He Would Have Been 28

John Robert and Claire

Today is John Robert’s birthday. Our family remembers him every day, but especially on this day. Each one in our family has distinct memories and relationships with him. I remember not only John Robert but also the impact his death had on his sister, niece and nephew, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends… all of us.

He would have been 28 years old. Still, I can only see him as 18. Occasionally I drift into a daydream of wondering what he would be doing today but I do not really indulge this for long. The truth is whatever I can imagine falls far short of the eternal life he now experiences. 

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen,  what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” –  the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.  – 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

I’ve looked back at some of the posts I’ve written on this date across the past years. I’ll link a few at the end of this post. Just as there are no new pictures to share, no new events to tell about, and no new updates to his life story … I have no new reflections. Just three words. We miss him. Beyond that, only faith and love have kept us moving on after this loss. 

And this is what he promised us—eternal life. – 1 John 2:25

Living in the promise of God among the people of God has been our strength. 

A few links from past birthdays:

A post from 2008.

A post from 2009.

A post from 2013.

A post from 2014.

John Robert’s friend A. J. Olivares wrote THIS Facebook remembrance on John Robert’s birthday in 2008, the year he died. I thought it was beautiful.

Thanks for reading. JD


  1. The friends Facebook was sweet. I don’t think I have read that before. Precious memories.

  2. I pray for you and Maggie daily, and will send extra hugs your way today. Thank you for sharing John Robert with those of us who never knew him. He is one of our forever family members we will meet later ??❤️

  3. My sympathy and empathy. My son Caleb Michael would have been 30 years old this past May 3. He died unexpectedly at age 27 in 2015. I wrote four blogs as I reeled in shock in late January through early March that year. May the Lord hold you especially close today.

  4. John the only words I can share with you is “I understand”…
    Happy Birthday John Robert Dobbs!!!

  5. I’m so sorry, John. I know there are no words. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. As you look back on the years you had with him, how precious it is to have the memories of a wonderful person who was so much a part of your life. Despite the pain that will always be there, how wonderful that you had the time you had with him to enjoy. What a day that will be when we see those loved ones again!

  7. We love you and miss John Robert. His picture is on my dresser with Mom and Dad. Can’t wait for our reunion with them in heaven!

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