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 you...is 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.

3 comments:

Lydia Griffin said...

Jim, that is so beautiful. And for those of us who are a bit of a distance away from you, it tells us what we need to know -- exactly how you are doing and what you need and want from us going forward. I know I will read this many, many times in the next few days and in the future. Caleb to me means "a peace that surpasses all understanding." I didn't really know what all he had gone through in his years, but he had a deep sense of peace about him. He had trust and faith; God sent him to your family for a while because He knew that's where Caleb's trust and faith would best be cultivated. What a precious gift, Jim, for your family to be chosen by God for such an important task! I am blessed for having seen his sweet face just a couple of times. And I promise you -- his smile will NEVER be forgotten. Your family is in my heart and prayers. "I lift my eyes up to the hills; where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who maketh heaven and earth." Psalm 121. -- Lydia

Angie Hall said...

Jim, you have stated this so beautifully!!! From my facebook status yesterday...

" Today we celebrated the life of Caleb Semple...he touched so many lives in his 12 years! This is not "goodbye", but it is "save me a seat at your table in Heaven, because I know you are having a feast!"...Jim, Paula, & family ~ we love you so much!!!"

We are truly here for you...

duane said...

Jim and Paula, you two are the most amazing parents I have ever known... The loss of Caleb has broken the hearts of us all.... We accept this loss for now, from the One who gives and takes away, as difficult and painful as it is to do so... But we know that ultimately this temporary life will one day run it's course, and all of the pain and all of these tears will be forgotten when we again see Caleb and that smile for all eternity... Cling to the words Jesus said: "Because I live, you will live also"... Take comfort in knowing that Caleb is living this very moment in the presence of the One who gave us that promise and one day we all will as well....

For what it's worth, I took the memorial bulletin they handed me at the service yesterday and placed it on my wall at work... I plan on reading it everyday from here on out. I will do my best to remember the words Kyle shared about Caleb's difficult circumstances, and yet despite it all, he managed to smile right on through it... And on those days when things start to get me down (as things always seem to do at times), and the weight of it all seems to be just a little too much to bear, I'm gonna look up at that picture, read the words, and realize that Caleb came to teach people like me what it means to have faith, what it means to never give up, and most importantly, that just like he did, I can smile right on through it all...

Jim and Paula, thank you so much for the lives that you lead, the example that you set for us all... Thank you for letting us be a part of your amazing family... You have no idea how much you have touched and enriched our lives ... We love you, we continue to hold you up in prayer, and we ARE truly here for you... God bless you, Semple family

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