Kip, Angie, Noah and Lily

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Remembering the ones...

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalms 34:18 NLT

Dear Hogan,

It sure is strange typing these letters with you not laying in front of me in your isolette in the NICU at St. Mary's. The more I think about your life and your journey the more amazed I am. You helped me realize just how big of a God that we serve. I heard somebody thanking God for all of the great things that were going on in their life recently. They finished there statement with "God is good". What if things weren't going so great for someone? Would that same person name off all of the bad things that were going on in their life and say "God is not good"? I would hope not! God is good all of the time. It doesn't mean that just because you are a believer that you won't have any problems. It doesn't mean that you won't have a baby and have that baby die of a condition called Trisomy 18 or something similar. It doesn't mean that you or someone you love won't be diagnosed with cancer. Hogan, I love you and miss you so much but God is good. I don't understand why some things happen and probably never will but God is good.

I wanted to let you know how honored we were that Mrs. Peacock spoke of your life at the March of Dimes baby walk here in Athens on Friday night. Angie, Noah, Lily and I were there to support the event and to honor your life along with the other babies. You would have loved being there! Many of your friends from St. Mary's were there along with Hairy Dawg, some big bear and a dinosaur from Publix... he was Noah and Lily's favorite!

I have been thinking back on your journey. Hogan, we honestly weren't planning to have another child. You were a surprise to us. I remember your mom was having some thyroid problems. I went to Kroger to buy pregnancy tests one night to see if it was thyroid or baby!?! The test confirmed it was a baby! We were shocked at first. I honestly thought nothing but negative thoughts for the first couple of hours. I am so sorry for thinking about the long term and all of the responsibilities that come with another child. I think it is natural for a man to think that way but it's no excuse... I should have been thankful from the first moment! I walked into the living room and just sat there for a while. I was so overwhelmed. I told Angie that we would have 3 kids in college at the same time. I told her that we would have 3 of this and 3 of that.... I was so selfish in my thought process. It didn't take long for Angie to open my eyes. She said "honey" we aren't guaranteed anything in life. We might not be here for the birth or for college and our kids might not be here either. We can't assume anything. Hogan, I thank God for your mother opening my eyes. It was at the moment that I realized she was totally right. It was a turning point for me. I also thought back to the Hotel Indigo in Scottsdale, Arizona. I thought to myself, God might use this little baby for a special purpose. I had NO idea how special this baby (you) would be. My thoughts soon turned from nervous fear to thankful anticipation. I thought that it would be nice to have more diapers strolling through the house. I also thought that God was going to let me enjoy this birth because I was not able to enjoy Lily's birth as much because I was preoccupied with the death of your grandad (my dad). It turns out that God did allow me to enjoy your birth. I never took one moment for granted. I pray that I will never take any moment for granted again. You are always on my mind Hogan.

I also think back on many things that were interesting along the way. A friend told me one day that although we pray for healing at certain points that death always comes back. It's temporary healing that we pray. Another comment that I thought was interesting was... isn't it funny that all of the abortion supporters weren't aborted. I have never heard from one child or adult that was aborted to hear how they stand on the issue. I have said this before and I will say it again, I am thankful that our family gave you a chance and we are so thankful for the memories and the life lessons that we have learned from God through you.

I thank God for you because now I can remember the one's like you. I can enjoy the "ones" that I talked about in my first blog and I can also relate to the families so much better. I wasn't comfortable for whatever reason with "ones" before you were diagnosed. I have no idea why that I wasn't but it's not that I didn't want too... it was just uncomfortable for me. Hogan, you rocked my world and turned that feeling upside down (thank God!). I now see true beauty. It isn't the people that are on the front of national magazines. It's ones like you! I am not saying that there aren't great people on the front of those magazines but it's just that you never see the "ones" like you! Your story is special. God used your journey for good.

Noah and Lily love looking at your pictures around the house. They love you so much.

I miss you and will always love you Hogan.


  1. God is using you and baby Hogan's story in such a mighty way! Thank you for continuing to share your journey.

    God has given us the privilege of being a part of a mysterious and amazing story, in fact, the greatest story ever told. How we perceive this story and the ways in which we are a part of it, is part of God's gift to us.

    You and your family have chosen to allow joy to mingle with your grief, and that is so inspirational to me. Hogan's life will never be just a memory, but is a permanent chapter of God's story.

  2. This post brings a smile to my heart and tears to my face. Daisy (our angel baby we lost to Trisomy) was also unplanned unlike our Lilly. Now that we are trying again it seems to be taking forever. Oh the joys of surprise babies. We will never forget our surprise angel babies. Forever in our hearts. Have a good week Kip,
    The Cook family

  3. Kip, it is amazing how God put so much life experience into a little 3 pound baby boy! All of us that followed your familys journey has changed for the good. I am thankful for the moments of each day. I am praying for you and Angie and the children. Thanks so much for sharing your heart! Ron and Sarah of Toccoa

  4. I am so thankful you allowed others to travel in this with you and you turned it into something that means more to many than you even know. God bless you and your family.

  5. The Dominy family was really on my mind today. I continue to pray for you all everyday. I too like others have posted look at the world and each day with appreciation. Love you all, Megan

  6. Kip,
    Your words are so very profound. Although I don't have the experience of losing a child, I do have losing my mother at age 12. I had so many feelings like you even though I was a child and even now as an adult. Some times I still struggle with the why but believe like you that we must always believe God is good. I still continue to pray for you and try to treasure every moment with my children. I tell everyone I meet about Hogan and how he is changing the world.
    Andrea in Dacula

  7. Just wanted to let you know you are prayed for daily by us, by our church and by so many others. Hogan will forever be a reminder of Gods Great and Perfect Love, thank you so much for sharing him with us, and letting us see your hearts and your awesome love for our Father in Heaven. God Bless, Love the Hammonds

  8. Hogan is and always will be such an inspiration to so many people. May he always touch our lives in a special way and continue to show us just how good God is!

  9. Dear Kip-

    Today I met the parents of a little boy born with Trisomy 18. He was not as strong as Hogan and passed away in the elevator up to the NICU. His parents were in the next elevator because there wasn't enough room for them with all of the doctors and nurses attending to him.

    I wasn't able to do anything for the boy, he was gone before I ever met him, but I told parts of Hogan's story to the boy's parents. They were so very grateful that you were able to write about Hogan, that I was able to read your letters and that I was there to share with them. While I couldn't take away the pain of their loss, I was able to help these parents know that they are not alone in their grief. We prayed that Hogan would be able to greet their son in Heaven so that the boy would not be alone and frightened. Even now, so far away, Hogan is quite the hero.