I can’t remember how long it’s been since I visited Brittany’s memorial bench. Seems like forever though. Fairly certain that it’s been close to four or five years since I traveled to Michigan. It sits outside of her high school performing arts center. She loved the arts and specifically drama.
As I walked up to it my heart sunk just a little because it was a physical reminder of her absence in my life. I looked the bench over from top to bottom and just stood back and felt blessed to have this beautiful place honor my daughter. Because there is no grave to visit, this bench became her memorial. I thank God whenever I remember the students at her school, led by her best friends, that worked to raise the money to buy the bench and have it installed.
I swiped off a small place to sit and sat down expecting to feel some sadness, but truly just feelings of pride overwhelmed me. So proud of who my daughter was to not only her family, but her friends. The bench a great testimony to how they saw her. She was truly a free spirit who loved like Jesus. Did not discriminate, showed compassion and loved life. A bright light to those who knew her. I sat on her bench and soaked all of that up all the while smiling.
Shortly after I arrived one of Brit’s friends Courtney and her mom parked in the lot and walked up to the bench to meet me. I stood up and gave her a hug, which lasted for what seems like forever. I find that when hugging her friends or spending time with them, I am spending time with Brittany. It is always a special time and one that I cherish and will forever. I am grateful that they stay in contact with me.
Stayed for about 30 minutes and talked about Brittany and the good memories and the memories of the day of her passing. Brittany’s death stunned many of her friends and her teacher. It is a testimony to the friend and student she was and as a parent, I could not be more proud.
As we celebrate Memorial Day today with our families and friends, take a moment to honor those passed and hug and cherish the people still with us. Celebrate life for it is a small moment in time that we are here. In a moment it can all change.
Until next time,