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Sunday, June 16, 2024

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Speaking in the Light 4.05.06

By Rick Racela

I dedicate today’s article to anyone who has ever lost a child. There are no words. And if it wasn’t for the grace of God and the certainty I have that He walks with me and understands when nobody else would or could, I would not be here today and this column would be written by somebody else.
It was on Wednesday April 5, 1995, that my son Nicholas Paul Sheptock was born at 7 a.m. in a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. By 9:30 a.m., he was in heaven. Needless to say, I will never forget as long as I live those hours where my wife and I had been anticipating new life and yet death reared its ugly head into our celebration and nearly socked the daylights out of us. When they talk about “the sting of death,” they definitely chose the right words. I didn’t want to let him go. I did not want to say, “Goodbye.” I wanted him longer. I wanted to hear him say, “Daddy.” I wanted to teach him how to play baseball. I still want him here with me today.
And as you can sense, even now talking about Nicholas and that short amount of time we got to be together still strikes a raw nerve in my heart. But I will always treasure my time with him. Nothing can take that away. Nicholas had his father’s nose and the big dimple in his chin. Without a doubt, he was all Sheptock. And while I know that my son is in glory, there is a hole in our life right now that could only be filled by this little guy who would have been turning 11 years old today.
So as part of my way of acknowledging Nicholas’ indelible mark on me, I share with you the words I wrote 11 years ago. I do so with a prayer for those of you who know personally what I am talking about. I don’t write this expecting to fix anything. Nothing this side of heaven is ever going to completely take this ache away. I write this only as an encouragement that even in death, God has kept his promise to walk with me and take me through the places that I could never go alone… such as days like today.
Song for Nicholas — April 5, 1995
On a quiet April morn, this little baby child was born…
He came into our lives for a short stay…
Tons of questions fill my mind, but no answers I can find…
And pain fills up my heart as I pray:
Jesus please take good care of him, will you teach him how to catch?
Will you write down all the things that make him laugh?
I want to thank you for the moments that we got to hold him close.
We spent a lifetime in an hour-and-a-half…
We spent a lifetime in an hour-and-a-half…
Life is such a complex game, and I will never be the same…
For in a whirlwind this baby touched my heart…
And even though I miss him so, down deep inside I’m sure I know
With everything I do, he’ll be a part.
Jesus please take good care of him, will you teach him how to catch?
Will you write down all the things that make him laugh?
I want to thank you for the moments that we got to hold him close…
We spent a lifetime in an hour-and-a half…
Spent my whole lifetime in an hour-and a half…
Happy Birthday, Nicholas Paul! Your names means “Little Victory” and that is what I will forever remember you being until the day I hold you again. Thank you Lord that You hold him now until I get to soon. Please keep your hands on those of us still here that hurt until the day that reunion finally comes. Amen…
Check out The Lighthouse Church’s website for all the Easter happenings just around the corner: www.tlccma.org

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