Without fail, Bob and Marianne Oberg would don their white sun hats and walk a three-mile loop in their Cotswold neighborhood every morning, hand-in-hand.
Bob, 69, and Marianne, 62, had been married for nearly 40 years.
But about a month ago, they took their last walk together.
The morning of May 23, as they crossed North Sharon Amity Road to Addison Drive, a van turning onto Sharon Amity hit Marianne. She later died in the hospital.
And Bob, though stricken with grief at the loss of his wife, has found deep solace in one thing: continuing the daily walk.
Neighbor Vania Zwickey, who often jogs around the neighborhood, said she loved seeing the Obergs on their walk and still sees Bob out walking every morning.
They were the cutest little couple holding hands, and it was encouraging to see people like that, Zwickey said. I look up to him because a lot of people would have stopped, but he was up and out there the next day.
Bob said Marianne is with him during his walks.
She is with me because of how I feel, Bob said. When Im doing ordinary things around the house, a lot of sadness sneaks in. But when Im walking, I feel happy, and I think times of happiness are when Marianne is with me.
So each morning, Bob carries on the routine: He wakes up, shaves, meditates, straps his walking hat securely under his chin and arms himself with a water bottle.
Except now, he brings a few extra things with him on the walk. He carries a small notepad and a pen in his front pocket for getting contact information from neighbors. He also totes a few letter-size envelopes that hes stuffed with photos of him, Marianne and some of her artwork; a poem Marianne wrote about life and the prayer that was said at her memorial service.
Bob has been handing out the envelopes to people who have stopped to offer condolences.
Every morning between 7 and 7:30 a.m., Bob sets out from his house on Emory Lane and walks to the same intersection where he lost Marianne. He calmly pushes the button at the crosswalk.
For whatever reason, the van kept going, he says as he carefully checks traffic and he treks across the tragic spot. I am just doubly and triply careful now when I cross the street.
The driver of the van, Kelvin Alexis Garcia Guardado, 20, was arrested later that day and charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.
One neighbor, Frank Printz, had often seen the Obergs walking but had never spoken to them beyond a wave hello. He said he was amazed when he saw Bob out every morning after his wifes death.
I think that all of us have a choice of how we deal with things that happen to us, and he could have very easily gone into a deep depression and screamed Why me? at the world, but he chose not to do that, Printz said. Hes chosen to live his life with grace and dignity and love, and I admire that very much.
Bob said he hopes Mariannes death will remind drivers that they need to be more aware of their surroundings on the road. Staff researcher Maria David contributed.