On any given night, you will most likely find me in a deep sleep nestled in my bed. I’ve always been one to make sure to get enough sleep, even when I was a young child. However, on any given night you could also potentially find my father waking me up to work. “Bobby, we have another one. Don’t worry, the house isn’t that far away.” At first, I am hesitant to leave the warm confines of my bed. With a little forceful persuasion, I get up and dress in my nicest attire. You may be wondering where I am off to at this time at night. At this point, I go outside, start the car, make sure the stretcher is in the trunk, and off we go to pick up one who has passed away in their home. My name is Robert Lawler and my father, also Robert Lawler, owns one of the most respected funeral homes in Boston; Lawler & Crosby Funeral Home. Growing up, much of my life was revolved spending time down at the parlor, playing with my sisters upstairs while funeral services were being held downstairs. At this time, both my parents were working full time and my three sisters and I needed to spend much time down at the funeral home. I have many memories of the upstairs section of the home. Countless games of hide and seek were played, as well as curious adventures to the attic to look through old relics that dated back to the 40s when my grandfather started the business. The fear of some mysterious creature hiding up there usually kept us hesitant from climbing those steep wooden stairs. Some may find a funeral home an unorthodox place for a child to spend most of their time, but I love and cherish the memories spent there.
Besides spending time at the funeral home, I got introduced to music at a very young age. My mother was a religious jazz listener, and my father had a passion for the Rolling Stones. At the age of 9, I came across an old beaten up saxophone my neighbors gave to me before moving across the country. Growing up in my neighborhood, my parents were very cautious about letting me outside alone, due to the fear of something potentially happening. Because of this, I spent much time in my room practicing my saxophone. It became an obsession. For hours on end you would find me standing in the middle of my room playing song after song, drill after drill to the point where my family would have to ask me to stop in return for peace and quiet. By the time I was in fourth grade, I was missing some of my classes in order to practice with the school band. I had found what I thought was my passion, and had potential to be extraordinary. Unfortunately at this time, I was pretty overweight and had a hard time socializing. I would observe my classmates and friends and see that they did not enjoy music as much as I did. In my adolescent mind, I had the distorted reasoning that playing an instrument wasn’t “cool,” and that I was not going to make friends if I kept at what I was doing. At this point, I made the decision to back away from music and focus on sports and losing my weight. Although I was able to succeed in sports and quickly started to make friends, I still had the desire to play the saxophone. To this day I still play the sax here and there, but I still regret the decision I made so many years ago. As I grew older, I was being involved with my father’s work more and more. At around age