I went to look at my adoption email distribution list today because I wanted to send out an update to the folks who follow our ongoing adoption story. And a thought hit so hard it almost knocked the wind out of me: I have to take a name off our list. Greg Hewlett will no longer be receiving news from us of our ongoing process, or prayer request updates.
I already knew this, in theory. Our friend Greg (or as my children refer to him: “Uncle Greg”) lost his earthly battle with cancer a week ago today. This last week has felt like a blur in so many ways. While we are thankful our friend and brother is in the presence of Jesus: out of pain and that he finished his earthly race so beautifully, we are sad too. Sad for those of us left behind. Who didn’t realize when we last saw him it would be the last time we’d hear his voice, eat a meal together, listen to him tell a joke, play a song for us, give us a hug, smile at us in that kind and easy way he always did.
My feeble writing could not do justice to who Greg was, so I shall not try to eulogize him here. I am not gifted with words and his was a remarkable life. We know how blessed we are to have called him our friend. Our entire family is richer for having had him in our lives, and we are thankful for the kindness and friendship he showed us. We had the precious blessing of vacationing with him this past summer in Alabama; at the time we were so glad he was with us, and we are even more so now. None of us had any idea then that God only had a few more months planned on this earth for Greg. We cherish memories of our sweet friend, and look forward to the day when we will see him again in Glory.
Right now, as we wait for that day, it’s the little things that give us pause. That cause us to remember him, sometimes with a smile, more often right now with tears. Tears that have hope in them, but tears nonetheless.
The little things: The clarinet he played long ago when he was a child, and recently gave to my oldest son who now plays it in school band. The pho soup that Jay and I love and eat a couple times a month because Greg first took Jay to the Vietnamese soup place in old Richardson and introduced him to the wonderful stuff. The funny songs that he wrote and recorded even while suffering through chemo and all that goes with that. Board games and how they remind us of how when we played with him, he could beat all of us single handed because he was so stinkin’ smart! His blog, where he shared so many personal thoughts and insights as he walked the road God had for him. Greg lived life more fully than many people I know who have both legs, and who aren’t doing battle with cancer.
We first introduced Greg to House of Horne when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. In this entry, Jay shared the story of the first time he met Greg, which was an embarrassing moment for my husband, but which showed so beautifully Greg’s gentle spirit and keen sense of humor.
There have been entries where we asked our readers to pray for him at some critical moment in his battle. And there were more lighthearted entries like this one where he astonished us all by managing to poke fun (in that most creative way of his) at the very disease that was slowly killing his earthly body.
Greg, you are so missed by our family, and by so many, many others. We are thankful that you have run the race God had for you, that you are free from your earthly sufferings, and glorying at being in the presence of Jesus. I can only imagine the look of joy on your face when you saw your Saviour and He welcomed you home.
(this last pic was taken by Nicolas, who loved snapping photos of Uncle Greg in Alabama)
Tonight our youngest prayed, “…and dear God, please help Uncle Greg to be having a good time with you in Heaven.” Amidst our tears, we are certain that yes indeed, Uncle Greg is having a glorious time with his Lord. Amen.