Can’t Leave Those Hugs Behind!

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February 19, 2024

Can't Leave Those Hugs Behind

Can't Leave Those Hugs Behind!

I want to share some stories of my friend, Ellen Hetz, and her family. Ellen is now with the Lord. One of my earliest memories is of Ellen’s oldest son, Ross and my oldest son, Kevin, as they played with their little cars in our front yard. Rchel and Coreen were also playing nearby. At the time, Ron, Ellen, Chad and I were meeting about our Married Couple Club at church. The boys became good friends that day and remained friends though out their lives.

Ellen always had a hug for everyone, both young and old and a big smile. People remember her hugs!

A few years later I was the new Boy Scout Leader and Ellen began babysitting for our youngest son, Jeff, each week at her home after school. I always knew Jeff would be taken care of and loved! Ellen’s husband, Ron, was very active in the Boy Scout Group at Ascension Lutheran Church in St. Louis. I can’t remember a year that Ron did not go to Boy Scout Camp with our boys. The boys learned so much on those camping trips!

Ellen was a 2nd grade and 3rd grade teacher at Word Life Lutheran Church in South St. Louis for many years. She loved all her students and parents! Jeff, my son, was in her super 3rd grade class. She would have the students line up after school to get one of her hugs as they left school. I watched one day as Jeff decided to skip the hug…he looked at me and smiled! I didn’t know what he was up to, but I could see the twinkle in his eyes! I watched him skip the hug and then I watched him run back to the end of the line so this time he could get his hug from Mrs. Hetz. Can’t leave those hugs behind!

Ellen also taught three-year-olds in Sunday school for as long as I can remember. The children all loved her! So did the parents.

Our families stayed friends throughout the years. They were there when we lost our two sons, Kevin and Jeff. Being present in these difficult times is so important! Ellen made a telephone call to us each month for a year after our two sons passed away. What commitment! She did that for other friends too!

I was talking to my daughter today about Ellen and she said, “Mom, she was someone that really impacted my life and faith. She always had a word of encouragement for me when I saw her. Even as a child, I knew she would stop to talk with me. I know she impacted many other children, youth, and families.

Ellen and her husband, Ron, were shining lights for Christ! They passed their faith on to their children and grandchildren.

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life (John 8:12)." 

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"Give as freely as you have received." (Matthew 10:8)