Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I have had the privilege of spending some time with Danielle, the young lady I wrote about last Friday. We sat in BJ's old room, her new room laughing and crying together over our memories with him. Those we remember, and those we try hard to, but cannot.

Today she brought me a writing she did for one of her classes last December. I know you will understand and sympathize with her pain as you read from her heart. She has graciously allowed me to share it with you.

"Throughout the past two months, I feel like I have been trapped in the deep, fiery pits of hell. Telephone calls piercing the night at three in the morning, emotional highs soaring up, then plummeting down, and the promise that hope, prayer and simple faith will heal his body and restore all sense of life. My best friend, BJ Higgins died last night.

As my father drove our family to the church the day of visiting hours, my emotions raced so fast through my head, they made the passing buildings look like snails. I had never experienced these emotions of deep pain that ripped my heart apart, and the emptiness that engulfed my soul, telling me I am all alone in this pitiful, immoral, disgusting world. Why? Why BJ? Why now? My mind screamed, "Why did he have to die?" I am so confused on what is happening and I don't understand why the world is still going about its daily routine. Do they not understand what has just happened?

As I walk into the sanctuary, in my neatly pressed jeans, with a bright pink tee-shirt with BJ's name on it, I notice all the pictures of his life hung on the walls and lying around on tables. Every moment seemed to be captured. My heart softens and melts a little as I remember all of the happy memories we had shared. I only wish I had more memories of him, more time, to have spent with him. The reality had not hit yet. To me he was still alive and well.

Hatred instantly bursts from my soul as I look up and see the Higgins family, standing in the front of the room, shaking hands and receiving hugs, trying to maintain a joyous composure. There is a slight sense of guilt, for the hatred is not toward the family, but toward God. The air becomes heavily weighted with every step I take forward. My breath is caught in my chest and I can't breathe, my pounding heart stops beating.

I can't speak. My eyes search frantically over Mr. Higgins' face trying to find any words to say, or maybe I'm just trying to find recognition of the feeling overflowing my soul. He reaches out, tenderly touches my hands, and pulls me close for a hug into which I crumble. My legs buckle and I can barely stand up straight, my body heaving as I try to breathe through my uncontrollable sobbing. Tears streaming down my face, I'm praying to God that he will never let me go. Slowly Mr. Higgins breaks the embrace and I step back and look up into his eyes. Staring directly back into mine, he whispers, "He was in love with you, he loved you with all of his heart." The millions of pieces that my broken heart was torn into, shredded into even smaller pieces.

My mother catches me as I collapse to the floor, in another rage of sobbing and crying. My shoulders ache from shaking and my shirt is soaked from the tears and sweat flooding down, swallowing up every little pink cotton fiber. A few thoughts are running slow enough through my mind that they register and I can understand. I wish I could bash my head against a pew, pierce a knife through my heart, or hang myself from the ceiling; anything that could end this life of misery.

My father walks over, gently lifts me up, and begins carrying me to the door. "I think she's been through enough," he says to my mother softly. I glance up one last time to look around at the pictures and my eyes fall onto a particular one. BJ and I are standing together, laughing so hard we were almost in tears, on our skis at Snow Blast eight months earlier. A small smile creeps onto my face as I remember the fun we had that weekend skiing and I'm amazed at how well the picture captured the love and life brilliantly glowing on our faces.

It has been two months since that joyous day of celebrating a new life with Christ, but the haunting emptiness of my missing friend still remains. Life is so unimaginably short, it needs to be lived to the fullest each and every day. A precious gift that I took for granted will never be taken advantage of again. I will never forget the impact of BJ's life.


Her writing warms my own heart. I remember vividly how he cared. Danielle also handed me another gift. A bookmark that had a poem about the importance of "hugs."

I agree. I need them. So does she. Danielle, you have blessed me, and I will miss you.

Our belongings are being loaded onto the truck, and shortly I will head to Tulsa. My brother Brad is coming along and flying home later. Deanna and the girls I leave behind for a time. I will see you soon! I will see all of you soon!

Deep breath, gulp, it's time to go. Tulsa, Awe Star, I am on my way. Thank you Lord God, for Your amazing provision. You are my King!

dad

25 Comments:

At 6:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you as you travel today to your new home.

You will be greatly missed here in Indiana!!

 
At 6:54 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Danielle, God bless the friendship and love you showed BJ while he was here and since he has left. Your words bring me to tears as no girl your age should have to feel that pain and heart break yet.

Brent and Brad, safe travels for you, enjoy this time together.

 
At 7:44 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Vaya con Dios. We know you are.

Loving you much and praying more--see you in Tulsa one day!

Tom, Marti and ALL the Piepers
Charleston, South Carolina

 
At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful memoir!

I am praying your travels are safe!!
Debbie
Florence, KY

 
At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Through many tears we bid you safe travel, May God guide you and protect you, May he be gracious to you.
John & Jeannie

 
At 9:21 AM, Blogger Lattany said...

Your wreckless abandonment is inspiring. Safe travels.

I had a stop in Tulsa, this past week, on my way back from a missions trip in Mexico and thought of you all. I've been anxious to return home and read your updates.

In grace,

Lattany
Fairfax, VA., USA

 
At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, Deanna,
I prayed for you and your family this morning as I went to work. I prayed for each of you to have a safe Journey. Though your journeys go in different directions for the time being, they will be on the same path again, soon. I will miss you all, but know that me and my families thoughts and prayers and HUGS are always with you.
May God Bless you and keep you Safe.
We all Love You, and will All Miss You.
Love, Your Friend,
Matt

 
At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

My prayers have been with all of you during this transition time. Brent, safe travels today for you and Brad. I can see why Danielle and BJ hit it off so well, they both express themselves in words way beyond their years. God, cover the Higgins family in your peace and love today. Comfort Danielle as she continues to struggle with the overwhelming emotions of missing a close, trusted friend, and as she and her family adjust to their new surroundings and the memories that in itself will stir up. Amen.
Blessings, Tina

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Wow! I wasn't prepared for the emotions to soar and the tears to flow like they are right now. I guess through Danielle's writing I am reliving it all over again.
Brent and Brad you are so much in our prayers for safety in travel and for the new beginnings for all of you.
Deanna, Lauren and Whitney I pray the time goes quickly until you are all together again and on your way to Africa. Whitney, I know you have another adventure before Africa and Pray it goes well also.
To the family moving into your home and Danielle, I pray the memories will be a blessing.
Love,
Aunt Maralyn

 
At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent,
I cannot tell you how much I am going to miss you!! I do pray that you will come back to visit!! You have been such a wonderful inspiration to me and there will always be a place for you in my heart. I love you as though you were my own father and I will miss you more than you know!

Danielle,
I cannot imagine going through that loss at such an young age (I say that and I am only 21 myself). I lost a good friend when I was 16 and it was so hard, I went through some of the same emotions that you did, but we didn't share the love that you and BJ did. I have my own love (Clyde) and I cannot imagine what life would be like if I were to lose him. I pray that you have renewed strength and that God continues to lift you up and hold you. The important thing to remember is not the loss of BJ but the memories and life lessons that BJ taught you and shared with you. He will always be a part of you, a part of your heart, and that is something that no one can take away from you!
God Bless,
Allison Quinn
Bloomington & Martinsville, Indiana

 
At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

praying for you danielle!!

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger LisaTeegarden said...

I too stood here and cried this morning at how well Danielle put her feelings into word pictures. I too relived some things. Danielle, you are trully a beautiful person, inside and out and I pray that God will continue to work in your life, and bring someone into it someday who will love you as much as Beej did. I'm so glad you have his room...it's a very Holy place, it feels that way. Brothers I pray for your safe journey to Tulsa. My heart is sad, and happy at the same time. Brent, I know you are where God wants you to be. Deanna,Lauren, Whitney, I continue to pray for you's. Love you all, Lisa (sis)

 
At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danielle- My thoughts and prayers are with you and know that you have been a true blessing to B.J.'s family and this blog family. Please keep us posted as to what is going on with you.

 
At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Wendi said...

Just wanted you guys to know that I have prayed for you and your family everyday since bj went into the hosptal! I went to peru with him in the summer of 05 and he was amazing and he taught me so much that thereis no way i could explain it! You guys are so amazing and I just wanted to let you know that even though i have only met you once, i feel that i know you like ive know you forever! I hope you guys have a great move! And i know you two will do amazing things for God wherever he puts you!

 
At 4:24 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

Dad-

I'm so praying for you! i know this move is going to be huge. The Lord is going to do marvelous things!

Thank you Danielle for sharing!

~kristin

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger Ashley Reagan said...

I wonder how many letters are out there like Danielle's. I know I have one similar.

Dad, Have a safe trip up hear!
Mom and sisters, stay strong!
I love you all!

 
At 4:24 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

Dad-

I'm so praying for you! i know this move is going to be huge. The Lord is going to do marvelous things!

Thank you Danielle for sharing!

~kristin

 
At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

Danielle, may God continue to bless you and your life. You are an awesome writer, as BJ was....tears streaming down my face.

Brent, may God hold you close as you begin your new journey, walk in faith, and unlike Abram, don't turn away even when times get tough. As you well know, that is God testing your faith, which we all know is so strong!

Safe trip and write soon!

Linda Anderson

 
At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Pat Davila said...

Just got caught up with your blogs. My 95 year old grandmother had to move in with me and life is no longer the same. I just wanted you to know we are praying for your family and the new journey God is sending you on. I pray you will continue to blog, your family has become apart of us. Blessings to you all and thank you for your strength.

Pat Davila

 
At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God be with you and your family as you begin a new journey!

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Kevin
Canada

 
At 8:51 PM, Anonymous jonathan haag said...

Dear Higgins,
Praying much for you all as you embark on the journey God has put you on.

Danielle,
That writing was amazing. Oh how I remeber that day like it was yesterday. Hopefully I will see you when I am down at Highland! STAY STRONG

Much Love To You All,
Jonathan Haag

 
At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am praying for you as you continue your journey.
Much love,
A sister in Christ

 
At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Brittany Di Salvo said...

Amazing.. I don't know what else to say.

love you all, you too Danielle

 
At 12:32 AM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

Brent Deanna and Whitney and Lauren,

You have been in my thoughts and prayers thoughout these past days. Praying that the Lord would hold you all in His mighty hand, give you all peace, joy and strength to move forward on the new journey that He has for you.
The tears are still welling at Danielle's heart felt writing. We all see through her amazing use of the english language the love that she has for BJ. Danielle God bless you for your openess in your time of pain. God bless you for sharing your most private thoughts with Brent and his family and in turn blessing them.
Brent I'm late posting, but my prayers are always with you and your family, and I pray that you and Brad have reached Tulsa safely.
Deanna I pray that your time without Brent appears short, that time will fly by for you and that you will be reunited with your husband soon.
How blessed you all are, you have proven yourself so very faithful, and now God is blessing you with so much more.
May God continue to bless you in ALL that you do, may He bless your ministry abundantly, beyond all that you could even begin to imagine.

In His Love
Linda and Kevin
Shawnee


P.S. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to seek the Lord as to where we are to start the ministry that He has chosen us for.

 
At 4:04 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

BJ's life continues to move me, and inspire me......thank you for continuing to share with all of us.

God Bless You,
Cathy

 

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