While sorting through things of my beloved late husband, Hank, I stumbled across what appeared to be notes he was writing for a sermon. He had titled it, “Real Men Cry, Too”. The haunting words on the paper both inspired me and broke my heart, as my children and I still grieve the loss of their father.
I showed Hank’s notes today to our son, Aaron, and he was also genuinely moved by his dad’s words. Perhaps they will affect you similarly, especially on this 4th of July weekend.
“Real Men Cry, Too” (Hand-written notes by the late Henry “Hank” Wright, shared by his widow, Becky Wright on July 3, 2022).
“The flag passes in Review and tears come to the eyes of older veterans…
It begins as young boys. We are taught, “Boys don’t cry.” Get hurt, pick yourself up and carry on. Don’t show emotions. Be tough — don’t show weakness…”
Hank’s notes continued:
“Stories — Kodiak AK — Randy …. dies drowning ____
You lose a relationship, your world falls apart….
You get fired from a job…
You lose money — lots of it …. lose status.”
Incidentally, EACH of these things actually happened to my husband, Hank — he was definitely sharing from first-hand knowledge!
His next words broke me. Stinging tears and sobs welled up from my patched-up, fragile heart.
“Lose your physical stamina ….
Your heart fails.”
As a former Navy Chaplain for almost ten years, Hank had seen — and helped many people through a lot of heartache. He’d also witnessed people suffering physical trauma and debilitating conditions.
Given the circumstances of Hank’s death, however, his seemingly prophetic words hit me quite literally.
I found these notes in the carry-on bag he took when we flew to San Antonio in October 2018 for his Navy Shipmates Reunion of the USS Seattle. He’d always wanted to attend a reunion, but other obligations precluded him going. On this tenth anniversary, I insisted that we attend — together. It was a wonderful, “mostly-romantic” time, strolling along the famous River Walk of San Antonio.
Hank was very encouraged to meet an old shipmate named Jerry, who truly looked up to his Chaplain. It made me proud and thankful (once again) for my husband’s service to God and to our country!
I’ve thanked the Lord many times for special moments such as these that our family enjoyed with Hank in the last couple of years of his earthly life.
Eight years ago today, as I write this on July 3, 2022, was one of the days I saw my husband sobbing with grief — as we all were. Our son (my beloved stepson) Jonathan, had taken his own life. Needless to say, July 4th weekend is a difficult time for our whole family every year since then. My comfort is in knowing that Jonathan and his daddy are together again, enjoying the promise of eternal life in our Lord, Jesus.
The last page of Hank’s notes read:
“Stock Market Crash of 1929.
Look for Biblical Verses”
Hank knew the truth, that “Real men DO cry” — and most certainly should cry at appropriate times. Jesus Himself wept when His friend, Lazarus died. Since whatever bible scriptures Hank would have added weren’t written on this piece of paper, I’ll share a couple he’d likely include:
Psalm 71:20 is as real as it gets! Living by faith is hard…. living with no faith is hopeless! King David suffered his share of heartache – his baby dying, and his older son betraying and even trying to kill him. But he knew that God would restore his life — his hope– again. And, He did!
That is my hope. This “real woman” certainly cries! But I cry out to Jesus — I don’t cry alone. And God keeps track of every tear!
“You have taken account of my miseries; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” Psalm 56:8
My teenage daughter and I just moved into the new house we’re building. It’s not quite finished (still waiting on cabinets, and a kitchen sink and a stove to cook with), but we’re very thankful. God sent a family with six children (5 are adopted!) to buy our former home of 18 years — a tremendous and very specific answer to many prayers! I’ll have a bigger and more functional music studio at this house, and our dogs (and we) are enjoying the peacefulness of life “in the country”.
I know Hank would love it — he always loved land, and wide-open spaces. God knew we needed this, and we give Him thanks for His provision and leading! Very soon, we plan to resume the weekly teen girls Bible & book study that we started in April, before we moved. (Currently, there are contractors working in our house almost daily, from 7 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.!) My son, Jeffery loves fishing in the pond, and already mowed a path all the way there, ha-ha! My parents are renovating the old house next door, so I’ll be able to help with my mother (who is 100% disabled) much more — a huge answer to prayer!
Our friends in India are under more pressure than ever, as the Hindu government has just passed a law that beginning in 2024, no new churches or Christian ministries will be allowed to open — only Hindu temples. We (and they) are praying for increased financial support and prayers of believers to spread the Good News of new life in Jesus to thousands more in their villages, despite the increased persecution.
Will you pray about becoming a monthly ministry partner of Becky Wright Ministries / Artists in Christian Testimony, International? I rarely mention it, but the need is great –not just what we’re doing in India, but also in the USA, Oklahoma, online with thousands of readers and those listening to my music on radio. I’m working on a new album (or two), writing new songs, and writing five books….. so much to do, so little time! Still raising a teenager, and very involved in my other children & grandchildren’s lives, of course!
Life is short. The Bible says we can’t take our “treasures” with us, but we can “send them on ahead”, investing them into God’s Kingdom work. GIVE NOW. Thank you! (You may give online securely, or mail your donation to: Becky Wright Ministries P.O. Box 116, Tahlequah, OK 74465 .)
Some dear friends of mine just opened a furniture consignment shop here in Tahlequah, OK. I’d seen this phrase before, but couldn’t resist buying the wall hanging (and wanted to help out my friends). This will hang on the wall of my new music studio:
Becky Wright is a Staff Missionary of Artists in Christian Testimony, International, a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit ministry with home offices in Brentwood/ Nashville, Tennessee. She's a mom of nine and grandmother of ten, recently widowed but never abandoned by God! She lives with her youngest child a few furry critters in rural Oklahoma, sharing the love and truth about Jesus with the world through various means, including music, blogs, radio, local church ministry, foster care/ adoption/ pro-life ministry, and international missions in India and Africa. Learn more (and get involved!) at www.beckywrightsongs.com