Saturday, November 17, 2012
Is in my thoughts, always and forever. I know it is kind of silly, but a year later, I still find myself crying. Over really silly things that remind me of him. Like today, when I saw this (very old!) picture, and tears just started welling up. Because this is the goofy kid with the beautiful soul that I remember. The kid who never seemed to realize just how amazing he was. I feel like he is looking right at me in this picture...probably because this is an expression he gave me so many times after he said something he knew I would find shocking and irreverent.
The other day, I was reading through an old journal and I came across an entry that I truly needed to see. I had been kind of down on myself, because sometimes I feel silly that I still cry at least 3 times a week. It had been months since I'd spoken to him on the phone. Years since I'd seen him in person. And yes, I was important to him when it was us against the world in Provo for less than a year, but what if he was looking down on me and thinking, "Pull it together, woman! We barely even had a friendship anymore!" But then I saw this, and it calmed my troubled thoughts.
"17 October 2009
Text from Ben on the 14th:
'So I was feeling unusually nostalgic tonight and decided to read a bunch of old messages on myspace/facebook. I read all the goofy/heartfelt things we've sent to each other, and it made me just want to go back to 2412 Young Hall and sit on my couch with you and Kaleb and watch movies and argue with Bret and complain about classes and talk crap about [mutual acquaintances whose names have been removed...] and write in the notebook and just live. I don't want to think about what might have become of me if I hadn't met you Lauren. Thank you so much for being such an unbelievable friend to me and for all the good times we have had. I love you and miss you so very much, Squeaker, and I hope we can talk soon. (...And sorry for the novel)'"
I know that Ben probably is still shouting at me to "Pull it together, woman." But not for the reasons I was thinking. But for doubting that our friendship was (and is) a two-way street. Maybe he would shake his head and say it's all just coincidence that I read this when I felt so down, but can I just point out a few things that make me feel that there was something much greater than coincidence at work?
1. The fact that he even sent that text at all. Ben was never one to be candid with his feelings. This was a very rare occassion.
2. The fact that I wrote it down. I probably did so because like I said, Ben didn't ever say things like this, and I probably had the foresight (or more likely felt prompted) to record it.
3. The fact that I felt the need to browse through this old journal right at the time my heart was hurting so very much.
4. The fact that I felt him so close as I read those last few sentences, as if he was in the room, speaking those words right to me. I'm not one who believes in ghosts, but I most certainly believe we go on after this life, and that when we need it, Heavenly Father allows us to hear those on the other side. And maybe it's silly and maybe it's my imagination or wishful thinking or whatever you want to call it. But I believe it was a tender mercy and something I needed so very, very much. I got chills up my spine, but warmth in my heart and those words rang true.
So, I am trying to pull it together, but I am a woman who has lost someone dear to her, and a friend told me this is something that will just always hurt. Some days I am angry because of this hurt, but I am trying to overcome that and just be grateful. Grateful that I have the emotional capacity to feel this depth of pain and not let it own me. Grateful that I have had such an incredible friendship with such a remarkable person. Grateful that I have a God who loves me despite my weaknesses and so very grateful for His plan and mercy. Grateful for a husband and a beautiful daughter and a blessed life that I love so very much. And grateful for that moment of peace and comfort I had. Because one year later, I still miss this kid.