This online memorial was created in loving memory of Miguel Antonio Reed-Torres, whose life story is told throughout this memorial website. Please sign Miguel's guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will remember Miguel forever.
On May 11, 2002, an angel was born to Victor and Barbara Reed Torres and returned to heaven - far too early, for most of us, on July 1, 2011. He is survived by his siblings, Charlotte Reed, Jesse Reed Sutera, Victoria Reed Torres, Taysha, Janniece, Victor, Victor Jr, Tony and Jazmine Torres.
This angel was a bright-eyed, happy jokester; a helpful kid with a caring heart who made everyone laugh. Miguel Antonio Reed Torres loved life, baseball, wrestling, playing Star Wars and army guys with his little guy friends- - both the human ones and the little plastic figures he loved to collect; nature in general, and mud puddles in particular.
For a little kid who lived so few years, there is a lot to say about him.
First of all, he loved sports. He did wrestling in school and enjoyed going to practice-but he didn't want to compete. Winning didn't mean that much to him- he just wanted to be with his friends, and he didn't want to hurt anyone.
Baseball was the perfect sport for Miguel. Basketball was too fast, but baseball was just the right speed for him- it gave him time to think. More importantly, he loved being part of the team, working together, and yelling for his teammates.
Second, he loved those "little guys"- the Gi Joes and Star Wars figures that he always carried around with him. They were his people. He used them to create stories, plot lines, whole little worlds.
But as much as he loved those little guys, they were just a small part of his much bigger imagination. He would turn everything he could find into toys. It didn't matter where he was; he would pick a spot at the doctor's or dentist's office or grocery store, pick up some odd item, and play with it. Whether it was rocks, sand, broken chunks of the curb, or something else, he would use it to make his own world. Once, he went to a yard sale, asked how mch sand he could buy for a quarter, and went home with a bucket of sand. People go to garage sales and joke about buying the garage, but Miguel went to the yard sale and actually bought a piece of the yard.
Third, his wild imagination needed the freedom of the great outdoors. He loved being outside- playing in a puddle, playing with rocks, climbing a tree. In our nature camp, he loved to soak up my husband's natural history lessons, and would keep asking for more long after all the other kids had lost interest. He loved animals, but when he went to the zoo, he was more interested in real nature than seeing the exhibits; his mom found him climbing a tree in a restricted area instead of looking at elephants. I'll leave it to you to decide whether he ended up there on prpose, or just by random movement. Frankly, I could go with either theory.
To be honest, even the great outdoors were not quite big enogh for his imagination. Really Miguel needed outer space. At school, he liked to draw galaxies- he was creating his own "Star Wars" saga. He had a detailed plan, all planned out. The rest of us might not have understood it, but we knew he had something in mind, even if we weren't 100% sure what it was.
His mom, Bobbie, says, "Sure, he was 'a little energetic,' but I wouldn't have traded him for anyone in the world." Well, I think we all understod why she wouldn't want to trade him for anyone else, but "a little energetic"? He was "a little energetic" -- like a tornado is a "little windy" or a hurricane is "a little wet."
Miguel was a busy kid who always moved at 120 miles an hour and wore out shoes like there was no tomorrow; he drove everyone (except his mom, and maybe a few other hyperactive people) crazy. At our summer camp, when you heard a kid running around where they weren't supposed to, or the sound of something breaking, you could usually assume that it was Miguel. And then, just when you were ready to strangle him, he'd make you laugh.
Despite Miguel's "energy level," he did well in school; in 2011, he made the honor roll and received no detentions- all without medication.
His teacher embraced him, accomodating his "energy level" by letting him keep the little guys around, reading Star Wars books, and drawing when he was bored. Of course, he got the other kids in his class interested in Star Wars, too.
Miguel was growing up so fast. He grew three inches and went up two shoe sizes in the 3 months before his death (not that, even so, he ever managed to outgrow his shoes before wearing them out). There were so many things that his family was planning on doing with him...of course, see him finish school and get married, as most parents hope for their children, but more specifically moving to the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, where he was excited about seeing bears. They also dreamed of travelling to Italy for him to meet his aunt and family there, and to Puerto Rico to see where his dad came from. Our normal sorrow at someone's passing is multiplied by our shock that someone so young and full of life could be taken from us while so much of his future (we thought) stretched before him.
Sadly for us, his body is gone. But his spirit of life, love, and laughter lives on forever. Of course we know that he is in a better place, but our hearts are still heavy with a pain beyond words.
I started out by calling Miguel an "angel," even while knowing how "energetic" he was. I'm honestly not sure that most authority figures and people who enforce rules would have called him that, even though several people in the online tribute book for him did so. I thought of using other space-related terms, like comets and meteors, to describe him. But shooting stars fall towards the earth, while Miguel has just rocketed off into Heaven.
So I remembered that in Greek, and angel was really a messenger from God. When I thought about Miguel's gentle, caring , loving heart, his amazing imagination, and his creative ability to see and plan out whole galaxies in his minds eye, I knew that there was no better word to describe him- a messenger who helped us peer into God's great, gentle, loving, creative heart, and become better people as a result.
Our hearts are heavy beyond words, but with God's (and each others) help, we will not only survive from breath to breath, moment to moment, day to day, until this gaping wound begins to heal, but turn our sorrow into celebration of his life and gratitude for having known the "energetic " angel. In meantime, may God's healing love, spirit, and energy, also known as "the Force," be with us all.