My brother, Ben, has a dangerous job. Earlier this week, he was involved in an accident at work. Ben is fine, no one was hurt. For that I’m very grateful.
Bridget called to tell us about the accident just after we put the boys to bed. For those of you who know what Ben does for a living can imagine how very, very different that conversation could have been.
I’m grateful that Ben is a perfectionist (it runs in the family). He takes his job very seriously, spending hours beyond the required studying and preparing. He beats himself up over the most minute mistake that everyone else quickly dismisses. It’s a trait that occasionally drives me nuts, especially when I get late night phone calls from my stressed out brother. (I love you Ben, keep calling!) It’s also the trait that I know kept him safe. Ben knew exactly what to do during an emergency. There is no doubt in my mind that Ben did everything in his power to ensure the safety of everyone involved before worrying about himself. That’s just who he is.
At Ben’s graduation when Bebop was 5 months old.
I’m grateful for my brother, that we have grown past our sibling bickering and become true friends. It’s been wonderful to have both been living on the East Coast for the past few years and able to make road trips to see each other several times.
I’m grateful that Ben has a relationship with my boys and spoils them at every opportunity. They love him and Bebop idolizes him. It’s likely my little adrenaline junkie may follow his uncle’s footsteps into a dangerous job, and I’m actually okay with that.
I’m grateful for his wife, Bridget, who has quickly become one of my best friends. She is a perfect partner for Ben. I love that her whole family has adopted us, and we them. I have experienced when family extends beyond bloodlines and it is a true blessing. I’ve even adopted Kristin, who is married to Bridget’s brother, and claim her as mine now too.
Kristin, Bridget and Me
But most importantly today, I’m grateful I know my brother’s heart. I know of his faith, and know his salvation is secure. He is often very quiet about his faith, but his convictions run deep and he is a true Godly man. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Ben very easily could have been killed. I am so very grateful he wasn’t.
Death is no stranger to our family, and I don’t just mean the occurrences when we’ve lost people. As a family, we have experienced death in ways and at times that have allowed us all to grow to a place where we can discuss death casually. I know that sounds a little weird, but there is great comfort in such conversations. I firmly believe death is not something to be feared. There is great fear in the process of dying, and there is great loss for those left behind. But death itself, THAT is something to look forward to. This is not the end my friends, eternal life with our Lord and Savior is the next chapter. Heaven is such that our earthly minds can’t comprehend it, and I find that quite exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no rush to get there. I have a lot I still want to do in this life!
The cousins at Mimi’s burial service.
I encourage you today to start the conversation with those you love. Know their hearts and their faith. And share yours with them. So that when death inevitability occurs, no one will be left wondering.
I’d like to stress again, Ben is okay. He appreciates everyone’s thoughts and prayers. When he is able and ready, Ben will tell the story in his own words. Until then, he would prefer to be left alone. Please respect his desire for solitude.