NOTE: Beau passed away in a car crash on Labor Day of 2014. He was only 17 years old. As I write this, tomorrow is Labor Day, 2017. So I felt it appropriate to post this on the weekend that we commemorate and reflect on our beautiful son, Beau.
GOD’S GOOD IDEA
When I was 29 years old, Don and I had been married for four years. We moved to the Yampa Valley to a small town near Steamboat Springs. There, we had our first baby girl. We named her Brenna. A sweet bundle of joy. When we looked into her face and eyes, we saw a miracle. We saw God. His creation…so tiny and so perfect and so ours! Twenty-two months later, we had moved to Pueblo and there we had our second child. Another beauty. Another treasure. A baby girl. We named her Kendall. She was a lively bundle of fun and excitement. She also was and is perfect. With a heart the size of Jupiter, she made our hearts full.
Two years passed. We moved to Denver from Pueblo. I had settled into the idea that I was finished having children. I felt full and complete with two beautiful baby girls. I did not need another child. And I did not want another child. I told Don that we were finished. I didn’t want to go through childbirth again. I was so busy with two kids, that I knew that I could not handle another one.
But God had another idea.
One morning I woke up and felt sick and fatigued and wondered…
Sure enough, the test came out positive. And 39 weeks later, along came our Beau Matthew. Beau Matthew was a name that we picked out if Brenna had been a boy. And again, if Kendall had been a boy. So when our boy made his appearance into the world, the first thing that Don said to me was “Mama, we have our Beau Matthew.” Our hearts were full and happy that we had our boy. Our Beau Matthew.
Each time I held him and fed him and gazed down upon this little wonder, I recalled my prior sentiment. NO more kids. I am finished. And it dawned on me that he was not my idea. He was God’s Idea. And a really, really good one. I remember looking up to heaven with a grateful heart and saying, “God, what a good idea you had!” And I remember thanking him, profusely…from the depths of my soul. What a good idea this little man in my arms was. What a Good Idea, God!
I watched him grow. I watched him tumble and fall. At one point, we nicknamed him “Cowboy.” Always climbing onto everything. And falling off of things. But getting up and going again. In time, the nickname changed to “Tiger” because he was wild and silly and so much fun. Running here and there and everywhere. Trying to keep up with this little Tiger was a challenge, but a fun one. God’s Good Idea was a Tiger!
An upturned chair to me was an upturned chair. But to my little man, it was a tunnel to Neverland. It was a cave in the wild. It was a hiding place. It was fun. My “mom paradigm” had to shift, as I had never had a boy before. This little creature was foreign to me. I did not understand him. I did not understand the upturned chairs and the climbing and the untold energy inside of this little body. But what I did understand was that he was a JOY to hold and watch and raise … and love. God’s Good Idea.
As he grew older, his energy level never diminished. He had the energy of a thousand stars. We put him in every sport that we could to burn off that energy. We put him in Inline Hockey, T-ball, LaCrosse, Little League Baseball, Flag Football, Football, and Wrestling. He finally settled on wrestling. God’s Good Idea became a wrestler.
Wrestling made so much sense to me. This is what boys naturally do. Wrestle. He loved to wrestle. We spent hours and hours with him at tournaments. We loved every minute of it. From the thrill of the pin to the agony of defeat. We were with him through it all. In late January, 2014, wrestling regionals rolled around. This turned out to be Beau’s very last wrestling season, junior year. God’s Good Idea had grown into a very competitive wrestler. He had written his goals on the mirror of his bathroom. Going to the state wrestling tournament was one of his goals. He worked very hard in the weight room and on the mat to get there. Just prior to that tournament, he had been state ranked at 8th or 12th, or something like that, in his weight class. He was very proud of that. I was proud of him too. However, he was made to wrestle up at the next weight due to not making weight about a week or two earlier. We tried to pep talk him as much as we could, but we knew. The weight class was not Beau’s and sure enough, he was out after two matches. He immediately ran to me and fell into my arms … and cried and cried on my shoulder. I am here for you. I love you. I will hold you. Whether you are six or sixteen. I am with you always. Whether it is in the agony of defeat or the thrill of victory. He then found Don and fell into his arms and cried and cried. We tried to piece him back together that night. We took him for a pick me up at Old Chicago with his pal, Rylen. There he posted his first post-tourney meal on Instagram and ate it up. We dropped him off at the team hotel to be with his team. On our way home, I cried incessantly over what had happened to him. As a mom, it still hurts my heart. I will love you always. I will let you cry. I will hold you. I will support you. I will help you. I will be there for you NO matter what. I love you, God’s Good Idea.
In March of 2014. When Beau went to get his tires rotated at a local tire company, he was on his way home. One tire had evidently not been properly secured, and on his way home, it came rolling off resulting in Beau going off the road and being scared out of his wits. We were on our way home from paying for those tires, but when we got the call and on the other end heard a crying and scared boy, we immediately turned around and went to him. I hugged him as soon as we got there. He cried on my shoulder. He was scared. He was shaken. My boy. I love you. I am here for you. You are mine. I will take care of you. I will hold you. I will let you cry on my shoulder. I will stop what I am doing and I WILL be there for you. Always. You are worth it, God’s Good Idea.
Each year that Beau’s birthday rolled around, I recall a grateful heart as he blew out his candles that he was God’s Good Idea. I breathed “Thank you, God, for this good idea.” And it did not matter what age he turned, two years, five years, nine years, twelve years, fifteen or seventeen. Each time we sang Happy Birthday to him, I breathed thanks. Thanks to God, for His Good Idea.
Brenna and Kendall miss him. Don misses him. I miss him. We all want him here. Naturally. We all have questions. Simple ones, like what would his hair be like now? Who would his girlfriend be? Would he come home on Labor Day Weekend to see us? We will always just have to wonder.
It was three years, yesterday, that Beau got into that car. Three years since we have seen him face to face. Three years since we said goodbye to God’s Good Idea. I will never know why He had to take His Good Idea away from me. But one thing that I DO know, even as I write this, is he was NOT my idea. He was God’s idea. He was given to me for just seventeen years and four months to love and to hold and to nurture and comfort. But he was and STILL is God’s Idea. Not mine. It has taken me three years to relinquish my son to God. And it will take me a lifetime to continue to do so. It is the struggle of all struggles. So many kids make the same mistake but don’t pay for it with their lives. He did not want to die. I did not want him to die. God’s Good Idea…left me.
But I know. He’s not really gone. He is tucked safely in the arms of the One who even conceived of him in the first place. The One who knew the number of hairs on his head. The One who knew the exact number of days that he would live. The One whose idea he was in the first place.
I sure don’t have all the answers. I never will. But God’s Good Idea is in a safe place and I intend to see him again.