Thursday, August 30, 2012

Saying Goodbye - The Imprint We Leave

Image by Rebekah Piper

I know it has been months since I've been able to type freely.  In that my computer has been away for repairs, it is just now that I am able to borrow a laptop and put into electronic form all of the thoughts these past few months that have flowed through me from pen to paper.  Expect a flurry of blogs in the near future.  Within all of those thoughts, the most time sensitive and poignant ones come from a very recent unfolding of events.  

The life I'm about to touch on and honor with this first publication reached far and wide in her short 39 years here with us.  Rebekah Piper is a woman who first touched my life 24 years ago, over half of this 37 year old's lifetime ago when we were young, wild and free.  That's when she bounced up and down the halls of Hayfield Secondary School, early in her journey of not simply being good, but of being good for something.
Becci was by all accounts a beautiful teenager, surrounded and doted on by trusted, loyal and honest friends.  She may have been but one person in a sea of 1200+ students, being that little needle in a haystack of a student body, but people still knew who Becci was.  She had an energy and presence that preceded her even in her youth.  I was a class behind hers.  Becci was personable, always up to something interesting, full of fun times with friends and even at times a crazy and normal teenager.  This was her persona when I first knew of her and by all accounts still her persona when I'd get to know her nearly 20 years later.  We had mutual friends within the student body but weren't anything more than acquaintances during that early era of our lives.  In fact, if it hadn't been for Facebook, I'd never of know just how special she was this past year.

From August 2011 to August 2012, I got to know Becci, mother of three, a beautiful teenage girl who goes by Elly, age 17, going on 11 handsome preteen Ein and precious baby girl Amelia Grace who is closing in on  10 months of age.  Beyond motherhood she was still a sister and friend.  I remember when we first made contact, it was shortly after a hurricane had moved through her area of North Carolina.  I remember how fluid Becci was, how nothing in her life was off topic, from the simple joy of reporting things such as the weather and the cat's nasty kill offerings of devotion to tougher deeper topics such as the pregnancy progress and relationship dynamics.  What made Becci so awesome was that she just told it like it was without regretting any of it.  With one child at the Prom era of life and one on the way, it was an exciting time of change for her a year ago.   

I remember how excited we all were when her daughter Amelia Grace was born last November.  Many of us were stalking her wall for photos.  Becci wore her heart on her sleeve to her friends on Facebook, must like Becci lived her non internet life, inspiring others, making them smile, being open, honest and free.

Becci's morning Facebook posts were always full of hope, light and laughter.  I looked forward to them as did many others.  She lived her life savoring the everyday moments, something not many people do.  If you don't take the time in your life to be grateful for all of the little moments, in honor of her life, modify something in your own so that you too can implement this way of  authentic living. 

Amelia Grace
On an evening in December 2010 Becci was enjoying the night sky and said, "Lunar eclipse is beautiful here in nc...clear wind. All i had to do id walk out the front door stand in the middle of my very quiet street and gaze upon the beauty.  Elly even got up to my surprise...Ein on the other hand is very hard to wake.  Well here's to another 486 yrs. :)"....yes sweet girl, here's to another 486 years....bittersweet years that will pass wherein we all miss you.  Thank you for reminding us of the beauty around us.

Another thing about Becci was that she loved December and was "giddy as a school girl" for Christmas.  I can remember her joy at every Holiday, Birthday and snow day as well as her joy of the everyday days, you know, the movie nights, finding a new song she loved moments, or savoring a good meal.  Becci truly enjoyed all of it in its divine presence.  She took nothing for granted and neither should you.

Elly and Ein
Above all else, Becci loved her children and doted on them the most often.  From one parent to another, those are the moments that stick and make your heart smile.  Parenting takes on a pretty cool twist when you share the journey of parenthood with friends who remember your own journey to adulthood. All within her friends list could comment and reminisce about how things were at their ages.  Becci and her best friends loved their strolls down memory lane, looking forward to their 20th High School reunion in the coming months.  

Ah yes, the ties that bond, the people who knew you back when and have no problem telling you just how you were.  The treasures of life.  As I said, Becci had loyal and loving friendships.  I'm willing to say that the depths of those friendships helped to make her the wonderful mother that she was to her three children these past 17 years.

Being an in the moment lover and liver of life Becci would tell us that "I love Ein..the boy just busted out singing Mississippi Queen...he buts a smile on my face."  via her cell phone.  On Elly's 16th birthday she said, " Lord gave me a gift I'll always treasure! She's a beautiful girl and has heart of gold. Thank you dear Lord Jesus for giving her to me. :)"  Mama Becci enjoyed Elly's first prom and shared it with us in 2011 as much as I enjoyed my own daughter's first prom in 2012.  I still remember prom pictures of Becci and her then boyfriend Tref.  My how time flies.  Felt like yesterday.

Becci funin' at Micky D's
Becci had mastered the art of relishing the small joys of living too, whether it was movie nights with her loves, or "dinner out with the family...I so love my family!"  she always gave gratitude to her family and spent many days laughing with them.  She never missed a moment of gratitude to her parents either, whether it was related to a leaky gas tank in the Jeep or ode to a Holiday of wonderful memories shared.  Are you experiencing and thankful for the small joys of living?  

One of my favorite moments she shared was her account of a ride in the car, wherein the kids and her reenacted Wayne's World listening to Queen.  I'll say it a million times over, Becci didn't take a single moment of this life for granted.  If you learn anything reading this blog, learn that.  After all, time we know waits for no one.

While we're on the subject of good advice for living, also take this note to heart from what I like to term the book of Becci, "Growing and becoming a better person is to be able to look at where you've been where you are and where your going. Never loosing site on whats going on in the world around you. Those who choose to become "holier than thou" after reaching such growth and forgetting where they came from has lost site and appreciation for their growth of total understanding. It's not your place to judge but to help others in their journey."

I simply can't imagine what it's like to mourn her having shared her entire life with her, or to be one of fellow classmates who were her best friend and first love.  My heart aches for each of them.  I only knew her but a short year and she most certainly left her spirit with me.  Her being a part of my life made it richer, typically in less that five minutes a day.  Who's lives are you leaving richer after simply five minutes or less a day? 

I like to think that with every life we encounter here we have the choice to take upon ourselves the imprint that life leaves upon us, good, bad or indifferent.  Most lives have aspects of all three but typically someone either is worthy of sharing the journey with or their not.  Becci was worthy.

As with many others who have lived, Becci had regrets, she had growing pains, and she had obstacles to navigate along the way.  Despite all of that, she held onto what was authentically and beautifully Rebekah.  I believe that authentic way of living life is what I'll carry forward as her imprint.  We can all learn so much from someone who held their head high in hard times, who kept fighting the good fight, who appreciated the here and now with gratitude.  We can, we should, and we will. Until we meet again sweet girl.  Until we meet again.  

If you knew Becci and would like to share your memories, please do so with her family.  Her friends, parents and siblings are compiling them in various formats for her children.  

Also, if you would like to give to the children's education fund or make a donation for something specific such as back to school shopping, school pictures, Holidays, or Birthdays, you may state what you would like the gift utilized for.  You can do so here:

Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.