16 Magazine - May 1970 (typed by Julie S.)
Bobby Faces Death
"I closed my eyes, and for some strange reason I began to think of life and death! What would I do if I had only 6 months to live?"
After working on the Brides set all day long and then continuing at such a hectic pace all evening (what with recording sessions, interviews and so on), you can imagine how exhausted I am at the end of the day! Sometimes I'm so tired when I get home in the evening I just can't fall asleep! I guess I'm so wound up from the day's activities, and so used to being constantly on the go, that I have to try to relax before retiring to slumberland. For me, the easiest ways to relax are by listening to records, watching television, going through my fan mail or reading a book.
One night, not too long ago, I was sitting at home scanning a book of poetry. I came across a poem entitled The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. For some reason, one short verse of that long poem about the pleasures and tragedies of life made a very deep impression on me although I really didn't understand why at that particular moment. I found myself going back and reading the following verse over and over again:
There was the Door to which I found no Key;
There was the Veil through which I might not see:
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There was and then no more of Thee and Me.
Soon, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open, so I figured it was time for me to close the book and go to sleep. I sure was tired and I thought I was relaxed, but when I closed my eyes I didn't fall asleep! Instead, the verse of that poem kept going through my mind and for some strange reason I began to think of life and death!
SIX MONTHS TO LIVE - I thought of what a precious gift life is and how so very often we just take it for granted instead of enjoying each and every minute of it. What would I do if I only had six more months to live?
I'm not a morbid person, but I do have a very vivid imagination so I guess this was just my way of trying to figure out what is important to me. In other words, what I was really asking myself was: What do I want to accomplish in my lifetime? It took awhile, but ultimately some of the answers came to me.
You'll be surprised to hear this, but if I only had six months to live I would not quit working! I wouldn't want to. I love show business so much that it's become a part of me. I would be lost and unhappy if I ever stopped entertaining. However, I do admit that I sometimes push myself too hard and have so many irons in so many fires that I very often deprive myself of the simple pleasures of just having fun. So even though I would continue working I would be sure to slow my pace and take many more days off than I do now.
MY FAMILY - I would make use of my free days in several ways. I'd spend as much time as I possibly could visiting with my folks. It's strange, but I'm always so busy rushing here and there that I don't see my mom, dad and sis as often as I'd like to. During those six months, I'd be sure to make the time! And I'd also be sure they knew how much I love them. It's funny, but we sometimes take for granted that people know how we feel in our hearts and don't bother to say the few words that could mean a whole lot to someone we deeply care about.
Aside from my family and close friends, there is another group of people who mean an awful lot to me my fans! They have given me so very much and ask for very little in return. I truly love them and if I only had six months to live, I would use part of that time trying to bring these "special friends" as much love and happiness as they've shown me!
TRAVELING & MEETING YOU - I know six months isn't an awfully long time and it would be impossible for me to meet each and every person who has written to me, but I would make a very special effort, all the same.
I love traveling, and there are many places I've always wanted to visit. Sure, I go to a lot of cities when I'm making personal appearances but all I get to see is the airport, a hotel and concert hall. I want to go back to these places and really meet the people and see the city. In fact, I can't think of anything better than letting my fans and friends all over America take me on a tour of their home towns. That way, I could see the things I always wanted to see with the people I dig being with!
MY ONE REGRET - Needless to say, I very much want to get married and raise a family someday! I'm not married now, and a wedding doesn't seem to be in the "cards" for me so, if I had only six months to live, my biggest regret would be that I never knew the joy and happiness of being a husband and a father.
Other than this, I've been a very lucky person, and thanks to each and every one of you I know that I do have a very full life. Of course, I also do have a lot more than six months to live but thinking about this did teach me something. It taught me how precious life is and how I should slow myself down a little and really enjoy it. And you know what that's just what I'm going to do!