Sunday, May 8, 2011

What, then, shall we say?


Romans 8:29
"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

It's been exactly one month since Beau left us. It still doesn't seem real. I don't imagine it ever really will.

That being said, I believe that God is exactly who He says He is, and for that very reason I believe that He will carry us through this tragedy that was the end of Beau's physical life....but the beginning of a lifetime spent in heaven. Beau is no longer in pain or short of breath. But we are. We miss him so much that it physically hurts, but we can take a small amount of comfort in the fact that he is seeing and doing things that we can only dream about and given the choice, he would not come back to us. Our Sunday School teacher used to tell us nearly every week that "God never promised us an easy life. He just promised not to leave us or forsake us." My family is clinging to this promise now just as we have over the past two years.

Speaking of the last two years, we would not have made it through without the incredible friends and family we have been blessed with. Words can't express our gratitude and there are too many special people to name here but you know who you are. I've found that when horrible, unexplainable things happen (and we've had more than our fair share), it helps me to think of things that I can be thankful for in spite of all the bad. For Beau, I am thankful that he got the chance to do what he loved and the chance to be really good at it. Beau had dreams and he got to live out many of them...lots of people never get that chance even if they live 100 years. He was surrounded by people that loved him and believed in him and these people gave him the opportunity to race at many different levels. He even got to do two days of testing at Daytona before he got sick...he never got the chance to run his race there, but he did travel around that 2.5 mile track at nearly 200 mph and I can honestly say I have never seen him as happy as he was that day!

Another thing I can be thankful for is our Christian upbringing and that fact that Beau knew and accepted Jesus at an early age. I Thessalonians 4:13 tells us not to mourn as those who have no hope because we know that we will see Beau again some day. I literally can't imagine what it would be like to not have that hope at a time like this.

I can also be thankful for Jessica being in Beau's life. The things that they went through together and the way that she took care of him was pure evidence of God being totally in control of their relationship. I don't believe she could have done it any other way. I've never seen anything like the devotion that they had towards one another and I'm grateful that they got to experience that.

In the weeks and months ahead, our family and especially Jessica will have to adjust to a new life...we don't have a choice in the matter. We do, however, have a choice in how we respond to what has happened. We can be bitter and cynical and complain about bad things happening to good people. Or we can choose to praise God for giving Beau a great life and letting us be a part of it. That's what I choose to do. I hope you all will do the same.

I'd like to ask everyone to do something if you feel comfortable with it. Leave a comment below and tell us something about Beau and his life that you are thankful for. It helps me to think of those things. Hopefully it will help you, too.

15 comments:

Beck said...

Beautiful Maggie! You're right your family certainly has had their fair share. It's a privilege to observe your grace filled response to suffering.

I've thought several times that Beau's birth is the first birth in our family that I have memory of. I was about 8 and I remember thinking how wonderful and exciting a new baby was. I also remember when he was older thinking what a hooligan he was. On one visit, he was just a little kid, we were in Grandma's front yard and as cars went past Beau would moon them! He loved to keep things exciting didn't he?!

We're continuing to pray for you all as life takes on a new rhythm and faith is lived out every day.

teresa said...

I am thankful for his smile and sense of humor. Every time I think of him every day, I think of that gleam in his eye and that gorgeous smile. I never could tell what he was up to. But we could be sure it was something and usually involved his friends around him. I think he was the first to call me Mama T. I remember once at the mall and once driving down the road, hearing someone yelling Hey Mama T, and I knew before I turned around who it was.It didn't matter to him who was around him or what they might think. He was definitely comfortable in his own skin. I miss him too, and there's a part of me that's jealous of what he's experiencing now.

shipwreck429 said...

I loved the way he interacted with the children at Northway. He was a very special person to them and you could see it in their eyes whenever he was around them. It wasn't one-way either, the happiness that Beau had when he was with the children was contagious. Everyone around him would share that happiness. Only wish I had known him on a more personal level.

Googa said...

Maggie, I think you have pretty much said it all. Thank you for being so faithful. Your witness and that of you entire family has been remarkable.

It could have only been an amazing young rascal like Beau Slocumb to get Naomi and me (and our family) not only interested in racing, but re-arranging schedules to chase him around the countryside watching him race. We got hooked!

As tragic as this earthly situation was, to see Jessica and your family so faithfully love and support him was a tremendous testimony to God's Grace.

I won't ever forget teasing Beau about unique foods - especially deer liver... I could really get him going - he was so much like Buster 30-40 years ago. That Slocumb boy...

That infectious Beau Slocumb smile is forever imprinted in our lives.

On the 8th Beau Slocumb finished and won the biggest race of all!

We love y'all!

George and Naomi

LucyLu said...

Maggie,
Well said, it is evident that God's hand guided your words and you were obedient to Him when writing! I love to read your messages and will miss that.

Favorite memories - Krystal on Wednesday nights - Legend racing at the Watermellon Capital Speedway of the World, and me being the queen, standing on the hauler watching him win - Legend racing in Atlanta and Beau giving Brice & Brittney the winning trophy - pizza at Mrs. Margrets watching the taped race when he came back from Las Vegas -

Most Favorite - Beau yelling my name down the church hall/across the parking lot/on the track-pretty much anywhere to get my attention and wrapping me up in the biggest hug, with the most brilliant smile, making me feel like the most loved person!

Beau you are missed dearly, loved deeply and remembered always.

Anonymous said...

MAGGIE YOUR WORDS EXPLAINS IT ALL,SITTING WITH YOU AT GRESHAM HOPING THAT BEAU WOULD WIN THE WORLD CROWN. MIKE GILLIAM

Gail said...

Beau squeezed all that one could squeeze out of life. He loved his family and his fans deeply. He made you feel loved any time that you interacted with him. That twinkle in his eye made you wonder what might come next?
I pray for all of you daily as you adjust to your new reality. I wish you didn't have to adjust.
No, Beau would not come back, and I get the impression that he's taken Heaven by storm! Imagine that smile of his glorified!!!!

Melissa said...

Maggie,
My heart literally aches for you and your family. The short time I knew Beau was a honor and a privilege. He was always smiling and joking around. I can still hear his laugh today and his smile was just amazing and it could light up a room. Beau made a strong impression on everyone he met. My Megan was just a small tot when I work with your family but she remembers watching Beau in Atlanta racing in the legends car and talks about Beau all the time. This Friday her school is having luminaries in honor and in memory of loved ones who have fought the hard fight against cancer. As soon as she heard of this the first thing she asked was could she place one in memory of her grandmother and for Beau. I was so touched by this I gladly said yes. So I am very poud to say that on Friday May 13 there will be candle keeping Beau's memory alive. You have truly summed up this tragic loss in perfect words I know first hand how those last weeks of someone's painful battle against cancer can be, not only on them but everyone around as they watch their loved one suffer so much. I will continue to pray for you, your family, and Jessica during this time. Nothing will ever replace Beau nor would we want it to but take comfort in knowing all of you have a special guardian angel watching over your every move and who will be there to meet you when it is your time to come home.

Diane Choate Hipps said...

I have tons of Beau memories but I think my favorite was in November 2001. I had just moved to Athens and was SO homesick. My parents were out of town but I wanted to come to Macon anyway. I drove to Macon Friday night in a horrible storm. Halfway up my parents driveway a tree had fallen. I had to go to the bathroom really badly so I tried to move the tree (yes, it was one of my stupid moments of the night). Of course, that didn't work so, I decide to go "off road" in my little Honda Civic. I got halfway around the tree and of course got stuck. I called Robert (Beau's uncle and my neighbor) but didn't get an answer. I called Paige and she said I will send help. About 30 minutes later Beau pulls up in the driveway in a big truck. He just looked at me, soaking wet and completely muddy. He said "Dee, were you trying to have fun?" I said nope, I needed to go to the bathroom. He told me to get in the truck and within 5 minutes had moved the tree off my parents driveway and pulled my car back onto the driveway. Somehow the chain hit my tail light and broke a big piece off. Beau smiled and said "oops..If that's the worst thing that happened tonight then we are lucky." I agreed.
Anyone that knows me knows I am OCD about everything being neat and clean. I got an estimate on fixing the tail light but never did it. I thought it was a good reminder to not sweat the small stuff. I sold the Honda about 5 years ago and see it every once in a while in Athens. The last time I saw the car was leaving Watkinsville on April 11, on the way to Beau's memorial. The new owner had not fixed the tail light either.

Janice Newlin said...

Amen and amen, Maggie!

I remember when Beau was in my 5th grade class and I suggested he cut his bangs so we could "see his handsome face." That weekend he asked his mother, Jeanne, to take him to cut his bangs. Jeanne later told me that she had asked him why did he want to get his bangs cut now after having them long for such a long time. He said his teacher at school had asked him to cut them. I was so impressed that he would do that for his teacher. It wasn't a requirement...just a suggestion. Beau was always so willing to do for others. What a great guy! He will be missed. My family will continue to pray for you all.

Dale said...

Dear Maggie,

Your eloquent writing about the loss of Beau and the faith of you and your family are inspiration to all of the rest of us.

I admired Beau's courage. I admired his driving of a race car and the reputation he had for being fearless.

I admired the courage he exhibited in dealing with his illness and the way he fought, oh how he fought,to the very end.

Life has taught me that real courage is in short supply among people. It was not in short supply with Beau. It was in abundance.

Please be sure that I continue to pray for all of you Slocumbs as you deal with the loss of Beau.

Clisby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clisby said...

The first time my (then, future) husband encountered the force of nature that was Beau was close to 16 years ago.

I brought Jim to Macon for Thanksgiving because, you know, you can't just up and have a guy's baby and then marry him without running him by the Slocumbs - it's bad form.

We had just turned into the dirt road to the cow lake when we met an oncoming truck. With no visible driver. Jim was kind of taken aback. I wasn't quite so unnerved, since I figured it was entirely possible that Robert had bought a lifesize remote-control truck and Uncle Burke was driving it with a clicker from back at the house.

A second later, I saw the top of a head through the truck's steering wheel and heaved a sigh of relief. "Oh, it's Beau."

Jim (no doubt wondering, "Are
there MIDGETS in the family?") said "Ummm ... OK. Who's Beau?"

Great question.

Anonymous said...

I just found out about beau today and I am so sorry for your loss. but this should help loft some spirits, its sort of a funny story actually, me and my best friend went to a race in 08 and we were going for beau. we took a picture with him before the race and cheered him on throughout the race. he won. of course (: and after the race we saw him and he gave us his trophy. two strangers. it made our night. and actually our year. we traded the trophy every week for months. we still have it. I will never forget how kind he was.

Anonymous said...

My Daughter Kandice and myself were very blessed to have met Beau when he came to visit in Emporia, KS. Our heart goes out to you and all of his family. He was a wonderful person.

Marie Haba and Kandice Schreiner
Emporia, KS