Tuesday, April 29, 2008


His last Peru trip.


The end of the school year is near for most. Yesterday, Whitney received official word that she had been accepted into the University of Texas, Arlington's Nursing program! WooHoo!

She has been studying there for a semester, and went through the formal application process. She has been checking the mailbox daily awaiting word, and it has finally arrived!

The end of the year means an increase in mail, when you work with students. There are many graduation announcements. It is exciting to see that those who have been working hard have finally reached this point.

This year is a bit different. This year, BJ's graduating class will walk.

As we receive these announcements, it cannot help but bring the question to mind of what might have been. I suppose it is inevitable.

It stirs and moves a place in us that perhaps we visit less frequently. We understand what happened, and have seen God be glorified through it. We are thankful for that. We also, wonder what he would have looked like today. Two and a half years older, wiser, and ready to graduate.

I would have enjoyed that day. I would love to watch him in his cap and gown, walking the platform to receive his diploma. His head filled with hopes and dreams for the future. His desires reflecting God's call on his life.

That would have been a good day.

This past weekend, we watched our nephew get married. How sacred the union between a man and a woman that God has brought together. It was a beautiful wedding, and we enjoyed being there.

I will confess to you that I found it very difficult. I did not expect this at all. I expected to be thrilled for Derek and to celebrate with them. We did do that, but I found myself on edge.

Somehow, I seemed to be watching the blessed event unfold through eyes I wanted to pluck out. I was thrilled for Derek and Audrey, but very sad within my own heart.

Suddenly, I rushed forward in time to Whitney's upcoming wedding. BJ would not be a physical part of it. It felt so unfair. It seemed each part of the wedding brought on a new emotion. I knew how excited he would be for her, and how much he would enjoy celebrating that event. We will too.

I guess it's hard to think of what might have been.

I didn't set out with that plan. It spontaneously happens when you are passing through life's events, and you miss a loved one.

I ached for my bride as I watched the groom dance with his mother. Tears spilled down Deanna's face as she longed for it as well. She decidely rose from her seat to stave off the flow and went to dance with him herself. I was proud of her.

I was proud of my daughters who responded immediately to a call from the groom that he and his groomsmen did not know how to put on their butoniere's. They immediately headed off to the rescue.

I am proud of my son. He will never reach these landmark moments in life, but the ones he did reach have had a deep impact on our world. Still, I would have loved to have been at those events on his behalf.

This year, I will celebrate in my own way. I have been afforded the privilege of speaking at a graduation in a couple of weeks. I look forward to that. I may also be able to attend a few others.

I will always be mindful of how precious his life was, and thankful for each day I still get. I miss him a great deal. I could sure use one of his hugs!

Until the day I get to be reunited with him, I will enjoy celebrating with his peers. Each one of their lives count for Christ as well. Sometimes, they just need to be reminded.

dad

9 Comments:

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent and Deanna, BJ's life was exactly as it should have been, and his loss is so great. Yet, God fills your lives with opportunities to add to the Kingdom many more children of God! The family grows and strengthens in Him with each life touched by BJ's life, short and passionate and powerful as it was! Glory be to God!

 
At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear friend,

Over many miles the Lord brings us ever close at heart with your blog! I will tell you that I have REALLY been struggling lately with my Gramma's death ... which came just a few months before BJ's passing. Suffering through the loss of my Gramma made me able to touch just an ounce of your pain and be comforted along with you. I miss her more EVERY SINGLE DAY ... because of those same thoughts ... she will miss my wedding day, she won't see my kids, I can't hear her voice anymore! Man - it hurts!

I would have never moved from San Diego to Colorado if she were still here because I was too scared to leave her. I feel almost guilty to say that ... to say that My Gramma's death gave me the courage to follow my dreams, because I would give it all up just to have one moment back with her. I am really struggling to find a balance between missing her and REALLY thanking God with a whole heart for her life and her DEATH!

I love you guys and I lift you up! Although you may never know the impact, thank you for being a part of my heart and an encouragement in my walk!

By His grace,

Miss Laurel Lynn <><
Greeley, CO
laurelm79@yahoo.com

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Alyson :D said...

BJ and I were born only a few months apart. I was thinking about this topic as I read the book and today as I prepare to graduate in a few weeks. I can't imagine what you and your family are going through.

I pray for y'all daily. That you will continue to rest in Christ and His comfort. And that even when it seems like such a stretch, that He will be your support!

Your little sister in Him

 
At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

 
At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We would love to have you attend the graduation ceremony at Monrovia. We are honoring BJ as well as Brianne (the girl who died a our freshman year). It would be an honor to have you there.

 
At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, I know that this is a season of "firsts" for you and that you will be hurting even as you celebrate with friends and acquaintances. I pray that the Lord will continue to strengthen you, Deanna and the girls.

Brad

 
At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This brought tears to me eyes. God actually put you on my heart recently, that is one of the reasons why I e-mailed you recently. I cannot even fathom the feelings, emotions, and even the pain that is caused by the smallest things. It is so great of you guys to rejoice for what BJ did while living on earth and what he has left behind but it is understandable to write posts like this where you wonder what would have been or could have been.
Know that you and your family are in my prayers. I am touched deeply by this post and know that even though BJ is not here to graduate, his life forever lives on in your hearts and the hearts of all of the people who have been touched by his story, his love for the Lord, his passion for the lost.
Take care and God bless! --Rita Lee

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

Wordless, but still on my knees.

We love you.
Tammy

 
At 3:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Kristie. I started your book yesterday,and finished it today. I have 5 daughters. You are scheduled to speak at my oldest daughters graduation at Ridgefield Christian school on May 17th. How awesome it must feel that your son achieved the ultimate in such a short time here on earth. I am sure God did look at BJ,and say "well done my good and faithful servant". I have thought about BJ all day..wondering what work God has him doing right now.Thank you to your family for sharing your son and his faith. My family is Catholic,and I was moved by the yearning that your son had to unify Gods church here on earth.There are only 2 Catholic families at Ridgefield,and I also feel a yearning for all Christians to focus on what we have in common..the love of Christ. May you and your family have the peace that surpasses all understanding. Love in Christ, Kristie

 

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