The Hero of My Life: Robert Lloyd Coval

Mar 9, 2022

My father, Bob Coval, was my hero. He was my rock, and the person I leaned on most. He always encouraged me to never allow my disabilities to stop me from pursuing my dreams, to never give up. He was there when I published my first book, An Untethered Truth, A Medical Journey,” and was my biggest cheerleader on the project.

The day before Valentine’s Day, I was visiting a close friend in Rochester, New York. She’s pregnant with her first child, and I was there for her baby shower and to celebrate with her publication of my book. That night, my Dad sent me a text: “Call me in the morning before your flight.” I told him I would and that I loved him. He immediately texted back. “Love you too!”

I called him the following morning and left him a voicemail. A little later I texted him. I never heard back. That was unlike Dad. He always called me back or responded to my text messages.

I was concerned.

At the airport, I tried calling him again. He didn’t respond. I was worried.

I called my brother, Doug. He hadn’t heard from Dad, either. Doug told me that he was going to drive to Dad’s house on Cape Cod. At that moment, I was about to board a flight. I told him I would text him when I landed and would try to get WIFI on the plane so he could keep me updated. My soul was screaming. Something was very wrong.

Sadly, I was unable to get WIFI on the plane. My flight was an hour and 25 minutes. It felt like eternity…So, I took a deep breath and prayed to The Big Man Upstairs. I grabbed my iPad and worked on my art.

The moment we landed, I took my phone off airplane mode. At that exact moment Doug called. I was still on the plane and picked up. I could hear the shakiness of my brother’s voice.  He told me Dad died in his sleep.

I was hysterically crying, shaking my head in disbelief. Doug was trying to keep it together as he consoled me. My soul was not right.

Like a carousel many years ago of color slides, images of my father were flashing through my head.

My Dad was a Mensch!

In the Yiddish tongue, a “Mensch” is a good person, “a person of integrity and honor.”

At the drop of a hat, Dad was always willing to help people—concerned more with the needs of others than his own. He was a good listener, and always wanted to make someone laugh, make someone feel important—he was the life of the party.

And he was a genius Certified Public Accountant.  In so many ways, a man for all seasons, as they say—a Right Brain, Left Brain genius. A humble man, he tried not to show it. But it was obvious to those of us around him.

Dad taught both my brother Doug and me the critical importance of sticking together. And with our father’s passing, Doug and I are sticking together like glue…Thank you, Dad, for that lesson!

He helped Doug and me prepare for college. He reminded us to study hard, and party harder. I was not a fan of Glenlivet. It always made me gag. However, I preferred whiskey. Like father, like daughter. At the beginning of the school year, he made sure I had a handle of Jack Daniels, and a bottle of fireball.

Don’t worry Dad. I promise you I did study.

Most importantly, Dad was a rock to Doug and me—Doug in his life and in the CPA business; me in maneuvering through my disabilities. Dad was the biggest cheerleader for me on this, and in the drafting of my first book on how to press on with difficulty/disabilities in life.

He was an Archangel to Doug and me. We spoke every day, and he forever encouraged me in my artwork and writing.

The day I received a printed galley proof of my book, An Untethered Truth,” Dad held it in disbelief, in full pride. He smiled from ear to ear and was ready to celebrate. He reminded me to sign and date the book. That way, I knew it was ready to go to print.

Dad wanted to get the first final copy of An Untethered Truth once published.  Shortly before his passing, a single copy arrived for my Dad from Amazon.

Sadly, Dad never got to read it. But he has now in his soul in Heaven, and he is celebrating Doug and me.

Love you, Dad!

Doug loves you!

Our lives will never be the same…

You’re a Mensch! And that’s an untethered truth, Dad. Read between the lines.

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