Sunday, April 11, 2010

To blog or not to blog...

Since Bob's death, many people have asked me whether or not we will keep the blog going. My first reaction was to say no. Bob was a unique, gifted writer. Neither I nor the kids could continue the blog in the same gifted way. Not to mention that the amount of time Bob put into the blog would put an added stress on an already stressful situation while I assimilate the role of single parent and missing my husband/best friend/partner in ministry.

But in this last week, I've been rethinking that initial response. First of all, Bob didn't start the blog because he was a profound, provocative, pithy, and poignant writer. He simply started it to stay in contact with friends and family when we moved to West Africa. The blog became an encouragement to him as he tried to see things through the eyes of folks back home. It made him feel close to people while being far away.

I could use that feeling of closeness right now and I believe that many of you would like to stay in contact with us as well. And if it is an encouragement to me, I know it will become a priority to find the time. It probably will be therapeutic for me as I will probably spend a chunk of time processing Bob's death.

But I continue to struggle with the question of whether I'm able to write or keep people interested. And then I hear Bob's voice, "Stop apologizing. You're a good writer." He said those words to me a week and a half before he died. I had written the two blog posts while he was in Nigeria. In that first post, I gave a disclaimer for my writing. He chastised me for that on the phone that week and told me I shouldn't do that again for the second blog. So, I hear his voice encouraging me to do this. Of course, I would want to remind him that I usually edited his writings, as he did mine; posting something without his filter will make me a little nervous. [Side note - the night he came home from Nigeria, he took issue with me for the titling of that first blog, "What is Poverty". We spent about 1.5 hours that evening debating this - he said that question was akin to asking "Who is my neighbor?" in the sense that it could be viewed as a way to get out of our responsibility by trying to define it too closely. He was thinking of writing a blog on it, so I thought I'd pass that on. I will miss those daily debates but have learned to look at word choice very seriously.]

So I will try to keep the blog going - the kids promise to write now and then as well. I know that this change of writers will mean that some of you will move on - I fully expect that and it is okay. The truth is that the Reeds have been shaken violently by the Wind...but there are three of us still desiring to follow that Wind, blowing where it will.

Bliss, Michigan - Wednesday, April 7, 2010: A place by Mackinaw City where Bob spent many of his summers growing up. As a family, we spent many summers camping at Wilderness State Park and visiting Bliss. Bob's Uncle Lloyd has a place there in an open field that Bob loved. Near to this field is a batch of trees, full of birds in song. He had said to me many times that he hoped that some day we could live in one place long enough to watch a tree grow. So we decided to plant a red maple tree in that field and bury his ashes there. In this picture, Hannah, Noah, and I get to work on digging the hole for the tree, while Bob's brother Don and brother-in-law, Dave, watch while willing to give wise guidance.

A picture with the tree. Bob's mother is holding the picture; Pastor Dave is behind her, and the surrounding people are members of Bob's extended family. It seems a little odd that we are standing there with such big smiles, but Carolyn (in the burgundy coat) had a tough time getting the camera timer to work, so we had a good laugh. I think Bob would have chuckled as well.

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