We have lost another family member. My brother-in-law, Bob passed away Saturday. He and my sister had been married for 17 years. They were together several years before that but had surprised us with their beautiful wedding when we thought we were going to their tennis club for another reason. You can read more about that wedding here.
Bob and Justine were very close. Justine spent one summer staying at their house and babysitting her cousin, Taylor. The two girls had lots of fun swimming and playing tennis. Bob had made a bet with Justine that summer when she was 15. He bet her $100 and you can see from the picture that Justine won the bet.
Justine had decided at a very young age that she wanted to be a vegetarian. She was 8 or 9 at the time and we thought it was cute but dismissed such a silly notion. She would occasionally bring it up and I told her when she grew up she could do whatever she wanted. One Sunday after I had prepared a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings, Justine sat down and the table and announced she wasn’t eating. I asked if she felt sick but she was very rude and pushed her plate away and stated she wasn’t eating “this”. Her dad was very firm when he explained she was not to be disrespectful and that her mother had made her a lovely meal and she would eat it. Justine stood up and said she would NOT! She ran into her bedroom and slammed the door. After she cooled down she was able to explain that she had decided to become vegetarian and nothing would stop her.
I immediately made a doctor appointment. I knew he would tell her how unhealthy her decision was and that she was too young to make a decision like that. Our family doctor practiced Eastern as well as Western Medicine. He had an acupuncture clinic too. He explained that many cultures and religions practice vegetarianism from birth and that Justine could get all the protein she required from, vegetables, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, tofu and cheese. She was 10 years old.
Bob was sure she would grow out of her vegetarian phase and begin eating meat. She never, ever ate meat again. She reminded him of their bet at my other sister’s wedding. Bob, being a man of his word, left the reception, walked down the street to the bank machine, withdrew the money and gave her her winnings.
I wonder if Bob and Justine are together now having a laugh. I’m picturing them somewhere tropical having a drink at a tiki hut with the sandy beach and rolling ocean beside them. My dad would be there too. Bob’s brother Greg would also be there. I know they’re happy wherever they are.
RIP Bob Hunter