To my Children, I send you this love letter from my soul to you. I want to tell you all that I love you Joshua, Jackson, my Daughter & Chrystian so much. I know you don’t love me, because I’m still discovering things about me. I understand this because I didn’t know or love my father until after his passing. I’m just discovering who I am at this point in my life. My beautiful children when you were conceived, I was lost in a sea of sin. I wasn’t well or whole within every corner of my soul. I was a farmer who knew how to plant seeds, but I did not know how to harvest my crops. My guilt paralyzed my mind and put me in a state of hopelessness. While I was in that wasteland I contemplated suicide many times physically, only to discover that I did it spiritually. I knew that if my love wasn’t allowed to nourish your souls, at least my child support payments could nourish your bodies.

I believed what this “1st world country” told me about men who were no longer desired for leadership of their children. I believed that I was useless to my children due to the failed relationships with their mothers. I thought this way as a child listening to the ladies in my family, community, and school. In the Black community, men are mostly seen as less than women. When I got older this idea was reinforced by the courts, police, and by the stories of defeated men. My sweet children, I turned my own father & your grandfather away because I was told he didn’t want me or want to pay child support for me. I was only 17 years old when I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life!

My father caught up with me a few months before I was set to graduate from Withrow High School here in Cincinnati, Ohio and leave for the US Army. He approached me and requested to talk to me for a few minutes, so I entertained him. His words that day have haunted me ever since. He said to me, “I’ve come to the point in my life where I understand that a child needs their father no matter how old they are.” “Would you give me the opportunity to be a father to you now?” I told him with the deepest voice I could find at seventeen, No! I told him that I didn’t need him now… I told him that I learned how to ride a bike, how to fight, and how to drive without him. I refused his request and told him that I didn’t need him anymore. I asked him to leave me and to never come around again. I saw this powerful man who was twice my size become powerless. I saw his head sink into his shoulders, he teared up, he turned around, and he walked away. He got into an older red beat-up pickup truck and drove off. I felt like I had just done something special and defeated my greatest enemy & abandoner. A sinful and satisfying feeling of victory rushed over me that was intoxicating. That was the last time I ever saw Dad well, and conscious. Dad was 38 and I was a 17-year-old boy that thought he knew everything. I felt that I had become a real “man” that day.

Eighteen years passed and now I’m a 35-year-old man who is not much wiser than the 17-year-old version of me. I received a call from a fellow Cincinnati Police officer. She informed me that Dad had had a bad fall and was at the University of Cincinnati Hospital in the ICU. She told me that it didn’t look good, and I should come to the hospital sooner than later. I asked her, how did she know to call me? She stated, “Your Dad has you listed as his emergency contact.” Thank you, to Sergeant Michelle Phillips of the Cincinnati Police Department. I wouldn’t have been able to say goodbye to my Dad if it weren’t for your effort. I went to UC asap to see what the 55-year-old version of me looked like. When I got there, I saw him unconscious on life support with wires and tubes attached to him. He was now totally defenseless. I took this opportunity to yell at him, to cry on him, to forgive him, to kiss him on his forehead, and to leave him to die. I never saw Dad alive again after this event. He was out of sight and out of mind now… Or so I thought.

Almost 8 years later and 42 years old, I run into a much older officer then me. He asked me about my Dad out of nowhere. WTH??? I replied. How do you know my father? Turns out that he & Dad went to school together from kindergarten to 12th grade graduation. He said Dad went to Vietnam, and he left for college after graduating from Taft H.S. He told me that what Dad witnessed in war, was some of the most horrific events in human existence and it changed him for the worst. He told me that my Dad loved me, was proud of my career path, and always talked about me when he saw him. He said it was about 8 years previous to this conversation with me, that he lost contact with him. Now, this friend of Dad’s knew why he had vanished. He said, Dad must’ve followed my path through life from afar because he felt like he wasn’t enough of a man to be my father. I was totally devastated and felt such a deep sense of humiliation for my arrogance. While there in Vietnam he developed some sort of drug addiction to cope with what he had experienced. Apparently, Dad did not know his father as well. A sincere Thank you, to Officer Willie Robbins of the Cincinnati Police Department for being a friend to my Dad and sharing his feelings & thoughts with me. You are partly behind the inspiration for A Fathers I never really wanted to be a cop, but GOD works in mysterious ways indeed. If I had never come to CPD, I wouldn’t have found the healing that I never knew I desperately needed!

My children, I have discovered that there is some sort of “generational curse” within our bloodline. I sense that Dad must have discovered it and tried to break it with me 33 years ago. So now, I’m entangled in the same web/trap as Dad & Grandad were!!! I have to break this curse for all of the children you four will bring into this world and beyond. I don’t want your descendants to “Drown in the deep waters of Sin” as they did. Hopefully, I can help some people along the way back to all of you. Jesus cared enough about me to pull me from this world’s oceans of brokenness to GOD’s shores of grace & mercy. If you don’t speak to me or see me before I die, know that I love you all so very much & with all my heart. I’ve seen you all in pictures on the internet and you all are so beautiful & perfect! GOD gave you life and brought you into this world for a “purpose” despite my flaws. Don’t ever, ever give up on this road called “life” until you reach that purpose. So many people you haven’t met yet are depending on you to make it! To my Dad… Johnny Lee Reese, I’m so sorry that I refused your love & guidance on that day. I know now that it took tremendous courage to approach me after so many years. I was a young man then and didn’t understand what was waiting on me, but you did. I hope you can see and hear me now when I say… I love and miss you more with each passing day Sir. You haven’t failed to show me what you didn’t get a chance to say. You carried my life inside of your body 1st. Thank you for your strength and giving me the positive traits that you had to give. This burden is mine to bare now, so I won’t quit on you again Dad. I will try my best to reach your grandchildren before my life ends. I created this company with your name in part to help others heal, create, and maintain relationships with their children. I hope you are pleased with me Pops! I look forward to being in your presence again and talking with you. To GOD, I pray that my work in this venture is accepted by YOU, and that I can return home someday…. Thank you, GOD for saving me from confusion and myself. I pray this prayer in your precious son Jesus’ name, Amen!

Joehonny N. Reese

CEO/Founder of Nigel-Lee Werkz LLC