Strict//EN" ""> EAGLES' REST: Gooodbye, Brother. I'll See You Later

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gooodbye, Brother. I'll See You Later

My friend, Dr. A. Scottedward Hodel, died late last night. Scotte fought a valiant and inspiring battle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, but ultimately, his earthly suit gave in to the ravages of the disease.

One thing that didn't, though, was his spirit. And his humor. As late as 10 days ago, he sent out his weekly update on his condition. As usual, it was laced with his sense of humor, sometimes self-effacing. An example of that was his remark after recounting being around another person who wanted to dominate all the conversations:

"It's really frustrating to see my faults in other people. In order to avoid responding in kind, I slept most of the day yesterday. Mmmm."

Scotte and I were mostly internet friends; we'd stumbled across each other, commenting on Wade Burleson's (and others') blogs, and eventually got to emailing. He'd been particularly communicative since I contracted prostate cancer about 8 months ago. And he also emailed his "News From Auburn", about once a week.

I did get the chance to meet him, twice, when he was in the local Hope House, a residential facility for out-of-towners taking treatment here in Birmingham. I went one day and just spent a couple hours sitting and talking to Scotte and Viva; then I went back the next day, just to pray over him. I think things like that are worth a special trip, and apparently he thought so, too, judging by a comment he made on another blog shortly thereafter.

Another example, I suppose, of Scotte's "in-your-face" spirit is the fact that he's willed his earthly remains to UAB for their use in medical research.

I'd say his body may have been way out of whack, of late, but his head was most assuredly on straight.

The following is an Acrostic poem I wrote in Scotte's memory. If you'll note, the first letters of each line spell out his name; the poem is, thus, uniquely Scotte's.


Scott carved out a niche in our hearts and moved in
Cancer came with him, and though it may win
One battle, the war has already been won
The next voice he heard surely being “Well Done”
The travails of this life have been left far behind
Even though we on this earth may now find
Hearts full of pain .. but yet with a measure
Of knowing, though gone, that he still is our treasure
Days filled with pain could not conquer his soul
Encouraging, depending on Jesus’ control
Loving, yet leaving us, all the more whole.

Scotte: I'll see you later, friend.


At 12:12 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Chandra said...

I pray that his family is as blessed as we have been by the gift of your poetry that you share. We still have ours hanging on a wall in our house so we can remember our dear friend. I'm sorry for your loss and I know that you have been a comfort to him in his time of need. I pray that you have that comfort in your time of grief now as you await your reunion with your friend. (may it be a long wait!)

At 12:49 PM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks so much, Chandra. This one was pretty tough, indeed.

At 9:44 PM, January 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob: I am sorry for your loss. I am praying to God for comfort.

At 6:37 PM, January 11, 2009, Blogger Denise said...

Bob, I can tell that this man meant a lot to you even though you were not friends for a really long time. But Christian brothers and sisters are special no matter how long we've known each other or met. I feel that way about you and Debbie and a few others I've met on"line". Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers as is his family. I'm sure they'll be very blessed by your poem as I was by one you shared with me. God bless, Love in HIM, Denise

At 12:04 PM, January 14, 2009, Blogger foolery said...

This will mean so much to his family. I'm so sorry for your loss of a friend, Bob.

At 9:57 PM, January 14, 2009, Blogger tj said...

...I am so sorry to hear of your personal battle with your illness and also the loss of your friend. I'm sure he felt blessed to have known you as I'm sure you have lifted his spirits on many a day. You have that gift you know... :o)

...What a lovely poem too. I just want you to know that you're in my thoughts and prayers Bob...

...Many blessings...

At 10:17 PM, January 14, 2009, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...


Thanks so much.

A couple days after Scotte's death, I got a note from Viva. She said, referring to the two visits with Scotte, how thrilled he had been to have met one of his "blogging buddies". Such a humbling thought; that a simple visit or two might be thrilling to someone in the midst of such a battle.

I constantly harangue my SS class about the value of encouragement, and will, in fact, post about the spiritual aspects of that, tomorrow.


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