Friday, November 2, 2012

Recommended Reading - Part III: Who was Ben?

So we've come to it. Benjamin Timothy Carr has been dead for 1861 days. I knew him while he was alive (to my best calculation) for 1860 days. But what I've realized in the last few days is that it doesn't matter. I mean, it does, obviously; I would give a great deal to have him back in my life for even one more day. But it does not matter that the time he has been gone now outstrips the time he was here.  At the beginning of January 2008, I said, among other things, about Ben's death that A loss like that changes you. Forever. It's a subtle change, certainly, but I know that in the end my life will be significantly different than it would have been if he had not died. But of course, it wasn't just his death that changed me, it was his life, and his presence in mine. Yes, Ben has been out of my life again longer than he was in it, and that thought makes me sad, but my life has been forever altered by him and probably would have been if I had known him for even only a few weeks.
Photo by J. Mark Tebben
So who is this person that has so changed me? (I just can't stop talking about Ben in the present tense. Ben is; I don't know what it means to say that Ben was.*) This person who stood up for me at my wedding and after whom I named my son? There's no easy answer to that question, as there shouldn't be when it's asked of any person, but the best stab at it I'm aware of was made by Daniel Klotz on October 20, 2007:
Ben was a keen observer and had a clear memory.
He admired clean reporting, clear writing, and their product, good thinking.
Sometimes I saw him as a sort of younger brother, a younger brother who was much smarter and more full of promise than me.
Ben loved sharing the news…
Ben was a better journalist than I was…
Ben saw it differently (he saw most things differently).
That blog post, "For Ben," is a beautiful tribute to our friend; the quoted text above gives only the barest hint of it, so please, go read the whole thing. I had forgotten about it entirely until I began this short series, but I recommended it back when it was written as well: [it] is true and good. Read it if you have not. Read it if you have.

The above was all I was going to say tonight until I started poking around in those old Xanga entries again. In Part I, I recommended Ben's last blog post. But in the entry quoted above, Daniel mentions the comments to Ben's post, which I hadn't taken the time to read the other day. So I went and looked at them. And below the thoughtful theological discussions, I found this:

I love you, Ben.
Posted 9/28/2007 8:22 PM by Beefmac Xanga Premium Member - recommend - reply

I love you too Ben.
Posted 9/28/2007 9:04 PM by EzzardCharles - recommend - reply

I love you, Ben.
Posted 9/28/2007 11:23 PM by online now Rendezvous1282 - delete - recommend - reply

I love you, Ben.
Posted 9/29/2007 9:28 AM by bekealynne - recommend - reply

love you ben...
Posted 9/30/2007 3:27 PM by deploying_becci - recommend - reply

Ben, I love you forever and I miss you so, so much.......
Posted 11/29/2007 9:20 PM by karendevitry - recommend - reply

I am missing you Ben. It's odd how it grasps me so firmly; I don't know how to handle this urge to hear your voice.
Posted 12/27/2007 6:26 PM by ScoobysChick19 - recommend - reply