Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Travelin' Soldier

"...I guess we are all one phone call from our knees..."  Benny died on April 19, 2013.  I got a phone call from his mom, Brenda, on that blustery Chicago morning. The horrific information she had to share would send me straight to my knees.Truth be told I am still there. I'll never forget her trembling voice and the harsh words she spoke.."Benny is gone." She said them through her tears and disbelief. He was gone forever. All at once, my heart shattered, my eyes blurred with tears, and my mind raced with questions.  How? When? The most tormenting of all. WHY? 

The last question, why, still haunts me as I walk this lonesome road of loss and despair. Grief S.U.C.K.S. There is no way around it. When someone you love dies, a piece of you dies, too. The heart aches because it must now beat without all of its parts. No remedies for a broken heart. I wish there was some way to drown out the deafening silence of such a profound loss  What I wouldn't give for one more story, hear one more sweet laugh, or see that beautiful smile, just one more time. I miss you, Elvis. The only way to survive is to pray,cry, and cuddle up with a USMC pillow pet when this all seems to be too much to handle. 

If I told you Benny fought harder than anyone I have even seen fight, it would be an understatement. Benny's bravery and determination will always be in a league of its own, in my mind. He was a Marine. He was a fighter.  I was able to witness first hand his unwavering bravery. Ben made his way through insurmountable odds and physical pain that few can even comprehend. The GBS ravaged his body but not his spirit. 

His mom stayed by his side everyday with steadfast loyalty. I watched as she would graciously tackle whatever daunting tasks each day brought. She did it all, from brushing his teeth, to documenting this journey on his FB page. ( Brenda kept up pound for pound with the doctors.No MD initials can ever replace a mother's love. They had their fancy degrees and books smarts. However, it was no match for the wit and wisdom that she is blessed with.  Never in all of my life have I ever seen such tenderness and courage in one person. God gave her strength for all she had to endure day after day. Benny always asked "where is mom?" Every. Single. Time. I came in the room. That was always  his first question. Blessed me to always answer that she was on her way without fail. Come rain or come shine. In those early days of his illness all he knew was that his mama would never leave his side. She traveled all over this country to be her son's side. I believe they pulled from each other's love. Even when a mama pokes, prods, and asks too many questions. There is just nothing like your mother's love. 

The days have passed very slowly since Benny died. It's hell when I think off all he didn't get to do and see. He came so far and yet he still had so much that needed to be done. Ben and I were going to ride the CTA. (Chicago train) His job was to tell me how fast it went. Sometimes just hearing the freaking thing floods my eyes with tears. I am made painfully aware he will never get to ride it. This is a dark part of life for all of those that loved him. The grueling task of carrying on without him here sucks.  I do not believe this was all for not though. Even when that feeling is ever present.. His story reached thousands of people across the globe. Pastor Chad said that we are all used for God's glory. This means even when it hurts.  I do believe, with all of the pieces of my heart,  that something good will come out of all this.  However, it doesn't ease the sorrow and suffering. It's always a blessing to read his page that was filled with prayers, wisdom and encouragement. So many people came along on this journey of healing that ended up being his journey home. 

I haven't blogged in months.Nothing to really say until now. Just getting my thoughts out. I miss my Elvis. He was many things to many people. He was a friend that I was able to walk beside on his journey to the sky. He is in Heaven . One day I will see him again. What a hope we have. Keep his family in your hearts and prayers. They walk this lonely and painful road of life without their Benny. I believe there is nothing more heartbreaking than attending your own child's funeral.

 I am so thankful I have amazing people in my life that have prayed for me and cried with me. They have fulfilled the law of Christ by helping me walk this road. 

The measure of a man is what he leaves behind. You left your mark on this heart of mine, Benny. Your story lives on in those of us that love you. We will tell the world. Your light and laughter will sustain us for the days ahead. I miss you, everyday. I love you. Thank you for letting me walk along beside you. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. The last thing I said to you was that I would miss you. I do.I will for days I do not have you near. 

Those we love don't go away. They walk beside us, everyday. Unseen, Unheard, but always near. Still loved, still missed, and held so dear. <3

1 comment:

Jill said...

Beautiful post, Steph! I've missed your blogging :)