Monday, April 5, 2010


In times like these, when words don't come easily, others are able to articulate what many of us feel. I asked Hannah and Noah to write something several days after Bob's death. Their thoughts are below. Also, two poems have been sent to me by members of our home church, Madison Square Christian Reformed Church, who knew and loved Bob. They have given me permission to share them with you. Hannah, Noah, and I will return to Ghana this Saturday; your continued prayers are appreciated.
Bob as a baby

Noah: Wow, I can’t believe this. As many of you know my father, Robert Allen Reed, passed away on Saturday March 20, 2010. It’s a day that will haunt me forever. I didn’t know anything was even wrong because I was still asleep when they left. Then someone came to our gate and said he was told to bring us to the hospital. At this point I knew that either something was very wrong or he had died. When we arrived at the hospital my mom greeted us, in tears and told us that he had died. I was stunned. I had braced myself for this but I was not ready at all for it. I had to see his body for myself. I can’t put into words what it felt-like looking down at my dad whose normal spark of life was gone. I don’t know what I am going to do without him. I wish I had spoken to him more, told him I loved him more. The day before he died, Friday night, he came into my room at 4 am to get his computer. He said to me; “Noah, I really love you, you know that? I wish we could spend more time talking to each other”. Now that he’s gone, I am thinking about this a lot.

Dad, I too wish I could have spoken to you more. I miss you so much. I don’t know what we are going to do without you around to mess around and guide us. I never told you but I bet you knew that you were my hero. You were the person I could always rely on and look up to. I feel that even more now, as I see how many lives you’ve touched and how many people care. You were a strong Christian too; I could go to you whenever I had questions or doubts. It’s definitely going to be hard without you dad…I miss you so much and love you so much, I hope you are having a great time in your new body in heaven. Good-bye for now, I will see you soon.

Hannah: Robert Allen Reed. To those in Liberia he was Uncle Bob. To his bloggers he was Yers Trooly. To countless others he was just Bob. To me, he was Daddy, and he was the best daddy a girl could ever ask for. I was very blessed, growing up, to have to loving, intelligent, faith-driven parents who taught me about God and about life, from many perspectives. My dad was a professional counselor and as such, he always knew when something was bothering me and he was always there to talk through it. Although that majorly annoyed me when I just wanted to stay ticked off, I really love that. He would pull me into his ‘office’, a.k.a. his bedroom, sit me down, and 9.7 times out of ten, I would come clean. I got along so well with my Dad. He was so funny, walking around the house, yelling out a song or a quote from a movie, typically with his own spin that made it hilarious. I was always impressed with how smart he was. He was one the smartest people I’ve ever known, if not the smartest. Dad was the go-to guy. He knew it all, but he always said don’t ask him for help in math cause he just couldn’t help with that (I don’t blame him, math isn’t my favorite either. Not by a long shot). But almost anything else, if you asked him, he’d either know the answer or he’d have one after some time. He also applied that intelligence to his faith. He was so grounded in it, he didn’t base his faith on emotions or on others’ opinion, but he thought it out, learned all he could, read thick books about faith and God. He knew why he believed what he believed. I admire that so much about him, because so many times people will ask questions that I just don’t have a ready answer for. But another good thing was he was also ready to accept that he doesn’t know the answer and just go on faith. My dad was a great man. I love him so much, and that will never change. I am happy for him. He’s celebrating, and learning even more and just having a great time. But I still miss him, and will always love him.

Daddy, you are an amazing man. I love you so much, and I’m happy that where you are there is no sickness, no pain, no suffering of any kind. You are very missed here already, by everyone you came into contact with. Thank you for your love and guidance. It made me the person I am today. There will always be a place in my heart that belongs to you, and no matter how many years pass by that will not change. I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living, my Daddy you’ll be. I love you.

For Robert Allen Reed
(by Dorwin Gray)

The desirable life is...
To be emulated, not exalted.
To exhibit the possible,
in the exercise of faith.
To exemplify candor in compassion,
kindness in correction.
Truth in love.
Love above all.
To be one, through which, the One
loves the many, without reservation.
[Bob as a young man...yes, that is his real hair! ]
(Written Tuesday, March 30 by Michael Thomson)
Sometimes the presence,
In quiet voice,
In mystic song,
Will gently convince,
A gentle breeze,
A tranquil ghost,
The sweetness of incense.

Sometimes the numinous,
Like thunderclap,
Like avalanche,
Will openly discuss,
A blazing light,
The shaking soil,
The truth can be as thus.
Sometimes there is a Type,
That shatters glass,
That peels the skin,
And such will take a swipe,
Not suffering fools,
No nods to lies,
But every tear will wipe.

Sometimes there is a man,
That breaks the mold,
That loves his Lord,
And makes a loyal stand,
With healing words,
With stinging salve,
Yet he seeks to understand.

Sometimes there is a friend,
A soul-mate to one,
A father to two,
The life that he did spend,
Painfully brief,
Fully poured out,
A parable that will portend,

The way,
The truth,
The life,
The love,
The greatest of these is love.

Goodbye Bob,

October 20, 1990