Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Gift

My sister leaves today to begin her journey back to Benin, West Africa. I knew this when I went to bed last night and I was aware of it all night long, even in the deepest of sleep. Everytime I rolled over I was aware of the lump in my throat.

Yesterday the boys and I were leaving the church building after our Bible study. Benjamin's teacher had given him a cup of animal crackers for the road so I was carrying him as he ate, all of our stuff, all the while thinking about the emotional day that lay ahead. Payton had run pretty far ahead of us to open the door. When we finally got to the door we walked we passed Payton he said, "Hey mom, something is wrong with Benj." Benjamin had put his head down on my shoulder so when I dropped my stuff to hold him out and look at him I realized his color was turning and he was not breathing. There are moments when the world stops. I quickly gave him the heimlech maneuver and thankfully it worked...He was back to himself almost immediately.

I have been overwhelmed with thankfulness for Payton, the kind of brother that he is, that he notices even now when something is not right with his brother. I think back to when I was pregnant with Benjamin and feeling anxious about having 2 mom said then, "You are giving Payton a gift that will outlive you." I knew she was right for I have seen that gift in my sister and brothers.

For the past 3 weeks I have had my sister close by. I have soaked up every moment of it. She came here with her schedule packed and I made sure I was beside her for most of it. Today she boards a plane to begin her journey back to Benin. We have been putting her and her family on planes for 8 years...each time we cry, pray, embrace and cry and pray some more. Tears are the overflow of hearts full of love for these people who I am so blessed to call family.

Tony and I pray nightly that the Lord would bond our boys together with unbreakable bonds and seal them together in Christ. There is great joy in finding your best friend. To find them early, living with you in your own home, is gift only our Father can give. May the Lord be praised for the life of my sister...It is a gift to be able to spend 3 weeks solid with a person and at the end wish you had had a bit longer.


Murray & Jaime said...

Oh-Becky! I am so happy that such a rich and rare blessing was given to both you and Kelly! Your relationship is so inspiring!! I am thankful beyond belief that your family got the chance to make so many new memories with her, Tori and Timo these last few weeks. I am eagerly awaiting the time that her family returns to the States and your goodbyes will end!!

Love you!


P.S. and I am THRILLED to know that Benjamin is ok!! How scary! Way to go Payton and you!!

CNS said...

Becky, I am so blessed by the words that come from your heart!

It has been awesome for me to watch Anna Kathryn take care of her sisters and seem to have a special connection with their needs. This summer, Isabelle wandered into the swimming pool without floaties while all the adults were distracted by a project. Anna Kathryn got our attention to let us know that Isabelle was under the water. That was a little more obvious than choking, but my heart was overwhelmed realizing that AK essentially saved her sister's life because she is always looking out for her!

Siblings are such a blessing. I will say a prayer for you today as you miss your sister.

Thank you for sharing.

Sam said...
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Randy & Kelly Vaughn said...

Becky, I was crying when I read your post because the time together was truly perfect...part of the reason I am SO thrilled about our return next year is that I anticipate our involvement daily on some level in each other's lives and I can't wait. I am so thankful for evey conversation and encouraging word that we shared. And seeing our kids love and enjoy each other just puts me over the top!! I love you so much and will be anticipating all the time marking the dates on our calendar to come and pick you up at the airport in Benin for a visit!! I miss you so much glad that Tori and Timo are still hanging around making memories with you and the rest of our family on both to you soon!!

Chesley said...

I am almost in tears about your boys and you and your sister. I am so happy that you all have such special bonds with each other. I got chills reading about Payton warning you about Benjamin. That is a SUPER big brother Benjamin has! I hope Garrett gets to have little brothers or sisters someday to watch and protect.

Lindsey said...

wow this is powerful. I totally feel your pain and i totally understand how you feel. Although my family does not get to come home so often i have been blessed to go and see them. I am going in less than a month and I cant wait. my niece and nephew tell me every time i talk to them how many days until i come to see them. I get to spend 13 days with them and i cant wait. Neither can they. They tell all there friends like they know me. "did you know my aunt sissy is coming in such and such days" It is really sweet and i cherish them so much.

Anonymous said...

removed...seriously??? removed!!!

Kendra said...

Thanks for sharing, Becky - I can imagine exactly what you expressed because of my relationship with my sister. What a gift siblings can be - great prayers to be praying over our boys, as well. Thanks for the encouragement on that one! Sure do love you, and I really enjoyed being with you more the past 3 weeks as well, you introvert, you! he! (I'm still not convinced on that one. I want to see the number! ha!)

teri said...

Thanks for your sweet words - and for sharing from the heart! I, too, am anxious about getting pregnant with Baby #2 - but God led me to your blog today - and now I am at perfect peace with it. Thank you so much! I enjoy seeing your family in pictures! I must be old - because Andy and Sam are grown now!!! How did that happen???

Teri Triplett (Owens)