“But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality.”
Early on during my first semester at Notre Dame, I was summoned home to Chicago, called back to attend the funeral of my grandfather, Bill Grogan. So in some small way, I can relate to the sorrow felt by Fighting Irish freshman running back Robert Hughes, who today will be back in Chicago to attend the funeral of his older brother, Earl.
Still while my grandfather dying of a heart attack while "only" in his late 60s was sad, it in no way compares with your 24-year-old brother being shot to death in the city's North Austin neighborhood streets. Hughes was hit by the bullet at approximately 12:45 a.m. Tuesday and died shortly thereafter. Robert, whose hard-nosed running style had already brought him notice at Notre Dame, was given an indefinite leave of absence from Coach Weis. But after missing classes Tuesday, Robert immediately returned to practice Wednesday, deciding that Our Lady's University would be the best place to cope with his loss. Coach Weis personally drove Robert back to Chicago to help with family business yesterday, and assistant coaches Corwin Brown, Mike Haywood, and many of the players, will accompany him to attend his brother's funeral today.
At this writing, Robert still plans to play in Saturday's home game with Navy, as he believes this is what his brother would have wanted. Thus, it is this Suffering Irish fan's hope (also according to today's Wisdom reading) that tomorrow Robert "shall shine and dart about [the Navy defense] as sparks through stubble" (Wisdom 3:7).
Earl Hughes, Rest In Peace.
Robert Hughes, you're in our prayers.