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To Rob and Ashley

He’s my baby brother… one of my baby brothers, in fact. But for twins, they couldn’t be less alike. Mike was so relaxed as a baby, so easy going and soft and sweet and cuddly, that we lovingly called him “the marshmallow.” Rob, on the other hand, came squirming and yelping and screaming into this world. And nothing has changed. He’s all muscle and sinew and brass and brash. He couldn’t wait to stop being a kid. It was a waste of time. There were places to go, people to see, money to be made… and world records to beat.

But we had fun with little Rob. Our sister Mars and I fed into his competitive spirit all the time. Want to get Rob to do something? Make a race out of it. All we had to say is “Rob, get on your mark… get set… and go!” It always worked. Rob, get me a glass of water. Rob, change the channel on the TV. Rob, make the beds, paint the house, build a skyscraper… anything! Believe me, he could do it. Of course, as he got older, his incentive changed. Setting new world records wasn’t important anymore. At the next level, we had to PAY him to do things. And he always complied… for cash. I loved those days…and I still miss those hour-long foot massages for a quarter.

Rob and Mike are the youngest of five Ristau kids, but in some ways he acts like the oldest. He’s really a rock. A great source—for all of us—for solid advice. He planned out his whole life way back when, and he has met every goal he ever set for himself. He’s a freight train roaring down the track. Or better yet: Hurricane Rob. Nothing stops him. Nothing.

Rob has two eyes, of course. One blue, one hazel. He also has a cowlick that’s classic, and poetic, because it disrupts what would otherwise be an absolutely perfect appearance. His muscular stature has always amazed all of us. He was BORN with those muscles, and he’ll gladly flex them for you— whether you pay him a quarter or not. He’s a perfectionist, an athlete, a stand-up comic, a great dancer, a gourmet cook, a gardener, a clothes model and a financial genius. He’ll do anything at all—except stand still for a minute.

If you want to see a perfect complement to Rob, just look at Ashley. She’s beautiful, funny, creative and calm. Always graceful and poised, she’s the epitome of style in every way. I knew that Rob was in love when he showed up with Ashley—and he was dressed in seersucker pants and a pink Le Tigre shirt—with the collar up. I look at these two, both of them gorgeous, and I swoon at the prospect of the gorgeous kids they’ll have some day.

So Rob, I sure won’t ask you to stop what you’re doing. I know better. But if you have it in your heart to just slow down a little bit, even for a second, there’s something that I’d like to say. Rob, Ashley, you’re a wonderful, beautiful, altogether adorable couple, and as you move through life—at breakneck speed, for sure—I want you to know that we love you now, as always, with all our heart. To you both, the very best of everything, with plenty of peace and joy, accomplishment and satisfaction. I know you’ll get it anyway, but just for the record, you deserve nothing less.

Love, Heidi

© Poems to Go

You truly are a master poetess. Thank you so much, I’m eternally grateful.

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