Public speaking is an irrational fear for me - like a spider fear for many others. Imagine someone with a spider fear knowing there is a tarantula running free on the table but sitting down to eat anyway. It takes that kinda guts and fortitude for me to stand up before a room full of people and make a speech.
But alas, I did it and I survived to tell the story.
I was asked to share my story of baby Ben's death at a community memorial service for people who have lost a baby - whether prebirth, during birth or in infancy. It was held in the small chapel on the cemetery grounds. (I have lived here for 34 years and did not know there was a chapel on the cemetery grounds.)
Of course I cannot share my story of Ben's death without including my story of Jed who was conceived on very same day - Remembrance Day November 11, 1985. And of how we unknowingly let God name Jedediah because it means Beloved of God. We didn't know the story of 2 Samuel 12 until Jed was a few months old.
But here I go getting off track again. I did not sit down to blog about my story. I sat down to blog about sitting in the quiet little chapel amongst lots of candles and a trio softly playing their instruments in the corner (flute, cello and violin) and moments of silence and reflection. Yes, moments of silence and reflection and the sound of my iPhone vibrating nonstop as Jed repeatedly tried to phone me to ask what time I'd be home.
I did have the ringer shut off and the vibration is supposed to be a silent notification of an incoming event, but in a silent solemn room the vibration may as well have been a gong. I knew there must be a way of completely shutting the phone off and I discreetly tried to figure it out but alas I could not. But as I was playing with buttons and sliders I managed to set off the ringer and there amongst the grieving parents were the Veggie Tales singing Where is my cellphone. Comic relief, I believe they call it.
I finally decided to send a text to landline message to Jed. Obviously the computer generated voice that read my text to him was not very stern sounding "Do NOT phone me again. I am at a funeral!" Which of course only prompted him to immediately call back and leave voicemails asking whose funeral, where was it and what time was it over. (All information I had, for obvious reasons, purposely not disclosed over the previous couple of weeks)
And so my pocket vibrated for most of the evening distracting me from the fact that my personal tarantula awaited me at the pulpit. Ah, there's a silver lining in every cloud.