“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12
I was inclined to skip posting today, the second anniversary of Becky’s accident and death. But I realize a time of introspection and acknowledgement is a worthwhile exercise. I also realize that I dwell in a new land … the land of ‘buts’. Nearly every statement I make or think related to Becky has a ‘but’ in the middle.
I still miss Becky so incredibly much. I suspect none of us who loved her and knew her will ever have the luxury of not missing her. It is simply a fact of life that we hurt over her absence. At times the hurt is on the surface and at times subterranean, in any case, it is always there. And now I insert the ‘but’- BUT the new normal is pretty firmly and happily in place. It was so wonderful to have Jacob, Cheryl and various of their kids over for Christmas. Jacob and Cheryl were clearly happy. The girls are blossoming in this new home and obviously love Cheryl. Theirs is a normal home with normal sibling rivalries and fun times. It is sweet to watch and participate in. We laughed and loved and experienced joy this Christmas. It was good.
Because I see the health and happiness of this new home my inner wish to have Becky back is dulled a bit. I still wish her here and at times think about what that would look like. I can picture her as a practicing pharmacist likely in a hospital somewhere, having completed an in-hospital residency last summer. Becky and Jacob would be working at paying off pretty mountainous school bills. It is hard to know where the Coons would be living, because they might have moved for Becky’s career and Jacob might be back in school. Life for Jacob, the girls and us would be entirely different. The sweetness at the foundation of the life that could’ve been is a return to the innocent security of a life uninterrupted by the pain of death.
BUT I see growth through this loss and the healing that has followed. For me, my faith has grown exponentially. I’ve learned to trust God’s provision and purposes in a very deep way. As life happens it can sometimes seem that circumstances are designed to destroy us and beat us down. But as we choose to walk into each day, looking to the Lord, waiting on His provision, letting Him reveal the full picture, He always helps. His help ranges from very direct physical, spiritual, and emotional provision to His people supporting our grief and healing. He is our rock of help. He helps.
For the girls my prayer is that the statements they heard early on will somehow be a foundation for their souls. They heard that in time they would be OK. That the people who loved them before Becky died would still love them after and be there for them. That God would take care of them and life and happiness would happen for them again. All of this has proven true. It doesn’t do away with the experience and the pain, but it shows that even in experiencing the worst fear a child can imagine God is our help. Now they see their Dad experiencing his second happy marriage to a woman who loves them and whom they love. There is a richness here … the blessing of God.
Two years ago it felt like life stopped. The life Jacob and the girls knew shattered into a million pieces that could never again be put together in the same way. But God took those pieces and also pieces from Cheryl’s broken life and made a beautiful mosaic that is lovely to see. We all still love and miss Becky. If I lived in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book and could open the page that lets us keep Becky and go forward from there, never knowing what I now know, I would do that. But the adventure was chosen for us so instead I look forward to the day when we see the Lord and then have the most amazing family reunion ever! Brown’s and Lee’s and William’s and Coon’s and Anderton’s and BECKY! … what a day that will be!