In Memory of Bob Bliss
I think one of the hardest things about growing older is the loss of loved ones from your life. Today I lost my friend Bob after a short fast decline in hospital from liver issues. I am deeply upset and saddened by his quick departure.
Bob had a tough hard persona. But if you scraped that aside you found a genuine, truly kind man who was wonderful. I was lucky enough to know Bob, a man who took me under his wing and taught me so much more than how to hold a pistol correctly. He was also a keen gardener!
I would often tell Bob that he was a unique friend, so different to my other friends. He was brash, opinionated and always seemed to be banned on Facebook for his opinions. But he also brought out a side in me that was happy. We would have wonderful days bantering back and forth. He always loved it when someone gave him as hard a time as he gave so many. He helped me find my voice in life. I just got him!
25 years ago, Bob lost his life is daughter Amanda Jane. I often felt I filled a small part of the hole this left in his life and love that Amanda and I have the same middle name.
Bob fought for his country, something we remembered (and will continue to remember) every ANZAC and Remembrance Day. He included us (my husband Steve and me) in his life and introduced us to his friends. We talked about some of the crazy things he did during his service in the air force. We laugh and remember the story about him riding naked through the barracks.
Bob taught me how to shoot a pistol and passed on so much of his expertise to me. He showed me how to load bullets, hold rifles and even fire a Desert Eagle. He introduced me to a new sport I have so much enjoyed. We would often shoot together on a Friday at Gympie.
I used to wear my pink top embroidered with “Battle Babes” that he got made for his girls in Malaysia. We often joked it should have been Bobs Babes!
Those of us that ever got into a car with Bob knew he drove like god was his co-pilot. I imagine everyone that lived on the Cooloola Coast has been passed by a blue Hyundai Tucson blur with BOB number plates at some time. We joked he thought he was still in the air force when he drove his car.
Our last conversation was with me in Northern Territory, him in hospital. I was visiting the abandoned prison at Gunn Point, a place Bob had also visited years before (in part of his service days). I am so thankful we had that last great phone call.
I am so honoured I could call Bob my friend. RIP Bob, a true Aussie larrikin. Our thoughts are with Ellie at this time.