Dear Bobby,

I just realized upon typing that out that you are probably Robert, known as Bob to the adults in your life, but as a child you were Bobby, and that is how I knew you, Bobby, not as a child, but as your childhood name.

You are a childhood friend of my step-father's, how exactly the two of you met is not really known to me, I only have a few details of your life, but they are interesting. There's that bit with the Winchester Mystery House. That's the best bit.

My first distinct memory of you is when you came over to our house for dinner, I being the only kid at the time, my other siblings still very young, perhaps one not even yet born. We sat next to each other at the table. I felt special.

The next memory is from when I was twelve, or so, and we all went to Disneyland together. Actually, forget that, because I don't remember going to the park with you at all.

That same trip we visited your sister and her husband in their home in Yucca Valley. I remember that. They had turtles in their bathtub. This was awesome and admirable. I was twelve, remember.

I remember going to the grocery store together that night. I remember picking out chips in the snack aisle. You were there.

And then you disappeared from our lives. I asked after you often, but no one knew where you were. Or how. It always tugged at me. I didn't like not knowing.

I think the adults you meet while a child are the easiest to know. You know, know. Adults are easy to see through when you're young and they either suck at being around kids or they are genius. There's no in-between.

You, I read you, and you had a good heart. I felt that. Irony being that it was your heart that did you in. Sorry about that. Perhaps it was such a good heart, so kind and loving, that it absorbed all the bad. You know how they do that? And you didn't know where to put all the bad so it hardened and that's what killed you.

On Monday I will be at your funeral. That is where we will finally meet again and now I know where you are. And how.

I'm sorry that you have to read this letter from heaven and not in person or not at the dinner table with our family.

Heaven. I hope you're there.

Until we meet again,