On May 12, 2008 my brother’s father, Robert Rauschenberg, died after making the decision to get off life-support. I’m sad for him, my brother and my mother. Bob’s light shined in sideways on my life. There is no word for his relationship to me – he’s not a step-father or in-law. He is simply my brother’s father. As I was growing up in NYC, we occasionally visited his house, saw his work, participated in his happenings and felt his charisma, talent and, for me, his distance from me. He gave me a couple of presents. One was a mechanical cow which I named “Mooey.” Mooey mooed and walked and swung his head from side to side. He eventually broke but I held onto his udder for years until I finally shoveled out the clutter in my life. Bob also painted me a toy piano when I was little. It had a nice window so you could see its inner workings and he painted it “day glo” colors. I’m not sure what happened to it. The last present Bob gave me was two years ago when I took my kids to NYC to go to his opening at the Met. At a party at his house he blew me a kiss when I was leaving.
I appreciate his brute, brave, talent; his joy in the world; and his enduring love for my mother and brother.
Rest in Peace R.R