A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Monday, August 28, 2006

Flight 5191 and the Loss of Bobby Meaux

I think of myself as someone who deals with death pretty matter of factly. I become sad, but I'm pretty well adjusted to the fact that people DO indeed die and it isn't fair, it isn't right, and sometimes you have to suck it up and go on because this is just how things go. I credit my Grandmother Drake for this somewhat, for constantly dragging me to viewings of people I didn't or did know. I also largely credit my own mother who taught me that life isn't fair, and it isn't ever going to be, so there is no need to dwell on that fact.
Today when I first woke up I saw an image of the Cinncinati regional airport and a blurb about a Comair crash. I've flown Comair - I remarked to the spouse, and continued putzing around the house. I didn't bother to read the story. Plane crashed out of the Cincinnati airport....yes? (Which by the way is actually in Kentucky but whatever, not relevant).
Spouse says - no......look at THIS picture? Recognize this?

Bluegrass airport. Lexington Kentucky. Which was once home.
It took my breath away, the way things that happen in places you love do, but we went on about our day. How often does tragedy actually reach out and knock you on the head, after all?
I wrote yesterday about how the phone can ring and it can be the best news, the news you were waiting for breathlessly. Today, in the back of my mind, I kept listening for my phone to ring. But it didn't ring and a fine day was had.

At suppertime I took my phone out of my backpack to invite Leslie to dinner and saw I had missed messages. Multiple messages. All from Lexington.

Sometimes you move to a place and it becomes home even though it isn't. Sometimes you meet people and they become like your family even though they aren't. They are people who you love almost as soon as you meet them. You know things about them just by the first conversation you have, and they are things you like. You feel connected. And even though you move 1000 miles away, when you touch base, you still feel the vibe.
On flight 5191 were many people, including several from my former place of employment. But I would like to tell you about just ONE someone you will never get to meet that was among them. His name was Bobby Meaux.

Bobby was a natural leader. It's difficult to explain. When he was on the phones and new initiatives would roll out, Bobby would be the rep on the floor that the other reps looked to for example, to embrace or not. He was upbeat. He was positive, and he was charming. He was a lot of good things. People followed Bobby, and they didn't even know they were doing it.
He might have been some bad things too but I don't really know what they were.

Bobby and I had a joke that we thought was hilarious when we worked together. One day in the break room we saw a short "weather break" where they were interviewing a "Man on the Street" type of deal who was going ON about how he just WISHED there was some sort of way to KNOW when we were going to get these big thunderstorms. Probably made the weatherman feel sort of stupid. Bobby and I completely cracked up.
After that when we had bad weather we'd both complain LOUD AND LONG to anyone around about how we WISHED for some sort of technology to forecast the weather. And no one else ever understood what the hell we were talking about. Of course this was hilarious to us, especially when someone would try to EXPLAIN to us about radar and the weather channel - which happened more than once.

Bobby wrecked his car (a white Fiero) once and called me instead of 911. I think he was just confused and work was on his cell phone. 911 wasn't.

For my going away present, when I left the company, he gave me an Indiana University Tshirt that I had always envied when he wore it. He gave it to me because he knew I loved it and he didn't think they made it anymore.

I flipped on to my fantasty football league to see if he had already built his team, because he always plays - and I think that might have been too much to bear seeing it there. But it wasn't there yet. He still had time to fill it out.

Had time.

These are just some of the things popping around in my head this evening. I've never had to deal with flipping on the TV and seeing on CNN the fiery mess that was the end of a friend. It's callous, the way the news reports tragedy.

But what I really want to say is that the world lost someone who did great things during his time with us. He was kind. He made people feel important. He understood that what he did touched people and effected their lives and made an effort to do it well. Some people will never be the president, will never touch millions or save the whales, but their hearts are full of kindness and when they touch you, you are never the same again.

Bobby Meaux was one of those people. And I will miss him forever.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry.

That really sucks.

April Brandon said...

I'm sorry! You made me cry again dammit! I love you!

Becky said...

Oh, Bridgette. I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry!

Devra said...

I hope you will consider sharing this post with his family. Sorry to hear you are mourning this loss.

Anonymous said...

Whoever you are and however I found this site is beyond me... I work with Bobby now and know exactly what you are saying... He is a great person, would do anything for anyone at anytime and always kept his word... His smiling face and sports talks in the morning will forever be in my head and heart..Sunday morning when I got "the call" at 10 in the morning from my other friends at our work was heart breaking because of this ONE great man... He will forever be missed at work and as a friend.. God bless his family and other friends and everyone else on flight 5191! Thanks for all the great memories and examples you set. R.I.P. Bobby, I will miss you and you will always have a spot in my heart.

Anonymous said...

Bridgett,
It is sad that it take this to get everone back together. It makes you want to reconnect with everyone you have ever know and to make casaual aquaintices your nearest friend to try to keep them safe from anythng that might harm them. But you have to be realistic...no matter what you do or how you try the circle of life still goes on (Disney referance just for you). I have searched for an answer to the question why? why them? why not someone else? why in that fashion? It came to me lastnight and I think I might I come to terms with a lot of thinks that have happened in my life. I now believe devine intervention is really and someone upstairs really has a plan for us. I wished it that the plan did not inclde Bobby, Cecile (I think she was one of the first new hire classes afer you moved), Erik, and Pricila. However it still doesn't seem real. I look for them every day when I walk through the door at work only to find flowers, black draped tables, memorials and tributes. I go home and ever ring of the phone I know that it is someone calling to say that everyone is safe and sound that there was a mistake...but deep in my heart I know that call is never going to come.

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful tribute. And a hard post to read. I'm praying for you and your friend tonight.

Anonymous said...

I too worked with Bobby at Gall's for less than a year. In true Bobby form, he made a friend out of almost everyone he came into contact with. I find myself trying to cling to any and every memory I have of him because he was such a remarkable man. Bobby and I both loved the Pittsburgh Steelers so we were destined to be friends. When I left Gall's, Bobby and I would stay in contact via occassional emails--a lot more during football season. Whenever I got an email from Bobby, I would always smile because in my mind I knew he was smiling as he typed the message. This is truly a tragic loss that will ripple through our lives forever. I just hope and pray that as we move throughout the rest of our lives, that we take a little bit of Bobby with us and share him with the rest of the world. It would truly make the world a better place. We love you Bobby and will always miss you.

Anonymous said...

I worked at Galls, Lexington last year on a project for their European subsidiary. I recognise 3 of the Galls people who sadly lost their lives on 5191 but Bobby was easily the one who I remember best - I especially remember him in the break room and his hilarious banter with other co-workers
- I only knew him briefly but in that time I could tell that Bobby was really special - A truly nice guy R.I.P.

Tim (England)

gerizkid said...

Wow Bridgette. That was a powerful statement. It helped give me ownership of my feelings. You are so right on about Bobby. He was a GREAT guy. Truly.

Thanks,
Lisa Banyai

Anonymous said...

Bridgett,
I dated Bobby a long time ago and have been thinking of him often since the one year is approaching. I caught myself with a rubber band around my wrist the other day and it reminded me of him. I could not remember which wrist he wore it on but thanks to the picture on your blog, I found my answer. Thank you for giving me a chance to see him again. I miss him more than I could ever imagine.