I am Catholic, born and raised, I believe in God, I believe in His son Jesus Christ and I accept him as my Savior. I have never SEEN Him, I have never really FELT him.
Well, until now.
Losing a step child and watching, up close and personal,the man I love lose a child and watching him and her mother struggle through every parents worse nightmare is something I will never forget. It has changed me. It has changed my faith…not in the way you might think.
The people who came into our lives since the accident have been a blessing. They have given me back my faith in humanity. Trooper’s Ransom and Strangman, Dr’s Huffmon, Smith and Stoiko, Trauma Nurses Deani, Elizabeth and Mike, Palliative Support Sarah Blake, Hospital Chaplin Cheryl and Organ Donation Coordinator Rodney Pilson make me want to be a better person. Their kindness, support, and dedication to their job is beyond amazing. They made a horrible situation somewhat bearable. They laughed and cried with us and became part of our family, there are no words to thank them for all they did for Lindsay, for us. (There were many others with the STICU at NHRMC that helped us as well, they are an unbelievable group of people.) Charles Gainey from Andrews Mortuary & Crematorium guided us with compassion and Jessie and Elizabeth helped us find a beautiful resting spot in Oleander Memorial Gardens for our sweet girl. Both businesses handled our situation above and beyond what was expected of them, and in turn, touched our hearts. There are no words for Pastor Kenny Chinn and Northside Baptist Church, the love and personalization of her visitation and service touched the heart of everyone who attended. (One young man was saved after the service and another family joined the church they were so moved.)
While we continued to pray for Lindsay to come back to us, there were so many things going on around us, slowly the stories began to unravel through visits and emails of the many Angels who were helping us through each day.
After Kellie prayed about Lindsay being alone after the accident, we received 2 emails from complete strangers who stopped to help Lindsay immediately following the accident. Carolyn and her husband Ralph Rocchio was first on the scene, because of him, (2 other unknown men), and Amy Tribou, Lindsay’s parents prayers were answered. She was NEVER alone for one minute after the accident. She did not wait alone for help to arrive. These kind strangers waited and spoke to her, hoping she might hear them, until the first responders got there.
While making arrangements for Lindsay to fulfill her wish to be an organ donor, Kellie randomly mentioned (almost outloud to herself) how she wished she had a kit to make a mold of Lindsay’s hand. A friend had checked Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Walmart the day before and was unable to find one. Rodney Pilson smiled when he said “I have one in my car.” Rodney is from Winston-Salem and was standing in for the regular rep who usually handles Wilmington, he was not supposed to be there that day but God put him where he needed to be. His dedication to his job and his respect and kindness to our family will never be forgotten.
My husband asked about Direct Donation (a request made by a donor or a donor family to transplant to a specific recipient.) When asked, “Do you know someone who needs a transplant?” He responded, “Yes, my friend’s wife needs a Kidney.” This immediately started a ball rolling and she successfully received Lindsay’s (left) Kidney, because, amazingly enough she was a match! 2 other recipients also received gifts from Lindsay and both surgeries have been successful. Lindsay dream was to be a trauma surgeon, to save lives. Her goal was reached, not in the way we had expected or planned, BUT she was saving lives.
There were other small miracles happening each day that always seemed to come when we were exhausted and ready to fall apart…they gave us the strength we needed to carry on. Even today the stories have continued.
I watched, and was honored to be part of, a family pull together and gain strength from each other and from God. I saw a Neurosergeon cry with my husband, because he too is a father. I saw family and friends and an entire community lift a family up in prayer and kindness. I FELT love from strangers and friends alike. I do not know why God needed to take her, I will never understand it as long as I live, but one day I shall stand in front of Him and I will ask Him…but until then I know I will see this beautiful young lady again and because I knew her, I will strive to be a better person and I know I am not the only one. She left us way too soon, but she left this world a better place because she was here and did more in 17 years than I have done in 49…but that is going to change, starting today.
Rest in Peace Lindsay M. Benton, thank you for allowing me to be part of your life and thank you for renewing my faith.
So many people have asked, if we can do anything, please let us know, well here you go…please consider donating to the Lindsay M. Benton Cheer Scholarship Fund c/o Wilmington Christian Academy 1401 N. College Rd. Wilmington NC 28405
AND please become an organ donor.
Thank you to all for your love and support,