Monday, October 20, 2014

10-20-90 to 10-20-14

Youthful Bob
Twenty-four years ago today, I married Robert Allen Reed, on a sunny autumn day at Madison Square Church.  I was 21 years old; Bob was 35 years old.  In many ways, I didn't know who I was or what I was doing - but God knew.  I believe our marriage was orchestrated by Him.

A lot of who I am today is because of the influence that Bob had in my life.  I know that I have heard many of you speak of the influence that Bob had on your life through counseling or his writing.  Imagine 19 years of time with him and you can imagine the influence.
Our last family picture in December 2009 (hasn't Noah changed?!).
Bob helped me discover my own faith. He affirmed my gifts and talents, and encouraged me to develop them.  He challenged my thoughts and my theology.  He taught me to argue in a healthy way.  He encouraged me to see conflict as a good and even healthy thing.   

Although he has now been gone for 4.5 years, he is not forgotten. If you ask my students, they will tell you that I refer to Bob every day when I teach.  I now have to clarify between "my husband" and "my late husband" but the impact that Bob had on my life and the majority of stories that I have to tell are of the time with Bob as my husband.

I don't ever want to forget him, our marriage, or the love we had.  There are three days per year where I will take the opportunity to share:  his birthday, our anniversary, and the day I said goodbye.  But every day I remember him in one way or another.  My heart aches for how much he has missed as our children continue to grow - and even more so for how much my children have missed in having their father witness their life and use his wise words to direct them.

As my friend recently wrote, grief does change us and we don't forget our loved ones, no matter how life may have changed in the years since their passing.  We are encouraged to reinvest in life and not stay stuck in grief.  I'm thankful to God that I have been able to do that, and have been able to continue to live into my calling and even accept a new calling.  

Until we meet again.
Bob, with Rev. Zar by his side.  I'm assuming they have connected in heaven.

Last picture taken of Bob on earth, in Nigeria, two days before he died.