It was a mild March day, drizzly with intermittent showers, when we journeyed down to Morehead, Kentucky, to see grandson Benjamin wed his Kentucky bride. It is always a bittersweet moment when we see the grandchildren reach adult status and take their place in society as married men and women. It is hard to comprehend how they could have grown up so fast. It seems only yesterday that they were tumbling in the floor like puppies. During the long drive to Morehead, my thoughts kept going back to Benji’s childhood days. I have heard it said that in a person’s final dying moments, their whole life flashes through their mind. I can’t believe that. Matthew was involved in a truck accident one time when he was hauling a load of gravel up the interstate. A larger truck in front of him with a load of sand suddenly lost an axle, which rolled across the road right in front of him. The truck overturned on its side, and Matthew swerved to avoid it.
He also turned his truck on its side, and both of the dump trucks slid up the highway for several hundred feet, scattering sand and gravel.
It was a miracle that no one was seriously inured or killed. Matthew had an abrasion and bruise on his shoulder, and the other driver fared a little worse. He was driving with his window open, and somehow got his behind caught there. He lost the seat out of his pants plus his billfold, the contents of which were scattered all over the road.
I asked Matthew later if his life flashed before this eyes, and he retorted, “Are you kidding? It happened so fast that I didn’t have time to think of anything!”
That was one more time that God was merciful and spared Matthew’s life. But I digressed there . . . It was Benji’s life that was flashing in my mind, from the time he was born up until this important moment. I was there when he made his debut into the world – a little brown-eyed, dark-haired pixie baby. I used to call him a little bright-eyed chipmunk. He was constantly in motion, a blur of baby arms and legs as he learned to crawl and walk.
Several years ago, my mother had surgery and was recuperating at home. Benji was 4 years old at the time, and he and his mother took her a bowl of freshly baked cookies. Benji sat politely for about five seconds, then announced, “I want a cookie.”
Embarrassed, his mother told him, “Hush, Benji, we brought these cookies to Mom Granny.” Undaunted, Benji repeated, “But I want a cookie!” His mother was getting red-faced. “Benji,” she said firmly, “We have cookies at home. These are Mom Granny’s cookies.” Of course, Mom gave him a cookie, which he promptly devoured, and another cookie, which he promptly devoured. His mother was quite shy and easily embarrassed, so she put the bowl of cookies up on a high shelf and went out on the porch with Mom and the baby.
In a few moments there was a terrible crash, and the bowl of cookies flew across the floor. Crumbs scattered everywhere, even under the storm door, with Benji in hot pursuit. He ate all of them, including the crumbs. All of my grandchildren are special, but Benji is very close to us. He lived with us for more than three years until he went to Springfield, Kentucky, last year to work. He had met a cute little Kentucky girl who had stolen his heart. Now we were on our way to see them take their wedding vows.
The rain stopped before the ceremony. Months of preparation had culminated to this point. The church was beautifully decorated with flowers and candles, the lovely bridesmaids and handsome groomsmen were impeccably attired. Katrina came down the aisle on her father’s arm, an exquisite blonde beauty clad in a froth of white satin and lace. As the ceremony progresses and Benji steps up beside her, I see a tall, handsome man instead of the little boy who remains in my memory. I hear them repeating the marriage vows as her father performs the ceremony, and I realize that the chapter has closed on that boyhood period of Benji’s life.
How I pray that Benji and Katrina will always make God the center of their home. A marriage may have a fairytale beginning, but it doesn’t mean “they lived happily ever after.” There will be hard places, misunderstandings and obstacles on the road to married happiness. With a genuine love for God and for one another, these things can be overcome. There is nothing more beautiful than a young couple who loves the Lord and puts their trust in Him as they begin a life together. Katrina Kegley and Benjamin Bragg have made a good start. May God bless and keep them.
Cousin Alyce Faye