Our son Noah Hampton Collins, went to be with the Lord on December 2, 1995. During Noah's year long battle with cancer, he showed extraordinary faith and courage. The strength of Noah's spirit inspired everyone around him. Let me tell you something abou t him.
Noah was born December 23, 1987 in Bremmerton Washington where he lived one and one half years directly west from Seattle across Puget Sound. He loved being out doors from the first, even when it was misty, which it often is in that part of the world. W e began the first of many long walks under boughs of the tall trees that grow there.
We took Noah from that green part of world (Noah's favorite color) to Germany. Noah spent most of his life in a small village called Waldenbuch (Val-dem-book). (The name of the village has a subtle pronunciation that required a true German voice to prono unce.) Noah learned to speak German, and was always quick to correct one who said the word improperly. He attended German schools; learning and loving the German ways. However as an American family living in Germany, Noah would always be an outsider and he would often ask when we would live in a home of our own. And so his mother and I sought the Lord counsel to find a place where Noah could grow up, attend a good school, make friends that do not move every two years and be closer to his family that is growing up/old so fast. We felt that the Lord brought us to San Marcos, Texas. Noah missed Germany at first but quickly fell in love with Texas. Truly a place where a boy can be a boy.
Noah is not your average child. He would describe himself as a, "Junior Scientist". He had a insatiable hunger for knowledge. He was never satisfied with the pat answer. If you were to tell him everything you knew about a subject he would pause and sa y; "ok go on..." and wait for more. For those things that could not be explained to Noah, he would fill in the blanks with his imagination. He loved stories of knights and dragons, not for the thrill of the battles told in such stories; Noah loved the n obility for which such causes are fought.
Like his heros, Noah sought treasure as well. His mother made a beautiful wooden treasure chest for him. In there he kept gold and silver; some real - some not, eagle feathers, special strings, Texas Hill Country stones and carefully drawn maps printed in gold lettering. Noah protected the key to that chest throughout his illness. He wore the key on his right index finger through many surgical procedures and even two MRI's (where metal is forbidden).
Noah has now traded his earthly treasures for heavenly ones, where no one (not even leprechauns) can break in to steal.
He never cried. Anger, resentment but never tears. When those around him would shed tears he would call them "wimps" or ask "what is it now?". He wanted to learn everything about the cancer that ravaged his body. He learned much about medicine and eve n speculated that someday DNA research would be the key to a cure. He often shared this with his doctors. It was with surprise and joy that I saw in the newspaper one day an article that described just such research titled; "Genetic cancer-fighter has p romise." When I told Noah he just clinched his fists and said "Yes!".
Noah loves the Lord. He would pray as one talking to a friend. He would never pray for general things; he always prayed for specifically for people, places or things. He never doubted the Lord. As his illness progressed he would ask why we continue to pray; "that God was not going to heal him." However he always believed that Lord could if He chose to. He wondered why God would give to him gifts of intelligence and a desire to help the world if He did not want him to grow up. (A question that is lef t for all of us.)
Noah did find a home in San Marcos. It has been overwhelming to see how many lives Noah has touched here; before and during his illness. And now, what are we to make of the last two years? One's filled with such great expectations and profound disappoi ntments. We ask ourselves a question that has no answer; Why?
Through the eyes of the world we see only a tragedy; one far to often repeated in this fallen world. We have taken the good and we must now find a way to accept the bad, looking forward to the day that we will see Noah again. We live by faith. Assured that the promises of 2 Corinthians 4:1-5:8, and the words of our Lord in John 14:1-4 are true.
Like Peter said; "where else can we go Master..."; for if the Lord has let Noah down, what hope is there for anyone.
During Noah's last days he wrote this poem for a friend. We would like to share it with you all as a gift from Noah. God bless you all.
Your Spirit is Lifted,
Your Heart is Warm.
It is like,
Heaven Being Born.
We Shall Travel Together
Over Snow and Storm.
Together we shall feel like,
Heaven Being Born.
Through the Summer and Spring,
We Shall Make our Way.
Feeling Happy and Gay.
It is like,
Heaven Being Born.
Noah Hampton Collins, 1987-1995