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Through It All
By Robert Hogan

Photo: Robert Hogan
My name is Robert K. Hogan Jr. I was born at Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco, California, a month before my actual due date. I was not breathing properly when I came out of the womb so I was already fighting for my life.

My grandparents (especially my grandmother) told me how much they would pray for me so that I would be able to breathe on my own. After about two weeks, God answered their prayers and I was released from the hospital.

Four years later my family decided to move to Walla Walla, WA. They wanted to move away from the big city because a family friend had been murdered. My grandparents wanted a better life for their children and grandchildren so Walla Walla was the best option.

In the summer of 1995 my grandfather received a phone call. His expression conveyed how the conversation was going. I remember seeing his facial expressions switch from happy, to concern, to sadness, and finally grief. He had just received a phone call that would change my world. My father had just passed away from a brain aneurism while riding in a car with my uncles.

The funeral for my father was riviting. I remember everything exactly; where the funeral was held and who all was there. It’s pretty shocking to a small kid when he attends his father's funeral at the age of five. The most prominent image that sticks in my mind from my Dad’s funeral is of my Mother sitting by the casket crying because she couldn’t believe that her husband had just died.

After the funeral it was just my mom, my two sisters, and me. I started to go to school and my sisters stayed at home with my aunt. She had just moved in with us to take care of my sisters and me since my mom had to work to support all three of us.

My mom moved back to San Francisco to make more money because she was not able to support the family working the jobs in Walla Walla. So my sisters and I moved in with my and aunt and then later with my grandparents.

My grandparents decided to send me to Milton-Stateline Seventh-day Adventist School. I didn’t know about this school because I had never heard of it. I didn’t even know that there were Seventh-day Adventist schools.

The summer before I started attending the Miltotn-Stateline school I went to visit my mom, her boyfriend, and my new baby brother. I remember visiting her and that she was not well. She was in the hospital some of the time when I was there but she seemed fine. Later on I would realize that she was not fine.

When I came back from my visit it was not too long before my mom moved back to Walla Walla with my brother. I found out that she had colon cancer. It was really nice having my mom back at home, but not in that condition.

One sunny day while I was in school my grandfather came to pick me up earlier than usual. He told me to get my things and we were on our way. While we were driving home he told me that he told me my mom had passed away. That was very shocking to me but I should have seen it coming. She fell asleep and didn’t wake up when it was time to take her medicine.

My heart was crushed. Now I had lost both my mom and dad. We had the funeral and all I could remember was that my sisters and I didn’t have parents anymore. It didn’t really sink into my head until we buried mom. Later on we lost one of my great aunts.

I remember how bad that year was, but I didn’t realize that it would get better from there. I gained parents over the coming years. Some of the best parents that I gained were the Hamilton’s. Doug and Sherry Hamilton have been like a second parents helping me with whatever it was I needed, but the best were my grandparents.

My grandmother passed away my junior year of high school. That was one of the toughest funerals I have ever attended and been a part of, but there was one thing that my grandmother told me. “God will always love you.” And it’s true. I didn’t realize how much God watched over me from my birth all the way to the present. Looking back now I see that God was and is my greatest Father.

Robert Hogan writes from eastern Washington.
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