Eulogy 1: Rebecca
Below is the eulogy written by Darrel's mother Rebecca for his funeral on
September 14, 2007.
Cancer...."Mrs Robb , your son has stage 4 neuroblastoma"- and so it began – the desperate attempt to save Darrel's life.
It's been 2 years. Darrel has been through many surgeries, endless
chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow transplant, CT scans, MRI's, many MIBG's,
bone scans, countless transfusions, needles and pokes. WOW – that
is hard to comprehend and leaves you breathless. He's been through
more in his short life than anyone – especially a child – should ever have to
endure with out complaint – just the simple question – What do we
have to do today mom? Once before one of his many bone marrow
aspirates I was trying to hide my anxiety and tears from him. He
looked at me and said "I think it hurts you more than me mom, it's really not
that bad – I just fall asleep and then it's over ." …… and
back to video games and having fun, while us grown ups worry about the
He never looked too far into the future. Just the usual count downs
to birthdays, Christmas, or the next fun trip planned. He never
minded his many trips to the clinic at Grand River Hospital. He
quite often counted the sleeps, eager to scam another bag of
model magic. His loud happy voice bringing a smile to the great
staff – especially Patti, who's Darrel's nurse
there. He lived in the moment – as all children do, always
excited to get home to play with Lady – his cute pup – and scrap with his
Between hospital visits, tests and appointments we struggled to keep life as normal as
possible for the Robb children – even though they practically lived at Grandma
and Grandpa's house. For the first 7-8 months of treatment, Darrel
and I lived at one hospital or the other nearly full time, making
time at home very special indeed.
We made the best of the situation, and I even learned to play video
games. Zelda was a joint adventure we undertook, and worked
together battling the bad guys, trying to save princess Zelda again. As
we almost finished our second adventure...Darrel died.
The plans we had been talking about are finally falling into place and becoming
reality for us. The past few days have been filled with tears, hugs
and the relief that knowing he will no longer be in pain. For some
time now life has felt like a long marathon, with the game plan and the finish
line changing as Darrel kept fighting and hung on to life. Nothing
but a sheer will to live and his fierce determination kept him with us for the
last few days.
These last days were filled with stories – or commercials as Darrel called them –
playing through his mind. He was remembering the highlights from
his summer: the swings at Wonderland; flying in the helicopter; eating ice
cream; camping; catching the mommy fish that was bigger than
grandma's at trout pond; and riding Daniel at Uncle Henry's – who by the way is
pretty cool – for a farmer ---as Darrel matter of factly said.
He never beat around the bush – when he had something to say – which was most of
the time – everyone heard it. There was no keeping secrets. Daddy was always kept informed of any purchases I made, and boy did he let the nurses know how things should be done. When they pissed him off – which they did every morning at 6:00 when they woke him for blood work; he tried to pull out his toy sword which he had named his nurse
wacker. Most of the time I had snuck it out of his bed – depending
who was on duty.
If you are wondering why there are a bottle of flintstones around – one weekend he
ran out of candy. He enjoyed giving out vitamans to the girls and
wanted to be in charge of that job. Well – a couple days later we
noticed that the bottle was way too light – about 40 or so were
missing. Turns out he thought they were pretty tasty and if he
had liked the orange ones the whole bottle would have been
gone. When questioned by us – it was all Daddy's fault for letting
him run out of ring pops.
So this is it. A parents ultimate nightmare. Your child is
in a box next to you. How do you get through it? How
does life go on? As I kiss him on the forehead for the last time
and nestle his stuffed toy in the coffin beside him we all weep
silently. We all have a big family hug, the four who are
left. His battle is over. We love you Darrel,