer at 3:00PM yesterday afternoon?

     After a day of fishing fun on Gunflint Lake and a long weekend of Winter Tracks activities I sat down at home with my computer.  I saw a notice from Caringbridge.  It’s a website that allows hospital patients to journal about their progress and a place for friends and relatives to learn about the patient’s status and leave them notes on a guestbook. 

     I have come to rely on Caringbridge quite heavily this past year with numerous friends posting sites.  I get a notice when they update their pages and I don’t always read every post every day, but I make it a point to catch up on a regular basis.  I may not have even checked the site yesterday except for the fact there were two posts about the same person yesterday.

     When I went to the site I wasn’t prepared for what I saw.  How was I to know it would be the last day Bob Marchino would live?  Bob Marchino along with his wife Marti owned and operated Clearwater Outfitters on the Gunflint Trail from 1995-2003. 

     We met him at the Indianapolis Boat Sport and Travel Show after we had purchased Voyageur.  It was probably the winter of 1994 or 1995 when he told us he and his wife were interested in owning a resort after his early retirement from Lily Corp.  We told him what we liked about the Trail and when he left I remember thinking, "I hope he does buy a place on the Gunflint Trail."

     We were lucky Bob and Marti moved to the Gunflint Trail.  Marti is a great woman and no doubt had alot to do with why Bob was such a caring and charismatic creature.  When Bob walked into a room he filled it with his presence.  His positive attitude and enthusiasm for life made him appear as if he floated through a room with feet never even touching the earth.  He always had a smile on his face unless he was trying to joke around, then he would put a serious look on his face, but it would only last a second and then his contagious smile would reappear.  He had a way of making everyone feel better when he greeted them.  A sincere smile, a real handshake or a hearty hug let you know he truly cared about you.  I can honestly say I always walked away from Bob feeling better about myself and looking forward to the next time I would see him. 

    When I read that Bob had made his last portage at 3:00PM yesterday a piece of my heart broke.  Grief filled my soul not only for his wife and family but for the entire world.  Saddness filled my body as I thought about how I would never feel his energy for life again.  It coursed through my body as I sobbed for everyone who knew Bob and for those who would never get the chance to meet him.

     Bob left an impression on everyone he met.  Through owning Clearwater Lodge and speaking at Canoecopia for a couple of years I know he touched many lives.  Each of those lives were made better through knowing him.  He always had time for people and had that way of making you feel like you were the most important thing to him at that moment you were with him. 

     It appears as though someone else had their eye on Bob, someone from above.  I know why that someone would want Bob with them, who wouldn’t?  I am sure there’s a special place for Bob in heaven and a special job he has been chosen to do.  I know he has already charmed everyone up there; those who have known him from life on earth and those who had never met him.  I can see him floating around up there touching everyone with his love and leaving them all with a smile on their face. 

     I know it will be difficult for everyone left behind.  His loving wife, his children and precious granchildren, his relatives and his millions of friends will grieve their loss.  But I know his leaving this earth has just made death for those of us left behind so much less scary to think about.  I know that when my time comes to leave this earth Bob will be there wating with a big hug, a huge smile and some great tale about his last great portage. 


From the CaringBridge Site:Here is some updated information:

There will be a public viewing at
Flanner and Buchanan Mortuary • 1305 E. Broad Ripple Av. • Indianapolis, IN 46220 • (317) 475-4475 from 3pm to 8pm on Thursday, March 5th, 2009

There will be a mass at
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church • 500 E 42nd St • Indianapolis, IN 46205 Friday at 11am March 6th, 2009  There will be no interment following the mass. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to your favorite charity.

We appreciate all the support and prayers sent our way during this rough time.

God bless you all.