After weeks of headaches and a personality change, dad went into the doctor to get things checked out. Doctors found a tumor on his brain and scheduled him for biopsy and surgery to move as much of the tumor as possible.
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About two to three weeks before Christmas, Dad started getting bad headaches moving from the back of his neck, over the top of his head to his
forehead. Thinking it was nothing, he tried to sleep it off and take Excedrin. The next week, as mom was preparing for Christmas, dad started acting a little differently—not quite like himself. His normal alertness, focus and preciseness had changed and he now struggled with concentration, engaging in conversation and staying on task.
On Sunday, December 30, dad was trying to finish paperwork and could not finish the task. Mom insisted that he go to the emergency room to get tests done and figure out the problem. At the Orange City ER we saw a doctor and explained the symptoms. The doctor said that symptoms of headaches and personality changes are often related to brain cancer. He got a CAT scan in order to get a better look at the brain and see abnormalities. The results came back showing a mass, or a tumor on dad’s brain. After talking to a doctor, dad was rushed to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, IA by ambulance to the Neuro-Orthopedics Unit.
At Mercy Hospital, a neurosurgeon talked to mom, dad and I and explained the medical situation. There is a tumor in the front-center of dad’s brain, between the two hemispheres, as well as swelling on the brain. He could not tell whether the tumor was malignant or benign until he did a biopsy. So he scheduled surgery for Thursday afternoon to do a biopsy and then remove as much of the remaining tumor as possible.
After a day and a half of steroids, to reduce the swelling, dad started acting more like his usual self—able to carry on a conversation, able to focus and remember, as well as be more jovial. He and the family are patiently awaiting the surgery and are praying for God’s guiding hands and a miracle.
It is a true blessing to be able to send you greetings and share with you the beginning of an exciting chapter in our lives. As I (Liz) reflect on the last 9 months, I find myself dwelling on the word ‘life’ and search for its truth and meaning. Without getting too technical, I asked Webster for his definition and I was given ‘life: a period from birth to death’—simple and to the point, as many people prefer. However, this explanation comes up short and I resolve, “Praise the Lord. We know better.”
As a lover of language, let me share with you my thoughts and realizations on life. The word ‘life’ is a noun—defined and finite, with a beginning, an end, and certain limitations between. It’s thrown around with very little depth and meaning. But, when changed to a verb, to live, we see something entirely different. Living is an action and is always changing. It involves initiation and being intentional, not to mention discipline, evaluation and resolve. And as followers of Christ, we are continually called to live for our Lord and to live out our calling.
Bob Reynen, whom many of you knew, lived to serve the Lord. He carried on a legacy passed down by those before him—one of servant hood, leadership, generosity, wisdom, obedience and selflessness. His legacy was one of commitment and dedication to glorify God in every aspect of his life. Now that dad is rejoicing in heaven, we are left with a legacy to embrace and to pass on.
As a way to honor our dad and his life of service, we have created the Bob Reynen Memorial Scholarship. Bob, as you well know, was heavily involved in the Northwestern community and the Reformed Church of America. He not only worked with and among pastors, but had once said, “If someone had encouraged me to consider seminary, I think I would have been a pastor.” We now want to encourage others as they seek a life of Christian service and award them financial assistance in their pursuit. The Bob Reynen Memorial Scholarship will be a yearly $1,000 scholarship awarded to a Junior or Senior at NorthwesternCollege, with a preference of Reformed denomination and the student’s intentions of attending seminary.
We are asking for your consideration in partnering with our family and continuing to honor Bob and his legacy through this scholarship fund. Our desire is to grow the fund to $20,000 with hopes to endow it, allowing the fund to annually support itself. Please pray that God will open doors for the growth of this scholarship and we ask you to seek His guidance in sharing in this opportunity. Thank you for your support and blessing our family.
If you are interested in contributing to this fund, please contact the Advancement office at NorthwesternCollege.
The entries have been an insiration and encouragement to dad and the family as we dive into the unknown. Please continue to visit the site and write us notes. Thanks. We will all be blessed through this.