Friday, September 21, 2007

a letter to a loved one

Dear Tony,
You are gone. You left your body this morning. All that is left of you is the shell of a body that was too weak for this world. It will return to the dust from which it came, but not you. You are in a place where you can run and not grow weary. You can't be tired, sick, or sorrowful where you are. I laughed when I thought of you in your new home mountain hiking, and playing hockey, and having way more life than you've ever had, even on your best days here on earth. The tears of sadness have become tears of joy for you. You walk with Jesus. You can see Him, touch Him, talk to Him. Your time of suffering has past. I'll miss you here. I look forward to laughing and eating with you on that great day. We'll rejoice and worship our Savior together. I'm thankful, so thankful, that you are home. I love you.

Ten thousand times ten thousand in sparkling raiment bright
the armies of a thousand saints throng up the steeps of light
Tis' finished, all is finished, their fight with death and sin
Fling open wide the golden gates and let the victors in.

What rush of alleluias fill all the earth and sky
what ringing of a thousand harps bespeaks the triumph nigh
O day for which creation, and all its tribes were made
O joy for all its former woes a thousand-fold repaid.

O then what raptured greetings on Canaan's happy shore.
What knitting severed friendships up, where partings are no more
Eyes of joy shall sparkle, that brimmed of tears of late.
Orphans no longer fatherless, nor widows desolate.

Bring near they great salvation, Thou Lamb for sinners slain
Fill up the roll of thine elect and take thy power and reign
Appear Desire of nations, thine exiles long for home
Fill up the heav'ns with thy promised sign;
Thou Prince and Savior come.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

they grow so fast...

well, I've finally downloaded into my computer some recent and not- so- recent (too cute to leave out) pics of our little girl-pup, Cora. Here they are. I feel sad that I can't pick her up anymore (heavy and a bit awkward to tell the truth).

Monday, September 17, 2007

I fixed the link to the elizabeth's world race blog for those of you who tried but failed to get onto her website. sorry about that.

autumn, pumpkins, hot drinks, crisp air

It's only September, I know. In Mississippi, that means that we have a good month of heat before I will even think about dragging my sweaters out from under the bed. But the cool front this weekend stirred my blood. I didn't want to waste it so I convinced David to go to the reservoir with me and we took Cora along for her first visit. It turned out fun for her and for us as we watched her. She loved the open spaces and she was delighted to make new friends with EVERY stranger we came across. So much for hopes of having a guard dog. However, the fun soon turned ugly as Cora and her wet self decided to jump on innocent passersby. We were constantly taking turns to get her and apologize profusely to those with paw prints stamped on their pants. Because of said incidents we did not read much of any of the books we brought. It didn't matter though, I still loved it. These are the days when things just feel right. I felt a strong urge to go to Wal-mart to buy school supplies, decorate the house in fall leaves, and drink a pumpkin spice drink from Starbucks. I'll save that for October and November, however. This is the beginning of the anticipation of the holidays. I love this season. I hope to enjoy it to the max--go camping, long strolls through our neighborhood, maybe even go to the state fair, or a football game.

As soon as I can, I will post pictures of sweet and devious Cora. We got her when she was 3 lbs and now she is a whopping 36lbs!!

Friday, September 7, 2007


Life goes on as usual in the Hogue household. Cora leaves destruction and laughs (and sometimes groans) in her wake. She found cork board that I had lying around and the next time I went upstairs bits of cork covered our floors. What's sad was that we were both so busy that we left it there for a couple of days- we just stepped over it. I'm teaching 5 extra classes lately to cover for a faculty member whose been out because of health issues. But as life carries on for us in the normal way our hearts go out to my cousin Tony and his family as they deal with some of the best and worst things life can hand you. He is on hospice care after almost two years of battling an aggressive and rare cancer of the kidney (which has spread to several areas, including the lungs). Those of you who don't know him--I wish you did. He is a fun loving guy, with a safe and corny sense of humor. He's never afraid of making fun of himself. But at the same time he has heart. He listens to people with interest and care. People feel loved around him. He is also very sensible and resourceful. He'll do the craziest things but at the same time he has pragmatic way that tells you his craziest risk is calculated. He's a great mind with a great heart. He is the guy that plays a fierce game of rollerhockey, that will quit his job to travel in a van (BETSY!!!!) to see the last frontier, that will buy a homeless man a sleeping bag b/c it is getting cold outside, he'll write letters to our government to help open eyes about injustices going on around the world. I've never met anyone like him. I admire him for so many things. As he suffers, he speaks of the blessings he has been given. He is thankful for time (he got way more than anyone thought-Praise God), for his wife who has been faithful, persevering, caring, and wonderful, and his kids who are the apple of his eye. He has been given a beautiful family, caring friends and coworkers. Had he not suffered from cancer, I don't think he would have known how much people loved him (its sad that it takes disaster to see how much a person is valued).

As he suffers, I wonder where his heart is. I wonder how the Lord is making Himself present to him. I wonder what I could say, if anything, that could add comfort. What do you say to someone who has experienced something that you haven't yet? There is something in me that wants to go on and on to him about how wonderful and beautiful life will be when he is reunited with Jesus, his Savior (yes, he is a believer) but is that what someone wants to hear? needs to hear? Does he need to know that his kids will be taken care of and loved? Do I tell him that I am praying for them? Do I give him space? All I really feel safe to do at this point is pray and love on him from afar. I think doing anything else might be intrusive or exhausting for him. I wish I just knew, like I know how to walk, how to make it better, easier, smoother for him as he walks this road. Words seem like never enough. I want hug him and just sit there with him. Listen to him. Serve him.

I have my own emotions that I am wading through. I wonder why the Lord is doing it. And though I have theories, I am sure that what the Lord is planning is a far more superior work in progress--a far more complex plan than I can imagine...yet I hate it. I hate seeing so many people, not just Tony, hurt. I've talked often with the Lord about it. I don't understand it, and I worry a lot about how Tony's illness and possible death would affect my family. I know the Lord to be a loving Father who watches over his children with tenderness and gentility. I want my family to know Him this way too. A big fear that I sit with is that this cancer that plagued such a great person (that is highly regarded member of our family) will harden people's hearts against the Lord who loves them dearly. I can't instill in them the kind of faith I wish they had. All I can do is pray that this will draw them closer to Him, that they can be comforted by Him. Ultimately I can trust that the Lord knows what he is doing. "Trust the Lord and lean not on your own understanding...."

All of this has caused me to meditate on suffering a great deal...but that is another blog. May the Lord be blessing you through whatever trials you are enduring.