They say all good things come to an end but God things never end
It started off as just a trip to the city. Hoyt and Mary beginning what would become an adventure together of God proportions. They decided they would get married when they got to the city. The birth of a relationship that would show whatever these two set their minds to they would do. Hoyt knew the value of a great woman quickly. He was not old enough to buy the marriage license so Mary stepped in and bought it to make them official. They eloped and began a life together. A life that would show the real meaning of true love to their family, their children, and everyone they came in contact with. Next week will make 59 years of the adventures of Hoyt and Mary. Hoyt moved on to heaven this morning, May 19th, around 11:20 am. They say all good things must come to an end. But, Hoyt and Mary were a God thing. God things never end.
Hoyt and Mary became friends of my family when we moved to Broken Arrow, OK when I was going into the 3rd grade. My father had become the minister of music and youth at Arrow Heights Baptist Church where they attended. They would keep me at times when my parents would be out of town. They would come to have a huge impact on my life then and now. Hoyt and Mary were both school teachers in the Tulsa Public School system. I began my first year there this year and they were two of my biggest supporters. They always gave of themselves to their students, their church family, they were tireless angels directly from Heaven.
They even had a hand in me being named, “Dip of the Week”
Mary was always one of the cooks at our summer church camp. Her son Preston was older than me so I definitely wanted to imitate him. One year at church camp Preston offered me chewing tobacco and wanting to be cool like him I did not refuse. I asked Preston how I was suppose to get rid of it when I was finished. He calmly said, you swallow it. So I did! I laid in bed rest of the day and had never been so sick. The last night we were at camp they gave out awards. I was awarded Dip of the Week. The adventures of Hoyt and Mary again touching my life. Down the road it would not be with a can of skoal but with grace in such a profound way.
In my first year of sobriety I struggled, as the Big Book describes, with trying to let God’s will replace my own. I made some decisions that I thought were of God but were really just me seeing what I wanted and meshing God into it. I quit my teaching job in Yukon to move and pursue the recovery ministry. I knew I had a purpose but instead of letting God and His will take its course I made my own way. I feel flat on my face and my only choice was to come home to Broken Arrow, OK. The prodigal son returning home after leaving in 1986. I came with my tail between my legs, a few hundred dollars, and a suitcase.
Once again the adventures of Hoyt and Mary would touch my life
The first few weeks I stayed with family. They did not have the space for a long term stay. They also did not want to enable me. Even though I was sober they knew I had to be pushed to get back on my feet. I was looking for work, staying in my car a few nights, living in AA meetings, wondering what in the world happened. I thought God’s will had failed me but it was really my own will who had failed God. Then the adventures of Hoyt and Mary would once again touch my life.
They contacted my mother and offered me a place to stay. I was hesitant with pride and did not want to impose but reluctantly accepted their offer. Right away they treated me as if I was their own son. We would sit and talk for hours. They gave me guidance and support in a godly way. Hoyt would share his own stories with me about life and his struggles and how he overcame them. God placed them in my life as a child and returned them in a time of great need. But I was not an isolated case, I was not special. Hoyt and Mary did this their whole life to anyone they came across in need.
Hoyt was not doing well this past year. He had seizures and a hard time getting around. I came back to their house one afternoon and Mary asked me to go by one of their friends to check on Hoyt. He had gone over to help another man whose wife was very ill with cancer. I pulled into their drive and there was Hoyt running a roto-tiller in their front flower beds. Or I should say the rot0-tiller was running him. Even in poor health he was out risking chopping off a foot to help others. That is Hoyt and Mary. Always giving of their time and resources. Always showing what God’s love looks like in the flesh.
She did not blame or curse God, she praised HIM
We are to love a spouse the way God loves us. If you were lucky enough to know Hoyt and Mary then you saw that firsthand. Even on the night before Hoyt’s death the essence of their relationship was on display. With Mary never leaving his side she let everyone know how blessed and at peace they were. She did not blame or curse God, she praised Him. That moment showed me that no matter what I face, my perspective needs to be like Jesus. They say that all good things must come to end. Hoyt and Mary were not good, they were great. They were God like. Their marriage, love, and legacy will be eternal. Because my friends, God things never end!