May 21, 2001

Joshua,

I miss you. You died five years ago today.

There are times when I look around for you and expect you to be there. There are times when I remember your laugh, your smile and your hyperactive joy. They bring a smile to my face. You created laughter in our family even when we knew you would not always be with us.

There are times when I remember your suffering. I remember your aching joints, your deteriorating mind and capabilities, and your loss of activity. I remember your last years confined to a wheelchair or a bed.

Laughter and suffering–you experienced both, and your led us through both. We laughed with you and because of you. We suffered with you and watched you suffer. And both had their value, though I often wonder what exactly the value of your suffering was, if any.

Joshua, you gave us laughter and we also wept with you as you suffered. Life has not been the same without you. Life changes. Lives go on. But there is a hole in my heart that belongs to you. One day that hole will be filled as we see each other again.

I guess what I miss most is to hear you say “I love you.” Though you died at 16, I have not heard those words since you were 10. I long to hear them again. But though you could not say it, your cooing, your snuggling, your eyes conveyed it. Those are the memories that linger, and they are the hopes that will be fulfilled.

Joshua, I long to hold you again, speak to you and love on you. And I know one day I will.

Until then, my son, I will hold you dear in my memory….but there is a at least one joy that is not memory. My son, I enjoy my weekly time with you at the table of the Lord which we share with all the saints, past and present, every Sunday. There we meet in sweet communion with our common Savior and God.

Joshua, I miss you….but I’ll “see” you again next Sunday, my son. Rest in the peace of God’s arms and may God give my heart a share in that peace with you.

Love,

Dad



10 Responses to “May 21, 2001”

  1.   Mark Says:

    Dr. Hicks,
    Thank you for sharing your struggles with us. I’m sorry that you’ve been through so much pain and loss. Your story helps me to appreciate what I have, but also to recognize that my relationship with God is the only truly lasting thing that I have in this life. On that day, I look forward to rejoicing with you when you are fully reunited with the ones you love and miss so much. God bless you,
    Mark <

  2.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Thanks, Mark. I appreciate your note. I think our relationships in the present will last into the future..there is continuity between this life and the next. We will pick up where we left off and continue the journey with those who have gone before. But you are so right that it depends on our relationship with God first. And that relationship will enable me to continue my relationship with Joshua. The journey is only just beginning. :-)

  3.   KMiV Says:

    John Mark,
    I remember hearing the updates of Joshua while in your class at Harding. I know you struggled with a lot and you shared much with us. These stories have stuck with me for years and I appreciate your openness to your students.

    We continue to keep you in prayer.

    Ron

  4.   lsp Says:

    Dr. Hicks,
    I too lost a son…he died at the age of two years, two months. I am very interested in your Lord’s Supper comments and the relation of that to your son.
    I would like to explore that more and get your thoughts on that.

  5.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    We are part of a group whom no one wants to join and we don’t want anyone to join…but it is a large community, even of believers. See my blog on “Dare we Doubt Together” at http://professingprofessor.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_professingprofessor_archive.html

    You might be interested in my series on the present experience of those who died in Christ. You can find the series at http://professingprofessor.blogspot.com/2005_07_01_professingprofessor_archive.html

    In terms of the Lord’s Supper, see my blog on “Eschatological Table” at http://professingprofessor.blogspot.com/2005_08_01_professingprofessor_archive.html

    May God give you peace, hope and comfort. Romans 15:13.

  6.   Carisse Says:

    I remember Joshua. I remember the first time we talked about our sons, who I think were 8 then. I remember how you had a big playhouse in your Memphis dining room for him. And I remember being with him. All of us who walked alongside you and your family remember him. I bless his memory and your love for him.

  7.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Thanks, Carisse. You are a special friend, and I love you. Give my greetings to your mother and son.

  8.   Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Has it been five years already!? Wow. I remember Joshua. It was a great privilege to stay with you in your house over the course of several yrs for short courses. During that time I saw many of the changes that Josh underwent.

    I suppose I have two memories that stick out in my mind (among many): watching Archie Bunker (you would sit Josh on the chair with you) and I remember laughing.

    Memories are a mixture of happiness, joy and pain, sorrow. I have always been inspired by your faith and it is an honor to have traveled some of the journey with you.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  9.   Michele Says:

    Your honor us with the sharing of your heart. May the grief you have been experiencing be a continual reminder of the eternal hope in Him. Peace my brother.

  10.   MommyHAM Says:

    It’s ironic how I keep finding brothers and sisters from the church on the net thru this blogging thing. I like it! (I go to Meadowlark in Ft. Collins CO- Doug had you out this/last year? for the “come to the table” lecture)

    Your letter to your son is breathtaking – becoming a mother has made my savior more real to me, and just what it was that God did for us. I imagine losing our children only does that more.

    You’ll see him again…

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