There are good days and there are bad days.
That's how Faye Reeves lives her life. The same is true of her grandchildren, Hannah, 10, a fourth grader at R.L. Norris Elementary School and her 8-year-old brother, Joseph, a second grader at Thomson Elementary School.
The memories of Robin Reeves continue to linger in their hearts and their minds, even though Joseph was only a year old and never got a chance to know his mother.
Someone took her life on Feb. 27, 2001, after she returned to her brick home on Gordon Street in Thomson after attending a church service adjacent Thomson Elementary School. Ms. Reeves is believed to have been murdered in the hallway, just minutes after putting her infant son to bed. She had been repeatedly slashed with what authorities say was a sharp instrument.
A murder weapon was never found. And the person responsible for her death has never been caught either. During the last seven years, leads have failed to materialize. Thus, a $17,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of a person or persons responsible for the slaying remains unclaimed.
Braving strong windy conditions and frigid temperatures last Wednesday night, Ms. Reeves' mother and her two children gathered with friends and neighbors on the front lawn of the Gordon Street home where Robin Reeves used to live to remember her life, pray and make an appeal for justice to be done.
"People know that we're still looking for Robin's killer," said longtime friend Mike Love, who has helped organize a candlelight vigil for the past seven years. "We're going to continue to hold these vigils for as long as it takes to get justice for Robin. Somebody out there knows something. They know who, what, when, where and how. They know it all and why."
About 40 people participated in last week's candlelight vigil.
"All we want is closure for Faye, Hannah and Joseph," said Mr. Love. "Each of them still has good days and bad days. It's not fair to them. It never has been. It's been very hard on them over the years."
Within the span of just 2 1/2 years, Faye Reeves lost her husband, the late Joe Reeves, her brother, James Ashley and her daughter, Robin.
"She has had it tough, real tough," said Mr. Love.
Walter Kendrick of Thomson remembered Robin Reeves and the time she spent with one of his daughters, Susan.
"My first memory of Robin goes back to Mrs. Lokey's Kiddie Ranch across the street," recalled Mr. Kendrick. "I remember a little, skinny, prim and proper Robin. My daughter, Susan, told me the first time she remembered Robin was after a little boy had tried to kiss Susan and Susan was upset. Robin went over to Susan and patted her on the shoulder and said, â€˜It will be all right.'"
Immediately, it sparked a long-lasting friendship between the two girls that continued through their adulthood.
"I remember Robin in her early teen years coming to our house to visit with Susan and on one particular day my father came by and he met Robin," said Mr. Kendrick. "He said he had never seen anyone that could talk as fast and as much as Robin. He named her 'ratchet jaws.'"
Today, the elder Mr. Kendrick is 91 and he still remembers Robin from three decades ago.
"As you all know, if you ever met Robin, you would not forget her," said Mr. Kendrick. "She was bright, smart and had a beautiful smile that seemed to light up the room when she entered. In Robin's last months, she came by our house on several occasions to see Susan when Susan was in town. This was my first introduction to Hanna and later on Joseph. Susan and Robin giggled and talked about old times, all the things they got into in school."
Things suddenly changed during their last two visits together.
"Robin cried," said Mr. Kendrick. "She was afraid for her children and her life. She said she was tired and could not seem to get any rest. She also went by Kay's shop on several occasions and asked if she could rest on the facial table in Kay's back room. She would ask Kay to wake her up after so many minutes and she would take off to go back to work. Robin said if she could just get 30 minutes of sleep she would feel better. She seemed to be exhausted."
In closing, Mr. Kendrick said he believes it is everyone's responsibility - "those who knew and loved Robin" - to pass on their memories of Robin to Hannah and Joseph.
"I think we owe this to Robin," he said.
He noted that each year, the vigil is just as sad as the first year that it was held.
"After seven years, no one has been charged with this crime," added Mr. Kendrick. "We should never let law enforcement forget about Robin and this crime. We owe this to Robin."
Anyone with information about the unsolved murder case of Robin Reeves should contact the Thomson Police Department at 706-595-2166 or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Thomson at 706-595-2575.