Today, November 2nd, is the date of Bethany’s 23rd birthday. I have nothing to give her except maybe a moment of recognition – of remembrance. The hour of her birth was recorded one hour and one minute after the hour of her brother’s. I’m not sure what significance that holds, if any at all, but it’s a detail I’ve always held onto.
The doctor who delivered Cole, delivered Bethany. The nurse who assisted with Cole’s birth, assisted with Bethany’s. That meant a lot to me. The nurse was actually assisting another patient and saw my name on the labor & delivery whiteboard and traded patients in order to be my nurse. I felt as if these were gifts God gave to David and I. Maybe a gift to the doctor and nurse too – it’s no fun to help a mother deliver their stillborn child. Medical professionals carry wounds too. So I like to think God overlaid a bad experience with a good one for all of us.
Bethany was named Bethany Joy, but I later wished we’d hyphenated her name. A good family friend bought her a sippy cup with her name and it’s meaning when she was very young. Bethany was not excited to learn that Bethany means ‘House of poverty.’ I liked to tease that the full meaning of her name then was,’House of poverty and joy.’ If her name held true she would be joyfully poor. Much better than bitterly poor!
Bethany was a sophomore at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway at the time of her death. It was a long time later when I heard that the school paper published an article about her death. It was even longer, on the second anniversary of her burial in fact, when I actually saw the article.