Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sweetrees Caleb Patrick Semple - 4/10/98 - 8/24/10

Caleb Patrick Semple's SMILE, never to be forgotten.

Yesterday August 27, 2010 was the most beautiful service I have ever attended. I can never say thank you enough to those who made yesterday a success. For those who were at the emergency room at Henry Medical and then after we rec'd the word that Caleb passed at Scottish Rite hospital, for every person who made a meal, brought food, stocked our pantry and freezer, for every jug of milk and tea, for every tear and every hug, for every promise of "I am here for there anything I can do…I really mean it, I'm not just saying it like the other million promises of "offers to help!"…I am really here for you…call me!…how are you doing today?…I'm praying for you…etc" For every detail put into Caleb's "celebration of life" service on Friday the decorations, the honor, the memories, the FOOD, the technical side (audio & video), the song sung & played in his honor, the message spoken, the memories shared, the friends and family who came from near and far (the miles traveled in one day just to be there for us and for Caleb) who just hugged and loved on us, for every story that was written on Facebook, in the memory book at the service and told to us, the clean up crew at the church afterwards…(it took everything in us to NOT help, but we were threatened several times to sit down…we have it!) then the transporting of everything back to our house… I wish I could thank each and every person for what they did or for how much it meant to just be there, but if I tried to list each of you I would miss someone and that would make me feel worse then loosing Caleb… But now that the "service" is over and life must go on, I need to ask you a favor…for Caleb, for us. Please don't forget Caleb's smile…he was not ripped from our grasp in a horrible death, he wasn't sick or at that place where we can look back and say "well, at least he isn't suffering any more", yes he had his health issues, but he never lived like a patient or a victim, we refuse to let him die like one. Yes, God called him home, in my eyes, about 80 plus years too soon, but He knows better then I do and even though I want to scream "I wasn't done with him yet, I need him, his mother, his brothers, his sister and his unborn brother NEED him, we weren't done with him. How could You take him away, he wasn't suffering, he was happy…we were happy with him…" We have been left with a 62 pound hole in our hearts, in our lives. We have to, we will learn how to walk, how to live with this 62 lb hole, we will learn how to walk around it, how to live with it, how to walk through it without tripping on it, or falling down into it…how to live with it, without breaking down and crying every time. We will walk with his memories and his SMILE, it's not going to be easy, I don't want it to be easy, I don't want to forget him, I don't want to live without him, we ARE a family of seven expecting our eighth, we have four boys, one little girl and our fifth son on the way. No one, nothing is going to fill in the 62 lb hole to make it go away, we are just going to continue to fill it with Caleb, his memories, his smile. So what we really need from you, our family and our friends is to hear what Caleb meant to you, what he did for you, do not be afraid of upsetting us…we are upset at loosing him, we hurt, we are dealing with the anger and the lose and God is dealing with us…He is merciful and forgiving (Thank You Father), but please do not avoid us when you see us, if you need to hug us, we are still excepting hugs and please don't be afraid of bringing up a story that made you laugh or cry about Caleb, because we want to laugh and we are going to cry. Caleb served his ministry while he was here for what we feel was a way to short 12 years, but he did what God asked him to do and he has been rewarded, we can't take that from him just because we want to be selfish and we want God to send him back to us… My bible says that this will not happen so for me to live for Him, I must except all the truths and I do. It's amazing how many lives this little 62 pound kid touched, with his smile, his stories, his compassion and his heart for others. My plan, my desire is to live like Caleb. Yesterday we had his memorial service not to say goodbye, but thank you… Thank you to Caleb for all that he did for us and to God for allowing us to be a part of his life. We didn't raise Caleb, he raised us. God had his hand on him in Paula's womb and like Jesus was a blessing to Mary and Joseph even though they had to let him go, Caleb was that blessing to us, to Kyle, Brandon, Adam and Jamie. Samuel will know his brother as he grows up to hear the stories and witness the effect Caleb made on this world. So remember Caleb's smile and share it with someone today and everyday and when you can, share that with us…will we cry? Most assuredly and then we will laugh and give God all the praise and all the glory.

Sweetrees (rest in peace) Caleb Patrick Semple, you have moved on to a much better place, but you have not and will not be forgotten, thank you for your smile and your hugs. Thank you Father for allowing me to be his dad.

PS Caleb, Franklin is doing great, he has put on a few pounds, which is all thanks to you. Jamie is so excited that she can hug him and take care of him, last night she was carrying him around and said "I couldn't lift Caleb before he died, but now I can!" He, along with Piglet, your old and very dear friend, will always have a special place in our hearts and in the home.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thank you and reminder from Ruth

I just want to thank God for those who were able to give towards Kyle's goal yesterday, I haven't heard an official total yet, but we know that God is going to supply all he needs and we know that what did come in yesterday was awesome, each one of you have a vested interest in our son and he is who is today because of you and so many others who have invested their time and support, as you are also doing for his brothers and sister, we hear all the time about what a great job we have done, but we can't take all the credit, that goes to our Father who has blessed us with so many friends and family who have been there to speak life into our children, to help guide them and encourage them and us as well.
This season we are going through, of course seems like the hardest one to date (don't they all?) because we are in the middle of trying to make our dream come true for our business "Sweetrees: It's all about BUILDING PEOPLE" which God NUDGED us into when Paula lost her full time, very secure (so we thought) salaried position of 10 years, last October. This didn't scare us, even though the world tried to tell us that we should be, it actually excited us and challenged us, even though we went from a one secured salary household, just barley making ends meet, to a NO "guaranteed" salary household…fun! But we have put our trust in Him and with the help of some past investments that God set up back when, so they would be ready today and a very small weekly (or is that weakly?) support check, and our book sales business, which God is continuing to grow, we have managed to keep our heads above the water…well, most of our head anyway, sometimes the waves get a little high and the pressure in our chest does get a little tight, we are making it…then add on top of that the fact that our oldest son graduated from high school and is now headed out on his own, not to the safe secure world of collage...ok, not always safe and secure, but we could have at last felt like we were apart of his life choices a little bit longer as everyone knows the college student jumps out of the nest as soon as possible but then quickly jumps back when the going gets rough asking mom & dad for help…allowing us to feel, well needed and important…but instead Kyle is entering a very adult world where he will be walking in places that we have never had the strength or confidence to walk, making us proud but also feeling a little bit of a loss all the while preparing ourselves for the arrival of our 6th child due in October…and no he is not Kyle's replacement as some have "jokingly" asked. God has blessed us and commissioned us with the responsibility to raise six awesome children and He continues to guide us and bless us everyday. We recently lost that small weekly check, we misunderstood the details of this insurance, but the day we got the official word of this loss, God was already opening the next door, Paula rec'd a call from a past contact wanting to hire her with a Federal grant, a blessing for our business that more then makes up for the weekly loss…God is good all the time and all the time God is good. With all of this going on in our current season, we have every reason to panic or at least feel a little stressed and I'll admit, sometimes we do…but that's why God sends us His word just when we need it the most. Yesterday Mike Holt preached a message at our church, from the book of Ruth. He reminded us that God wants us to remember that 1) If you're in a season of doubt, don't change your name. 2) Remember all the times God has delivered you before. 3) Let God cover you. And 4) Make sure you choose a BIG JESUS. SO hold on Chapter 4 is coming!!!!
SO, I am NOT changing my name, even though I am really tempted to do so...I am Remembering ALL (and it's a real long list) of the times He has provided...I am letting God cover me without shame or embarrassment and I am choosing a BIG JESUS...come on chapter four!!!

My family

My family