For those of you who may not have already heard, my dear, DEAR friend and tennis partner, Ben Birdsong, passed away suddenly while playing tennis Tuesday night. As God planned it, I just happened to not be playing with Ben on Tuesday, as I was watching Ian at the Lasers match. Any other Tuesday I'm usually right there by Ben's side, playing with him, as his partner, or playing against him, as his opponent. Those of you that know me, know just how much I love the game of tennis.
Well, I finally found someone who loved the game as much as I do.
Ben was passionate about tennis.
He lived for his evenings and Saturday mornings spent at Turtlebrook, knocking the ball around and enjoying the beauty of all that is Turtlebrook; the gorgeous natural surroundings, the family and the fellowship that makes Turtlebrook what it is...tennis lovers' Heaven on Earth.
Nearly every time I would arrive at Turtlebrook and Ben would see me, he called out," Look guys!! SUSAN'S HERE!!!" That always put a smile on my face and warmed my heart. Ben had so much joy for the game and for the game of life. He was a great steward of the game and a beautiful example of a true servant of God; a man of great faith. He has left an awesome legacy for others to follow.
Ben and I, on more than one occasion half-joked that when it was our time to leave this earth, we would like for it to be on the courts at Turtlebrook, playing great tennis.
Well...Ben got his wish.
And in one sense, I am so very happy he did.
But oh how I just had hoped that that wish had been fulfilled for many more years to come!
Tonight...will be hard.
Tonight... I was to have been playing with Ben at our usual Thursday time slot.
Tonight... there will be a void the size of the Grand Canyon in my heart and on that court. Ben won't be there. Well...at least...not in the physical sense. I know he will be there with all of us in spirit.
Tonight...whether I win or whether I lose...
I will remember.
I will...pay tribute to: a great father
a great husband
a great grandaddy
a great servant of the Lord
a great tennis partner
a wonderful example of a kind-hearted human being
and an awesome friend.
God bless you my friend,
Rest in Peace.
Click here for more pictures of my friend Ben: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=-3&id=789607818