Mike Cope's blog

Thursday, August 25, 2005

My Dear Megan, Tomorrow you would have been 21. Every year since your death we've continued to have a birthday cake on August 26 and to tell "Megan stories." Last week when I was looking for your old percussor, Mom said, "It may be in Megan's toy box." Without thinking, I began digging through the box, and then it overwhelmed me. I was immersed in you: your shoes, a couple of your favorite blouses, the stuffed cat you loved, etc. I could smell you, hear you, even feel you there. All that to say that I've never stopped missing you. It's been ten years and nine months; but in grief-years it's been so much less in some ways and so much more in other ways. You rocked my world, my precious daughter. You didn't enter this world with a bright intellect like your brothers did. You were, we eventually learned, "mentally handicapped." Big deal. There were so many other ways in which you were so precocious: in love, in forgiveness, and in joy. The only full sentence I ever heard you say in ten years was "I'm Megan"--and yet you became my minister who led me further along the way of Christ. Without even intending to, you exposed the shallowness of this world--a world obsessed with externals. You were a jar of clay. It's hard to picture you at age 21. You have remained ten in our minds. Since you died, life has in some ways been easier. You never wasted much of your short time sleeping! Easier . . . yet sadder. We would gladly go without sleep to be able to hold you and sing with you. ("I may never march in the infantry . . ."; "This is a song that doesn't end . . . ."; "Jesus loves me . . . .") We would have loved seeing your joy at Matt and Jenna's wedding. (You never got to meet her, but I think she would be your best friend.) And I imagined you there in ICU patting Christopher's broken and bruised body after the wreck. Your simple faith still guides us. Your love overwhelms and empowers us. Soon and very soon, my dear . . . . Love, Dad

53 Comments:

  • I was just about to have some quiet time to draw near to God. I really need it this morning. After reading this I feel like I have already been with Jesus.

    Mike, I'm sorry that I cannot say, "I know how you feel." My heart has never ached like yours must this day and especially tomorrow. But thank you for the glance at hope in pain and a love that never ends.

    Since I was in junior high school I've heard about Megan and her singing "I'm In the Lord's Army." I'm 31 now and I still often think of this little girl, I never met, singing that song.

    I can't wait to meet her. And I can't wait to be a witness of the Cope family reunion. God comfort you, hold you, and remain in you today, my brother.

    By Blogger Jon, at 8/25/2005 04:44:00 AM  

  • Beautiful words;
    beautiful memories;
    blessing to your family today.

    a time to weep and a time to laugh;
    a time to mourn and a time to dance;

    By Blogger David Michael, at 8/25/2005 04:48:00 AM  

  • i

    By Blogger Lauren, at 8/25/2005 04:49:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    What a beautiful tribute from a father's heart! Megan's legacy lives on as you live each day remembering the miracles God performed in her. Happy Birthday Megan! I hope you are dancing with the angels enjoying your birthday celebration with the audience of Heaven.

    By Blogger Lauren, at 8/25/2005 04:56:00 AM  

  • Thanks for sharing and in the process making me pause (actually stop) and give thanks to God for all those individuals who have blessed my own life.

    Blessings to you and your family.

    dps

    By Blogger Donald Philip Simpson, at 8/25/2005 04:59:00 AM  

  • When I read the words, "big deal" tears jumped out of my eyes.

    Thank God for Megan. Thank you Mike for keeping her story alive. I need to hear that perspective often.

    So much of what I focus on is really, in the end, no big deal.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 8/25/2005 05:20:00 AM  

  • Your wife was in Searcy on one of the darkest days in the life of my wife and I. It had only been three weeks since our own son passed away and at that point we were ready to give up on everything, including God. I don't remember what your wife said, just her being there and knowing that she understood our pain. Somehow God used her that day to bear our burden when we could not bear it ourselves, and by grace we our still Christians and hope in God inpite of this suffering world.

    I know that the memory of Megan will always be with you and I am so blessed to have read today just how wonderful of a child she was. Thank you for sharing your faith that lies admist the pain and joy.

    Rex

    By Blogger K. Rex Butts, at 8/25/2005 06:47:00 AM  

  • I stopped, I read, I cried.

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 8/25/2005 06:56:00 AM  

  • It's my fault I was late to work today. Really. I know better than to read this blog in the morning. Do you know how long it takes to reapply mascara?

    By Blogger Emily, at 8/25/2005 07:08:00 AM  

  • Mike,
    The most wonderful part of the story of Megan is that she now has surpassed all of us in the understanding and knowledge of the Father. She is no longer "mentally handicapped".
    She is forever spiritually enlightened! She has what we all long for. Isn't God great?!!!

    By Blogger Brian, at 8/25/2005 07:25:00 AM  

  • Mike, my daughter Chelsea turned me onto your blog yesterday. She's in your 3pm MW class and I've been grieving her absence from home and now this article...thank goodness I'm not into mascara. I'm into sooner. Cecil

    By Blogger ceager, at 8/25/2005 07:35:00 AM  

  • This post brings Shaun Groves "After the Music Fades" to mind. Thanks for kindling a deeper desire for our father.

    Lord, take me
    From this place
    Into a world that has no time.
    No hurries, no worries,
    Gladly I leave them all behind
    Down here; I'm letting go and drawing near.
    I wanna sing.
    I wanna fly.
    I wanna see from Your side of the sky.
    I wanna love.
    I wanna stay,
    Wanna be close to You
    Long after the music fades.
    Lord, I come
    To give You
    Much more than just a melody.
    Please take me and break me;
    Right now God, I don't want to leave
    Unchanged; I never wanna be the same.
    I wanna sing.
    I wanna fly.
    I wanna see from Your side of the sky.
    I wanna love.
    I wanna stay,
    Wanna be close to You
    Long after,
    'Cause Lord You are
    Mighty, Awesome, Righteous,
    Gracious, Knowing,
    In me overflowing.
    Father, Teacher, Master, Leader
    Jealous, Loving, You are.
    And you make me wanna sing.
    I wanna fly.
    I wanna see from Your side of the sky.
    I wanna love.
    I wanna stay,
    Wanna be close to You
    Long after,
    And I wanna sing.
    I wanna fly.
    I wanna see from Your side of the sky.
    And I wanna love.
    I wanna stay,
    Wanna be close to You
    Long after,
    Wanna be close to you
    Forever after,
    Wanna be close to you,
    Long after the music fades,
    Long after the music fades.
    You are life.
    You are love.
    You are everything that I'm needing.
    You are life.
    You are love.
    You are everything that I'm needing.

    By Blogger TCS, at 8/25/2005 07:36:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    Thank you for your words today and for being transparent with your grief. Our church family is mourning an eight year old boy who died of cancer on Saturday. So your entry is especially meaningful to us.

    I would have liked to know Megan and will also enjoy watching the Cope reunion someday.

    Amy

    P.S. Our daughters share a birthday.

    By Blogger Amy, at 8/25/2005 07:37:00 AM  

  • Cecil - We're both into Sooner, my friend. (Though I think we could also agree that we're NOT into the Sooners! That conflicts with living in TX.) I mentioned to Chelsea yesterday that she may be the only one in the class (along with, perhaps, SL) who had her hair pulled by Megan.

    Thanks, all, for these gifts of words. May our eyes be opened today as we see all the messengers of joy God has placed around us.

    By Blogger Mike, at 8/25/2005 08:10:00 AM  

  • At a distance, I've lovingly appreciated your devotion to God and your family; your spiritual wisdom and biblical insights; and your commitment to stay the course and continue in faith in spite of what is, in my estimation, generally unfair and unwarranted criticism. I’ve stood at distance, thinking highly of you and never taking the time to express these thoughts.

    What is different this time? Well, once again, you have opened wide your heart and invited us in. You have eliminated the distance by sharing your most intimate thoughts. This amazes me! You, who are so often criticized for sharing your thoughts, have made your self so vulnerable. What an incredible depth of love you live out each day! Thank you for show us the way. Thank you for giving us a living definition of our Abba, Father.

    May you and your family all feel the warm and comforting embrace of our loving Abba on this day and every day.

    By Blogger Bill, at 8/25/2005 08:17:00 AM  

  • There are so many things to say, but there are absolutely no words to say them with. I've typed 100 different things, but Serena and Brian said it all.

    God's blessings on you, Diane, Matt, and Chris.

    By Blogger Corey, at 8/25/2005 08:21:00 AM  

  • Thank you for reaffirming for me today why I hold so unswervingly to the blessed promise of heaven.
    God bless you and your family.

    By Blogger Scott Freeman, at 8/25/2005 08:34:00 AM  

  • Wow! Everything else right now at my desk seems so insignificant. You are rocking my world right now too, little girl. Thanks for sharing Mike.
    Keith Riley

    By Blogger Keith, at 8/25/2005 08:41:00 AM  

  • An image that's remained in my head all these years is from the funeral, after you and Diane and Matt walked down the aisle and were seated in front of Megan's casket. You raised your left hand. Did I imagine this? The picture's in my head. Reaching for God's hand, maybe? What else could one do while seated in front of a small casket that contains their child? A small action, a simple movement that spoke volumes.

    Tomorrow is my daughter's birthday, too. She was born a year ago after three devastating miscarriages. Do babies exist in heaven before birth? Maybe Megan and our Jenna crossed paths...

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 8/25/2005 09:02:00 AM  

  • I never knew Megan personally but I have always been moved at the way you speak of her. Blessings on you and yours, Mike Cope.

    By Blogger Jana, at 8/25/2005 09:09:00 AM  

  • My heart cries for yours and with your family's collective mourning.

    My brother and sister-in-law mourn the death of their 13-year old son this month.

    Bobby and Megan must be having such a frolicking time together. It will be wonderful to join them when God's designed homegoing day arrives.

    In the meantime I mourn with you and my brother, with the Bourlands and all of us that have suffered through the pain of a child going home before us.

    By Blogger Kathy, at 8/25/2005 09:18:00 AM  

  • And our prayer is - as always - Lord, come quickly.

    By Blogger Coping, at 8/25/2005 10:53:00 AM  

  • Hey Uncle Mike,

    I love you.

    -Crista

    By Blogger Crista, at 8/25/2005 10:55:00 AM  

  • I am so happy that I got to be a small part of Megan's young years. Each memory of her brings a smile to my heart.

    By Blogger BW, at 8/25/2005 11:31:00 AM  

  • Ah, my dear Crista. Now YOU are a person who knows what it's like to have your hair pulled by Megan! You were the loving younger cousin who enjoyed having someone around who didn't mind being bossed by a four year old. :)

    By Blogger Mike, at 8/25/2005 11:39:00 AM  

  • Mike, thanks for sharing your grief and hope with us. You have been there for many of us through other deaths that didn't make sense. I never met Megan, but I know she changed your life, and I can't wait to meet her in heaven one day and sing "I'm in the Lord's Army" with her.

    Last year at the funeral of my dear friend Cheryl, I heard a Steven Curtis Chapman song called "With Hope." The words kept coming back to me all year...after the wreck with the Highland kids...after my little cousin died. I have clung to them as a message of quiet truth:

    We can cry with hope
    We can say goodbye with hope
    'Cause we know that our goodbye is not the end
    We can grieve with hope
    'Cause we believe with hope
    That there's a place where we'll see your face again

    Love and blessings, brother.

    By Blogger Katie, at 8/25/2005 12:03:00 PM  

  • I really have no words, but, we love you and feel it a treasure to know Megan through you. She blesses us through your words.

    By Blogger Sandra, at 8/25/2005 12:28:00 PM  

  • Mike and Diane
    I remember your arrival at Highland which coincided with ours. We had you guys over for lunch one day after church and your words to me were something like this..."those hoop earings you are wearing are shiny and Megan tends to like shiny things. Take that as a warning and you are on your own from here." My memory of Megan today.

    By Blogger Arlene Kasselman, at 8/25/2005 02:06:00 PM  

  • Mike,

    It's been a long time since many of us sat on Brandon's couch at ACU and discussed life, but I still remember how you used to speak of Megan . . . her teaching you about God. Blessings to you and your family during this time.

    This last year, I had two close friends have somewhat similar circumstances. One lost a child to an accident with some blinds and another discovered that their child has a rare genetic disease that will mean his early death with multiple mental difficulties along the way. When thinking and praying about them one day, I sat down and penned this song in about 20 minutes (totally from God). I hope that it encourages you today.

    http://www.jkyleroberts.com/iwillsing/

    Blessings Brother

    By Blogger Kyle, at 8/25/2005 02:19:00 PM  

  • beautiful love mike. my daughter just turned 11, i share your fatherly heart. may the fellowship of the Spirit groan deeply with you and for you. always.

    By Blogger jon.marq, at 8/25/2005 02:44:00 PM  

  • Speechless...thanks for sharing.

    By Blogger Hoots Musings, at 8/25/2005 03:49:00 PM  

  • Mike, my fingers don't work when I go to respond to a post like this.
    But my heart does.

    Love you all very much,
    DU

    By Blogger David U, at 8/25/2005 05:55:00 PM  

  • Its amazing to see how your love toward her shaped your life.

    PS 119:71

    By Blogger Jeremy, at 8/25/2005 06:18:00 PM  

  • How clearly I hear Megan's voice YELLING out "HI" to everyone she saw in the hallways of Seele Elementary School. She had the joy of the Lord on earth! Blessings! Judi Eager

    By Blogger Judi Eager, at 8/25/2005 07:56:00 PM  

  • Mike

    I have commented before. I remember when you brought Megan to Bowie Elementary for an ARD soon after you moved to Abilene. I was a special education diagnostician back then. Megan followed me to Thomas Elementary as well. What wonderful memories I have of her. I remember that sentence "I'm Megan" all to well. She made me sit up and take notice of the sheer joy of being alive.

    My son, Scott, continues to live at Abilene State School where he has lived for 22 years. He is now 28 years old. Scott continues to bless my life as we visit. He is a confidant and shares love with me in the purest and simplest of ways - - - big broad smiles, endearing glances and joyful noises.

    I look forward to the great homecoming when God will heal us all of our infirmaties. What stories our children will be able to tell us. I can hardly wait.

    Love and blessings as you remember precious Megan.

    Pat White
    Abilene

    By Blogger Pat White, at 8/25/2005 08:05:00 PM  

  • What a precious post today. I am sad that I was only nine years old when Megan passed away. She was so close to my age...I wish I had had more time to get to know her here on earth. But I feel like I know her from all the stories I have heard from you and Diane. And, like everyone else, I can't wait to see the Cope family reunion in heaven either! :) Thanks for letting me be like an adopted daughter in your family! I love you sooooooooo much!

    By Blogger Heather A, at 8/25/2005 08:13:00 PM  

  • thank you for you on going work in the kingdom. your ability to write such honest words is a blessing to me.

    By Blogger Byron, at 8/25/2005 09:30:00 PM  

  • Mike - I waited until today to comment. Wow. Megan will always be a joyful, carefree, singing child who knows she is loved and loves. That's a picture to carry in your heart. I still see her marching thru the media center on Wednesday nights singing happily. What a great memory. What a great child. Happy birthday, Megan. And thank you Mike for writing this.

    By Blogger Candy, at 8/26/2005 04:42:00 AM  

  • Thank you for the words. We often pray for you and the other cousins walking similar roads.

    By Blogger EBC, at 8/26/2005 07:28:00 AM  

  • "The Bustle in a House
    The Morning after Death
    Is solemnest of industries
    Enacted upon Earth--

    The Sweeping up the Heart
    And putting Love away
    We shall not want to use again
    Until Eternity"

    Emily Dickinson's words

    By Blogger Cathy Messecar, at 8/26/2005 07:38:00 AM  

  • Hi Mike,

    Thankyou for this wonderful tribute to Megan. I always love hearing you talk about your memories of her. She was a precious and sweet child of God. Thankyou for keeping her apart of all of our lives

    -Erin

    By Blogger ErinEC, at 8/26/2005 08:44:00 AM  

  • Wow, what a tribute ... what a blessing!

    By Blogger alan, at 8/26/2005 08:46:00 AM  

  • Tears this morning. Tears of remembrance, tears of joy at that PERFECT description of Megan. I praise God that you have allowed Him to turn your pain into ministry and understanding for others who hurt. We love you guys and miss you!
    Brandon and Sheryl

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 8/26/2005 09:23:00 AM  

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEGAN!!

    BIG (from me) HUGS to you and Diane.

    Love you,
    Lex

    By Blogger Lex, at 8/26/2005 10:31:00 AM  

  • Thank you for your thoughts about your precious Megan. It has only been 3 months since Noah died, but already I feel that we are forgetting him. And that really hurts me. I am thankful to see that after 10 years you still enjoy wonderful memories of Megan. You still celebrate her birthday, and that you still long for her to be a part of your life. I want to know in 10 years that I can still do that and I will never forget his smell.

    "Soon and very soon" is right.

    By Blogger Julie, at 8/26/2005 10:56:00 AM  

  • Blue Like Jazz is definitley officially a course book for some ministry classes at Harding.

    Now we reveal why the professors aren't exactly matching up to what the Board thinks is being discussed and taught inside "their" classrooms.

    By Blogger Drew Battistelli, at 8/26/2005 01:07:00 PM  

  • Mike - Sorry, I had a senior moment. I know Megan and Chelsea went to Sam Thomas elementary school. Hoping for forgiveness! :) Judi

    By Blogger JudithEager, at 8/26/2005 02:18:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger JudithEager, at 8/26/2005 02:20:00 PM  

  • Mike,
    How is it that crushing grief and perfect joy are such partners? How can I articulate the tremendous relief I feel when I glimpse the message of Ecclesiastes? You said it perfectly.
    Big Deal.
    How wonderful.
    Soon,
    Kim

    By Blogger kim, at 8/26/2005 06:50:00 PM  

  • Happy Birthday to You
    Happy Birthday to You
    Happy Birthday Dear Megan
    Happy Birtday to You.

    And all the heavenly hosts said AMEN. I can only imagine how precious Megan was. If she was anything like her parents and brothers and Jenna Lynn(my niece, your daughter-in-law) then I know that she was a breath of Heaven on Earth. You and Diane inspire me to be a better person and to love more deeply. Lord come quickly. See you at the reunion!
    Lynn

    By Blogger Lynn, at 8/26/2005 07:20:00 PM  

  • Mike, our computer isn't working..so I am writing this from the Abilene library. I feel strange crying around all these people I don't know but they are good tears....knowing your sweet, gentle love for your daughter...what an amazing thing that love is...
    grace and peace to you, Julie

    By Blogger julie, at 8/27/2005 02:09:00 PM  

  • Dear Megan touched us as well, Mike. Thank you for bringing her to us on her birthday. Thank you for being such a light on our way. When darkness comes, and it comes often, you help us back into the light that enables us to keep moving toward home. . .and Megan. I love you, my dear brother.

    By Blogger Larry James, at 8/28/2005 06:59:00 PM  

  • Mike,

    I just stumbled upon your blog and this is the first post I saw. God bless you and your memories of Megan. May God continue to teach you (and others!) through those memories.

    By Blogger Evan Burdan, at 8/31/2005 08:23:00 AM  

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