When my father started to sleep longer in the hospital and the doctors increasingly spoke with guarded optimism I began reaching for straws – human straws. I reached out to two younger women who had worked with my father. Henrietta Carson, who is my executive assistant, had helped my father with one of our non-profit corporations, and had a close relationship with him. Henrietta walks from our church on Warren Ave to Mack Ave, around the medical center almost every day at lunch. I asked her to stop by an see my dad, which of course she did. She told me he held her hand and let her hug him.
At the same time, I began calling Renee Baker Brundidge, who was the secretary to my father when he was on the Detroit City Council. When he retired from the City Council, Renee became my secretary and administrative assistant. Renee went with me last Friday to see my father in the hospital. In the silence of his sleep, when Renee spoke with him, he woke up and began to utter a few words. As a son, I felt like I was reaching for straws- anything and anyone who might wake my dad up.
I teased both Renee and Henrietta and made them promise that if I ever get sick, really sick, that I wanted them to visit me and wake me up. I make this request to those who are reading this post. When I become sick, I want you to visit me, hold my hand, hug me, and tell me everything will be alright.
As I think of their hospital visits, I think about the words of Jesus regarding visitation of the sick:
Matthew 25: 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
Written by the Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
Funeral arrangements for Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood Sr. –
Family visitation: Friday, April 15, 2016 from 12 noon to 8 PM at the Plymouth United Church of Christ 600 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan
Saturday, April 16, 2016 – Family hour at 1 PM
Funeral at 2 PM – Plymouth United Church of Christ
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 25:31–45). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.