Kip, Angie, Noah and Lily

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thank you Hogan, thank you friends, thank you God....

April 2nd (Hogan's Birthday!)
Our "Angel" the warrior
One amazing little baby, one amazing woman.
Hanging out with "Dog" under the lights
"Grandma Hogan" getting to hold Hogan
Nana Skelton and Papa Skelton holding Hogan
Bright eyes.... Hogan and "Dog"
Proud Parents!

Hogan, My Hero

Big Brother Noah loves Hogan
Thank you

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Dear Hogan,

Good evening little guy. I sure do wish I was back in the NICU having our guys night out right now with you. Thank you for giving us a complete day to hold you before you had to leave. It was not easy to walk back into St. Mary's and clean your room out today. I loved being there with you over the past 16 days.

We all know that our time to leave this world will come but yesterday we saw a few hours before you left that you wanted to say goodbye to us. I am thankful that your mother and I were able to kiss your beautiful lips yesterday! You have amazed many people for over two weeks and you continued to amaze them with your fight to live and impact lives until early this morning. I like that fact that you had a sense of humor all the way up until midnight. You played with your numbers on the monitors all day. Nurse Lisa came in to say good bye many times when you just wanted to say hello to her. Hogan, you know she didn't want you to leave either but we all noticed that you were ready.

We are so proud of you Hogan. I can't thank God enough for giving us these wonderful days to spend with you. Yes, I naturally wanted more time and I have never felt pain like I feel typing these words but I am focusing on our "point"! (And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28) I am so thankful that I got to be your dad here in this world. I was honored to hand you over to your Heavenly Father last night but it hurt so bad. I know you are in the best hands now! I thought I did the best I could for you on this earth but now you are with a perfect Father!! You have no more cords coming out of you or attached to you! You have probably met many of our friends that have gone ahead of you. I have met many other families that have lost children during our journey together and I am sure they are all happy to have you there. You are a special angel. You are a special baby that was sent here to make a difference in this world. You accomplished so much in your short time here.

Hogan, you were a great role model for young children! I know you heard me talking about all of the children that were praying for you and that were asking about you every day! I know you want those children to know that you are all better now. You want all of those children that sent you all of those sweet notes to know that you are now perfect! You are probably up in Heaven creating havoc like you did down here. I know that the doctors offices or the staff at St. Mary's won't forget your beautiful eyes or your sense of humor. You loved with your spirit, your eyes and your will to live. You made the most of every day. You didn't take one breath for granted. You gave us the chance to hold you in our arms until you were ready to leave. I am so thankful we got to hold you in our arms and tell you how much we loved you all day. You let me hold you until you took your last breath and let you mom hold you until your last heart beat. Thank you Hogan. Thank you God. We love you so much.

I am still amazed at how many people have been touched by your life Hogan. I have been on facebook for 3 years asking people to be my friend and a few hundred were nice enough to accept my invite. I put a couple of random messages on this blog to "friend" me to follow your journey more often and I had more than 1500 new friends in a matter of days. Hogan, you are a hero. God used you for good. I am sure He is continuing to use you!

I am so thankful that your mom is so strong. Did you notice how she held you close and cried out to you while you were saying goodbye? She was asking if you were seeing angels. She loved you like only a mother can love a child. She took over most of the "nurse" duties in the NICU for you over the last few days. She is an incredible mother and an amazing wife. I am so blessed.

Hogan, you have no idea how much Lily and Noah wanted you to come home to see them. I think they were a little upset when some people came to take away your isolette and accessories from our house. Noah said "that's Hogan's bed" when they were rolling it away. You will have to tell Jesus to help me explain your mission to him!! Lily loves you too! I think she was making sure there was nothing to eat around your isolette! She likes to eat like I do... she is a cutie!

I was so happy that your Grandparents and your Great Grandmother Granny Blanche got to see you and get kisses before you went to be with Jesus. I am so thankful that my mother, your "grandma Hogan" got to enjoy your life too. I believe that God used your "grandma Hogan" over my life to prepare me for a major storm like this one. Although God didn't always calm the storms that she encountered in her life, He always calmed her and gave her peace and strength. I also know that it was Angie's grandparents and mother and father that God used to give her the foundation to stand firm in the middle of this storm. We are so thankful for our families.

Your friends have become family to us! I read your messages on your blog and my facebook page and I see so many people mention how although they have never met you they feel like they know you. I think the feeling is mutual. Although we haven't met your friends "face to face" in person. I feel like I know them. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe that is where the connection has surfaced. We have all prayed together. We have all laughed together and celebrated the good times and we have all cried together and felt pain together in the bad times. We all know that just because we are believers that it doesn't mean we don't hurt or go through tough times. Sometimes God uses these tough times to make us better and we can learn so much from them. I feel like God has taught me so much by being with you over the past two weeks. He has used your life to connect Christians in Denmark, England, Canada, Germany, Australia, Africa and in most every state here in the United States. I am overwhelmed by how big God really is. I am also thankful that we will soon celebrate and honor your life with your friends. We are going to celebrate your life with a funeral service on Wednesday at 11AM at Prince Avenue Baptist Church with a short graveside at Oconee Hill behind Sanford Stadium in Athens. Your mother and I have asked Lord and Stephens to have a visitation on Tuesday night in Oconee County for any of your friends to come say hello to us. You mother and I already had decided before your birth no matter if you lived 1 second, 1 week, 1 year or whatever that we would do this for you. Like I told you in a few blogs over the months. You are no better or no worse than any other person on this earth. I do believe your time management skills were a little above the norm though :-).

Hogan, it has been a long journey. Your journey took a turn on April 2nd when you entered this world and it took a turn early this morning when you left it. It is amazing the feeling of the secret chamber in your heart that opens when you have a child. You can't explain it. It's just a feeling that you didn't know you could love someone that much or like "that". Then when child number 2 comes along... another chamber opens that you didn't know exists. You never thought you could love your second child like your first. When number 3 comes along that next hidden chamber opens... it feels so amazing. These hidden chambers are hard to explain because they are so big but yet so tender. There is so much love there but yet it doesn't take much to hurt those hidden chambers. I now know what it feels like when one of those chambers suddenly vanishes. There is a hole there that is worse than any other feeling in this world. I tried to get ready for it and plan for it mentally but I couldn't. As good as that chamber suddenly opens when a new child enters this world it is more painful on the opposite end when the child leaves. I know that God will get us through this time. I am not doubting God and I know that God wouldn't allow more than I can handle. I am going to focus on our "point", Hogan!!

Your mom and I read in books about Trisomy 18 and asked many physicians about this condition over the past few months. There was very little hope for a "wimpy white male baby" (all white male babies get tagged this).. to make it to birth with this condition. I think every person knows now that you are not the "normal" wimpy white male baby!! You were God's baby Warrior! You were on a mission to get here and when you got here you were on a mission. God used you so much in your days on this earth. It was an honor to be beside you on your journey here on this earth. You are now in Heaven and I believe that you are still on a mission. I believe that your story will live on. I pray that God will continue to use your love and your passion to live. You made an impact in this world Hogan!! You put a different face on Heaven for me. It was a place that I wanted to be before you were born. Now, its a place that I have got to be. I can't wait to see you again.

I miss my little warrior with the huge heart.

I love you.


  1. Kip,
    I was hoping that you would write tonight although I can't imagine how hard that it was. You, Angie, Noah, and Lily have weighed heavy on my heart since I learned of sweet Hogan's battle that he would face. My prayers for your family will continue to be constant and strong. Love to you all. -Megan

  2. Beautiful words Kip xoxo

  3. Your words tug on my heart strings and makes me appreciate the love ones in my life and those who I have lost even more. Hogan touched my life and made me a better mother and wife. God is amazing in the way He gives us pain and tribulations but not so many for us not to handle. I commend you and your family in being so open with Hogan's condition and opening your heart for us all to read. My family and I will continue to pray for you. in His name, The Knight's from Utah

  4. I know writing this post had to be the hardest one of all. I can't even imagine, but I must thank you for writing to Hogan again. You said it all from a father's heart and only as a father could do. You have touched so many lives through this written journey with Hogan. When time has settled your lives I would encourage you to look into putting all of your letters to Hogan together in a book. It would be so helpful to others that might be going through similar circumstances. I know it has already touched hundreds, maybe even thousands of people already. Our prayers continue to be with you & family as you struggle through the coming days. May the Lord keep you & hold you close, shower His blessings of love, peace & understanding upon you. When you are close to Hogan, please tell him goodbye from his friends in Toccoa...our love in Christ to you all...Ron & Sarah

  5. Ross sent me here and I just want you to know what a beautiful story you have. Thank you for sharing it and I am so happy that God is in your heart. Blessings to your whole family for peace.

  6. Dear Kip and Angie,
    Thank you for sharing and showing the love of God thru Hogan,the precious warrior. The "point" is a main stay that will totally ground you all in your faith and the grace of God. It is an obvious blessing to everyone who followed this journey that you belive in Christ and that you are called according to His purpose. Prayers and praises will continue for your wonderfully brave family.

  7. Kip, thank you again for sharing Hogan with all of us-I loved logging on every day and seeing his pictures and hearing how he was doing-I wish every child that comes into this world could be loved as much as Hogan-wouldn't that be awesome?

  8. I just wanted you and your family to know we are praying for you. I know this time is difficult and hard to understand . Your trust in the Lord and faith is so inspiring to me!! Hogan, touched so many lives and he fulfilled his purpose. Hogan showed amazing will and determination that could of only came from the Lord. I just wanted you to know that I am praying for you guys and wanted to thank you for allowing us all to follow your journey!

  9. Starting on April 2nd, when I knew Hogan would be born, I have checked your blog to hear about his birth. After figuring out your late-night writing, I would look for your letter to Hogan the following morning. When I opened my computer this morning, I was not expecting another letter. What a surprise! Thank you for letting so many people follow your journey and enjoy loving Hogan without even knowing him.

  10. May you and your family experience "the Father of mercies and God of all comfort" in abundance. (2 Cor. 1:3-7) It is evident that the Lord has carried you through this storm in a most extraordinary way...His Spirit has been the wind beneath your wings which has allowed you to soar higher than ever before. So many of us have witnessed this miracle and give glory to God! We praise God for your testimony and His faithfulness! Dicky and I have been and will continue to pray for you, Angie and your family. We weep with you in your loss but rejoice in the amazing gift of Hogan, the precious young warrior with a big heart! We will never forget those sweet smiling eyes of his. He has touched more people in his short life than most do over decades. Thank you both for being such beautiful vessels of God's grace. We love you both!

  11. "I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above. They come to you and me in our darkest hour to show us how to live, to teach us how to give and to guide us with the light of love..."
    I believe that Hogan was angel sent from Heaven above, reminding us all of just how amazing our Lord Savior is! Hogan now has his angel wings :)
    Thank you so much Dominy family for sharing your journey with us strangers. What an inspiration you are and will continue to be. Prayers are continually with you, that the Lord will wrap his arms around you all in this time.
    "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

  12. I do not have the words to write to you & thank you enough for sharing Hogan with me. We do not know each other but yet I feel I know you & have for many yrs.
    Hogan was a warrior of God, he is now a angel of God & he is watching over other sick children, now helping them through their journeys.
    My prayers continue & I hope with the Mercy & Grace of God you can find some peace in time.
    God Bless this family,
    Lissa Judd-Milks

  13. I just found this via a comment on another blog; I wish I'd found this sooner. I'm not really sure what to say except stay strong and keep holding on to Jesus. From what I've read, you guys have shown an incredible amount of faith over the past few months, and that is a huge encouragement to me and no doubt many others. :)
    Praying that God will continue to grant you strength and peace...
    Stephanie (livingandthriving)

  14. Thank you for sharing your heart and your precious journey of Hogan with so many. You have touched my heart and your faith is powerful. Rod and I will continue to pray for you, for Lily, the children and your family.
    Rod and Darylann
    Psalm 27:1

  15. Kip - thank you for sharing your time with Hogan with us. Our heart goes out to y'all and we continue lifting your family up in our prayers. May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding be with you and your entire family!

    Love, Lora and Marty

  16. Just read your blog and was so touched but was glad you shared that with us. I know the void that you feel and it's not easy to give up someone you love so much, but I have found that love to grow deeper with each passing day and you will too. The viedo was so touching and would you believe we sang that song in our service yesterday, that's when my mind left the service and went straight to you.Will see you Wed. may God bless you and give you His peace one that passeth all understanding. I love you'll. Lynette

  17. What beautiful words. Thank you guys for being a blessing to so many and being able to find joy amidst these hard times. I know you miss Hogan like crazy! God Bless You!

    Margaret Leigh

  18. Dear Dominy Family,
    I have followed your blog and have prayed for your family and most especially "your little warrior" I know God blessed you with his short life. Your "family" at Bear Lake Reserve extend our heart felt sympathy to all of you.
    Gail Keel
    Member Services

  19. Kip and Angie...what an amazing family you have..I was saying hi with my kids everyday last week before I went on vacation. I didnt get to write my goodbye to Hogan. First, I would like to tell Angie that she is such an admirable strong and brave. I see where Hogan got his strength. Second, I would like to thank Kip for befriending us and sharing your story with us. It has helped my children learn to slow down and appreciate life. Madi is my strong child we almost lost her twice..Once at birth ( shoulder dystocia)due to lack of oxygen and once when she was 14 months from a severe anemia disorder. I couldnt imagine what I would have done if I did lose her. She is my "angel" here on earth..Last, but definitley not least I would like to tell Hogan the "angel" in heaven that he was the most incredible little baby. He sure did change the world around him in his short time here..I will never forget Hogan and his journey. We have two stuffed animals here now named Hogan. An eagle and a dolphin, so fly high and free Hogan and ride the waves along the shores..May we meet one day in heaven..Love always....The McCabe's

  20. I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious Hogan!! What a beautiful little warrior!!

    I will be praying for your family.

    Love in Christ,
    C.O.L.E.'s Foundation
    (Caring Openly, Loving Eternally)
    24/7 Prayer Line 888-365-COLE (2653)
    Sandy Daron

  21. Kip and Angie,
    My heart has been very heavy for you today. I can not imagine the pain and emptiness that you feel. Just know that Hogan changed my life and many others. You are great parents and Hogan is in Heaven now where there are streets of gold and many mansions. He is looking down on you and saying this is not good-bye, this is only so long. You will see him again and on that day there will be a great reunion.
    I am praying, believing and expecting that you feel God's love and his comfort during this time.
    I love you,

  22. You are in my prayers today! I know that just as you were blessed to have Hogan in your lives, he was blessed to have you as parents. I am very sure that he knew he was loved so very much in his short time here on Earth. I will continue to pray for your family in the days, weeks, and months to come. Thank you Little Hogan for teaching me to appreciate life even more than ever!

  23. I am just finding you today through the Cole's Foundation website and am sitting here reading through my tears. The love that you have is so very evident. And it makes me so very happy to read this story....I know that is an odd comment to make. But knowing that you kept baby Hogan, when so many others would have tossed him away without giving him a really is a blessing. I have been reading backwards through your entries....what a little spitfire you had!

    And it is so amazing to me that Hogan shares the birthday with my best friend and roomate's little girl. For now I will never ever forget him. As we celebrate her future birthdays, I will remember Hogan looking down from heaven on you all. While I am sad that he had to leave this world so soon....the number of lives he was able to touch is just amazing. He will continue to touch lives....what an amazing God we have! I pray for strength and wisdom as you continue on this journey.....strength to continue, when it seems you cannot possibly take another step.....wisdom as you try to help your other beautiful children understand why their baby brother had to go live with Jesus so soon. I will pray for you often and always. (((Hugs)))

    C.O.L.E. prayer team

  24. Beautiful and precious words. I'm glad he's not in pain anymore.

    I was a twin born at 29 weeks weighing a little over two pounds. The doctors said that I would be blind, deaf, and mute, but God has done a miracle in my life. Even though I have CP, God has helped me to redefine what normal looks like to the naked eye. Hogan is a miracle as well...on Earth and in Heaven.

  25. Hi,

    I don't know you and your family but your story has touched my life. I'm a friend of Amber Cook. I have been keeping up with Hogan's journey through your blog and Amber's updates on Facebook. He is such a precious child! I know that our Father in Heaven entrusted his sweet spirit into your family for a reason! Your strength and faith have been an example to me and to all the lives your family has touched.

    I wanted to say thank you for allowing me the opportunity to experience Hogan's Journey. It's touched my life more ways than I can express. I will be walking in the March of Dimes' March for Babies on Saturday in Roswell, Georgia and I would be honored to walk in memory of Hogan. If it would be okay with you and your wife, I'd like to create a little pin to wear with his name on it.

    Thank you again for your example of faith and joy in all that God does in our lives.

    ~Amy Fields Marsh

  26. Thank you for allowing the Lord to shine through you through such a an incredible loss. What an encouragement you are to all of us who don't even know you. Praying for His peace to continue to fill you and give you the strength you need to preserver.
    In His Grace

  27. Kip, I have been out of the loop for awhile and just read the blog. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. You have done an awesome job sharing your heart with Hogan--and with us. It is evident from your writing the truth of the Scripture: "As thy days, so shall thy strength be." Most of us don't understand how you can not only cope but thrive, but we know that God does more than we can ask or imagine.Thanks again for sharing your lives with us. You are in our prayers.

  28. What a tremdous blessing you have been given and have so unselfishly shared with all of us. Thank you for that. I pray for continued peace and comfort for you all. In HIS love, Marci