Thursday, April 7, 2011

Missing Benjamin

I'm going to warn you now, friends. This post is sad. I'm struggling to sort through some stuff, and needed to put this down. I don't know if it'll actually be posted, or just sent to a few friends as an email, but here goes.

The story starts glad: Once upon a time, there were 2 friends. I will save our crazy, mud-filled, belly-laughter-inducing, silly-nickname-calling, game-playing-fun for another post. But let's just say we're the bestest of friends. There are actually three of us. You've seen us before. But in case you forgot their pretty faces, here they are:
Belle (Laurie), Me (Jos), &  Bethany
I love these girls like sisters. They have been through valleys and mountaintops with me. We were all in each other's weddings, we keep in touch, we scrap together, and my brown-eyed boy calls these girls "auntie." They pray for me, they lift me up, they give me advice, and they laugh {& cry} with me. They are the best. That's why I call them my besties.

Okay - so now that the ground has been set...

{More ramblings}
In this life, sometimes things happen that just don't make sense. As we wander through this journey, we have great celebrations and terrible tragedies. We have pitfalls and great climbs.

Bethany & Ryan were anxiously awaiting the arrival of Benjamin Ryan Edgecombe, due February 21, 2011. We were all very excited {as we would be}, planning, crafting, and preparing for him. No one was preparing quite like Beth & Ry, though. Man, were they excited to be first-time parents! It was so fun to watch them in their excitement, to be excited with them, and see & hear of dreams and aspirations they had for him.

Then came January 3rd. A dreary day, to say the least, though I don't quite actually remember if it was dreary in a literal sense or not. In a sequence of events, we heard the news: Ben was gone. We didn't know what; we didn't know how; we didn't know why. One thing I did know: I had to get there. I had to be next to my sweet bestie and hold her on what was sure to be the hardest day of her life.

I don't remember very many details of that day, even though it's only been 3 months {94 days, to be exact}.
I remember how quiet the halls were in the maternity ward.
I remember the solemn faces of everyone {family, nurses, doctors, friends}.
I remember the leaf with the teardrop on the door.
I remember the look of fear on Ryan's face {as I'm sure he struggled with fears of losing both his loves}.
I remember Bethany's look in her eyes during some of those contractions - how I wanted to take the pain I wanted {more than anything} to somehow avoid the inevitable.
I remember crying {a lot...}.
I remember the anesthesiologist {who was a jerk}.
I remember a lot of waiting in the hallway after the delivery.
I remember whispers and hugs from people I now consider family.

And then, as Ryan & Bethany wanted it, the Mr. & I got to go meet Ben. I already loved him; I was practically his auntie. But seeing his perfect feet and sweet face will forever change me. He was perfect. He was sweet and whole. And he was already gone.

Seeing two people I love very much having to say "goodbye" before it was even time for "hello" will forever have an impact on me.

At first, as a by-stander, I walked around in a fog. I wanted to be with her all the time. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to shelter her. I wanted to fix the hurt. We moved through the hours and days to the funeral, one of the sweetest hours of my life. Everything about the graveside ceremony was perfect, from the weather {cold & cloudy} to the words spoken and baby's breath passed out.

Then it was finding a "new normal." And even though I am just a by-stander in this situation, there's a new normal for me, too. Situations in life shape us. And this is one that will forever be etched in my mind, heart, and life.

I was privileged to spend many hours with Beth. She spent every Friday for 6 weeks with me. We scrap-booked, cried, talked, prayed, and glued. We asked the questions Christians are afraid to ask of each other. We spoke, cried, & listened. Sometimes we didn't talk at all {aren't true friendships cool like that?}.

And now, we're supposed to "go on" with our lives....wait for God's best and His blessings to come. We are sharing laughs every now and again. We remember Benjamin always, and we are sad that he's not here with us, even though we are comforted that He's with Jesus. Today, as we remember him and the impact he will forever have, I hope he knows how much we love him. I hope he knows how much we miss him.

And I hope he's dancing with Jesus.

We miss you, Ben!

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