Archive for May, 2006

We Are Seven

by William Wordsworth

–A Simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
–Her beauty made me glad.

“Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?”
“How many? Seven in all,” she said
And wondering looked at me.”

“And where are they? I pray you tell.”
She answered, “Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother.”

“You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven!–I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be.”

Then did the little Maid reply,
“Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree.”

“You run about, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five.”

“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”
The little Maid replied,
“Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door,
And they are side by side.

“My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.

“And often after sunset, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

“The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

“So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

“And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.”

“How many are you, then,” said I,
“If they two are in heaven?”
Quick was the little Maid’s reply,
“O Master! we are seven.”

“But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!”
‘Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, “Nay, we are seven!”


However many days, weeks, months or years pass, let us never forget our brother John and that with him, we will always be seven.

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What would we do without that much needed hug from a friend when times are worse than ever? What would we do without those few people who can make us laugh no matter what? What would we do without that one friend who stands beside us, even though they are 3,500 miles away?

God knows how important friends are and can be to us. I thank Him for mine.

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My older brother passed away last Saturday night. On my break today at work, I wanted so badly to talk to him, so I wrote him a letter.

Hi John, 5/27/06

Well, we talked not even a week ago, but it seems like an eternity. This whole thing makes me excited to come to heaven to see you, but I know that God has a time for me, just like He did for you. And when that time comes, we will embrace each other, and it will seem like only yesterday that all four of us piled in the same bed to sleep, or played endless hours outside together. When I think about our life together, I think of us as children. I think that’s the most perfect we’ll ever be in this life.
I never got a chance to tell you, John, but I want to thank you for standing up for me so many times. I always felt, and will always feel, that you love me. I hope you know that I love you, too. I’ve always worried about you, even when we were little kids. Maybe God’s giving me a break now. I don’t have to worry about you any more because I know that at this point you couldn’t be any safer than you are in His arms. I can’t express how elated I am that you came to the point of wanting nothing more than to have Jesus in your life. It gives me so much peace to think of you in Heaven right now.
I know you had some really tough times, John, but I also know that you were the victim of a horrible addiction. I could see your sincerity in wanting to be free of it – but I also understand that you wanted me to be proud of you. I am proud of you. I’m proud that you are my brother and my friend. I’m so proud that you made a huge effort to make amends with everyone in the family these past few years. The Lord made a change in you that words cannot describe. I remember talking to you at Mom’s house right after you had seen The Passion, and how, at that moment, you reminded me of the John I knew when we were on Knight Island “fishing” in the creek, or in Platina playing on the brush pile. Jesus has returned you to the same childlike innocence that you started with.
Everyone had a different relationship with you, John, and everyone will have to deal with your death the best way they know how. For me, it’s almost like you’ve let God handle that part. It’s almost like I don’t have to justify anything, because I know that you knew the truth, and that I will have the rest of ETERNITY to spend with you. Thank you for having the faith to let Jesus handle the details; thanks for giving the one thing you had in this life – yourself – to Him. “That whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

I’ll see you there big brother.

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So much to do,
so little time to do it…

We’re having fun making
all kinds of memories with
the little ones.

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74 degrees?

We’re still trying to get used to the heat, but we’re having so much fun hanging out with Annie, Jonathan, Emily, and Dave. We arrived yesterday morning, and today, have already had the chance to visit Jonathan’s favorite hang-out spot – the park!

Sophia’s enjoying the chance to explore this whole new outdoor world. Watching her play on the jungle jim makes me excited for all of our snow to melt in Valdez, so that we can play at the park there, too.

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