Sharing in the pain

John Robert Dobbs
I want to spread my deepest sympathies to John and Maggy Dobbs.  Usually on Friday’s I have some unique post of some interesting web items, but I have really struggled with this tragedy this week.  I am not one who usually wears much of my heart on my sleeve, however, the news of this past week has really struck me deep into my heart as it has so many others of the Christian Internet Community.  John and Maggy’s 18 year old son, John Robert Dobbs, days from his own milestone of graduating from High School, was killed in an accident on the Interstate.

I would say I consider John Dobbs my new best friend.  He may not agree, but, I won’t allow that to stop me.  Many nights, as he and Maggy are apart with him in Monroe and her still in Pascagoula, he would fire up a web camera in his bungalow and sit and chat with the few of us who would stop by and visit on Ustream.  As one of the few that would frequent our little internet family, I got to know my friend John as he would sit there and tell stories, relay blogposts of the day, and laugh.  Some may consider me the class clown, but I enjoyed hearing Big Poppa laugh, and if Maggy was nearby, it was good to hear her too.  This week, there wasn’t anything to laugh about.

I also partake in the smaller community of TwitterJohn and Maggy each would contribute through this unique web broadcasting system.  I could follow them through the day as I would read their comments on my phone.  It is weird, but I really got to know these people that I only met briefly in person at the Tulsa workshop.  He was the inspiration behind this as well as so many other fellow bloggers taking their keyboards in hand and putting themselves out there.

Wednesday, as I was in the field trying to finish planting corn, I got an email from my brother-in-law who passed on the tragic news via my cell phone.  I began to follow the tragic details throughout the day and it was like living it myself.  My heart was aching.  I hate hearing of tragedies, knowing what people are bearing.

I have struggled with even making any comments as everything I would read would make their pain become mine.  You can read through Johns “tweets” the past few days and maybe you will see what I mean.  They are in reverse order from most recent to the beginning.

And after a lunch with so many people…we’re finally home to rest.

There were a HUGE number of people from all over at the funeral … the services were PERFECT… John Robert would have loved it.
And now for a funeral.
Long night with many visitors and friends. I’m exhausted. Going to bed soon.
Off to the funeral home for visitation … open casket. I don’t even know if I can do this. Pray for me.
Arrangements: http://johndobbs.wordpress….
The casket has been chosen and the arrangements have been made.
My pain is immense.
This was the most horrible painful day of my life.
This was the most horrible painful day of my life.
I was going to New Orleans to be with family at hospital today…but no sleep tonight…I’m sorry … don’t think I could drive it.
New blogpost at

I can only imagine what they have gone through and had to deal with.  I can only imagine how it was to deal with all of the well wishers and friends when you probably wish you could just hide and make it all go away.  I can only imagine how to deal with the hole that was placed in their heart.  I can only imagine saying goodbye one last time.  I can only imagine how great it will be to finally re-unite.

I often remembered JD saying that he ranked high in the stressful ranking categories with the big move taking place, two sick parents, separated from his wife, trying to sell a house, and now dealing with this.  I wish, along with so many others that love this family, that I could just bear the pain.  They have dealt with so much, and have one more thing to overcome.

I did the only thing that I knew to do for them and for so many others.  That was to pray and to be continually mindful of what they were going through.  Today they had a funeral, and tomorrow, they bury their son.  They say the worst thing in life for a parent is to bury their children.  Now my friend can really find a way to relate to God.  I know he will find a way to use this to inspire and encourage and share with others.  Amongst the tragedies of life, one has to ask, WHY?  What is the reason for it?  I like to follow up that question with, “What good can come from it?”

John and Maggy,  you are incredible people and with time, I hope you are able to see some good that comes from this.  God Bless you my new best friends!  I look forward to hearing Big Poppa laugh one more time.


5 responses to “Sharing in the pain

  1. Thanks, Steve, for saying this so well. I love the new friends I have made through John, Ustream and twitter. It’s been a privilege to pray with them for John and Maggy. Somehow I do believe we are making the unbearable burden they are carrying a tiny bit lighter by the power of prayer.

  2. spousals says : I absolutely agree with this !

  3. Tucker- you have such a great heart. I bet it was hard to concentrate on what you were doing when your thoughts were in Pascagoula. I’m glad we’re friends.

  4. Flagitiousness says : I absolutely agree with this !

  5. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Highwayman!!

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