By Catherine Bullard
Before Bobby and I started dating, I was taking the most difficult acting classes I’d ever taken. The reason they were so difficult is that our instructors demanded that when we were onstage, we had to be completely vulnerable and open to any emotions that came up, whether they were unexpected, or scary, or uncomfortable. And the reason that’s hard is because in order to survive in society you learn not to be able to do that to protect yourself.
It was apparent from our first date onward that Bobby not only understood why that was important, but he already knew how to do it. You can see it in the picture of him on the front of your booklet. It’s hard to take a picture that good because you have to be willing for people to see you. You have to be open to their possible judgments and possible love. And though those two things are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, they’re both terrifying. But Bobby didn’t care. And if it meant getting weird looks because he was shouting about how cool the moon looks, or stopping on his bike to take a photo of the lake during a sleet storm, or laughing as an adult goose glides gracefully into the water and its gosling falls into it with a smack… it was worth it.
As I’ve been thinking about this, it’s occurred to me that you can call that “childlike”, but I don’t think that’s it. When a child does these things it’s childlike, but when an adult – and especially an adult who knew how cruel the world can be – can still stand in front of a group of people he doesn’t even know and say “that is beautiful,” I think that is courage. And I think that is so rare and precious.
Bobby has taught me so much, but if I had to choose one thing, it’s that if we can just get out of our own way, we can unlock more joy and peace and love than we even know we can feel. It is the deepest honor of my life to have known and loved him.