Monday, November 8, 2010

Remembering Brittney~

A year ago today- November 8, 2009, an unexpected turn of events occurred and my sister's only child (my niece), was called home to be with Jesus.

Today, on the anniversary of her "Birthday into Heaven", we celebrate Britt and her memory here on earth. As a memorial to honor her, my family and I placed a cross by the side of the road where the car accident happened that took Britt's life. We let off a single red heart balloon to float to the heavens as a way to let Brittney know we love her and miss her. As the balloon quickly floated away, Jessie and Joe yelled, "we love you, Brittney"! The balloon went so fast to the sky we almost didn't get a photo (as if Brittney was grabbing it to let us know her presence with us).











As today marks the one year anniversary of Britt leaving this earth, I take time to reflect...

I think about my sister, Traci and Brittney moving to Corpus Christi at the end of July (2009) for Traci to start a new teaching job at Calallen Middle School. Traci had some situations occur that inspired her to move from Washington state to pursue new opportunities in Texas. Traci began her new job and Brittney started Calallen High in August. Britt would catch up on lost academics from her Junior year in Kelso, WA and graduate on time in Texas at the end of the school year 2010. Britt had got behind on her school credits when she had back surgery for scoliosis. After the surgery, she went through a rough and painful recovery (physically and emotionally), missing many days of school...

I think about how Brittney resented the move to Texas at first, but was getting adjusted and beginning to enjoy their new adventure in a new place. She was making good grades in school, meeting new friends, attending a new church (Bay Area Fellowship), getting to know her cousins better (my 4 kids), and drawing closer to her mom- a relationship that had been strained over the past couple years...

I think about Brittney's boyfriend Sean moving to Texas (in late August), how it was just what she needed at that very moment. After his arrival, all started to fall into place for Brittney...

I think about Ryan (Traci's husband, Britt's dad) and his trip to Texas to bring a load of belongings before his move. Although he didn't like the state, I believe everything happened the way God intended... he was reluctantly taking his time to square things up in Washington to move down south himself to join his family at a later time (a move that ultimately would not happen- all God's plan)...

I think about how over the month of October, when ever I saw Brittney, she had a countenance that was that of inner joy... she smiled more... she laughed more... she seemed real happy... it was an attitude I now saw in Brittney I hadn't seen in a long while...

I think about how after the car accident that took Britt's life, neither Traci or Sean could bring themselves to to stay in Corpus Christi; Ryan hadn't made it down to this point and chose to stay in WA state; losing Britt and the memories connected to Corpus Christi were all too painful for all three of them to be here (in Texas). Traci moved back to Washington state to join her husband (leaving her new job), and by God's grace found a long term substituting position in the Tacoma area to finish off the 2009/2010 school year...

I think about how this past spring, after applying to a number of schools in WA, God provided her the perfect position. She was offered what she considers to be her dream job- a High School English Teacher (11 & 12 grades) in Eatonville, WA. It's just what she needed to be close to this age group of children to keep Britt's memory alive and feel close to her as she teaches and mentors 16-18 year old youth. God knew what He was doing to provide her this job to help her heal; He IS for ever faithful!

I think about how Traci and Ryan have drawn closer through this time of losing their only daughter. God has been ever present in working to heal Traci and Ryan's hearts through this past year...

I think about the whole string of events, how everything fell in place for Traci and Britt to move to Texas... the mended relationship between Traci and Britt after the move...

I think about the last words Britt said to her mom were, "I love you, mom" before she left the apartment...

I think about Traci and Britt attending a new church together and both of them getting to know Jesus in a deeper way (in such a short time)...

I think about how God always has a bigger and better plan for us than we could ever imagine... I still don't understand why He called Britt home at such an early age and so soon after the move to Texas (only three months), but I know His ways are always right even when they don't make sense to us...

I think about how my sister tapped into a supernatural strength to get herself through every minute of everyday with such a great loss on her heart, and has been an inspiration to many as she seeks the Lord for her strength...

I think about Ryan and all he has gone through in questioning the "whys" of Brittney not being with us any more... the heart ache and different emotions he is going through that only God can comfort and answer.

We all miss Brittney and I personally think of her almost everyday. I know for a fact, Traci and Ryan think of her multiple times a day. As long as they are on earth, they will have an empty place in their lives that was filled by Britt.

As I think about Brittney leaving us; I'm sad, yet I celebrate. Celebrate, because for those who have Jesus in their heart- which she did- when it's over (on earth), it's really "not over", but just beginning! The life she's living RIGHT NOW is what living is all about!

I think about Brittney hanging out with Jesus and our loved ones who have gone home ahead of her and after her... how she is watching down on us from heaven excited to see us all again someday, wanting to give us a tour of "her new home" ... Until that day, we hold her close in our hearts and memories until the time when we join her at home in heaven.

We love you, Britt!

Dec. 17, 1991 - Nov. 8, 2009

6 comments:

Traci Eccles said...

Simply beautiful! God blesses me every day...today it was through your heartfelt words. Thank you guys for the tribute on Northwest Blvd. I know Britt was there with you...smiling.

Alene said...

Thank you for sharing. I have a very large family and we have lost many young cousins at an early age. My heart aches for you. Love ya girl!

sister sheri said...

Celebrating her life with you today. Thank you for sharing your memories.

Color me blingy! said...

What a beautiful tribute to such a wonderful young woman. Yes, He knows the "whys" and the "how comes" as well. Praying for your family at this time as you remember your precious niece and all that she meant to you.

Anonymous said...

I came visiting and read your wonderful tribute to Brttney. You Teri are a blessing to your family.

Love Aunt Betty

Terry @ La Bella Vie said...

This is so beautiful. Though I never had the opportunity to know Brittney, one thing I know for sure is the love of her family is amazing! I only hope someday I get a chance to meet all of you...
Terry