Thursday, June 06, 2013

Meet My Bench Girls: Kelly

This week I have been introducing you to the idea of a bench girl and my very own bench girls. Now I would like you to meet Kelly.

Amy, me and Kelly. Our photo for (in)RL 2013.

I met Kelly at church. She and Brad had known each other from their former church. Her daughter is a few months younger than Gypsy and they were in the same nursery class at church. Our interaction didn’t go much beyond that. We shared the same bench, church, but we were not sharing that bench together. Via Facebook we stayed in the know of each other as you do with so many people.

Several weeks after Monsters first birthday Kelly emailed me. She was taking a seat on this Postpartum Depression bench I sit on. I had been off medication, deemed “normal” again for several months, but I will always have a seat on this bench. She was weeks away from delivering her second baby and needed some support. She had tucked the knowledge from that video away for a year and took the step to find someone who understand the fear of living through PPD a second time. We emailed back and forth several times I was praying hard for her. And then the horrible happened. Her sweet baby is now being held by Jesus, not her. I have never been in her shoes and I thank God continually for that blessing. But I have been in her daughter’s shoes four times. Our siblings are all playing together with Jesus. And we are waiting for that sweet day when we will be able to join in their perfect games.

Life goes on. As hard as it is to carry on, the world around us continues to move. We never forget the hard places we have lived, but we must choose to keep walking. Those scars have changed usWe must find our new way to live. We choose to keep living. She did and she started looking at life around her differently and I received another email from Kelly.

So, I've been seriously considering homeschooling.

Once again she was taking the first step to sit on a bench I frequently occupy. We talked. I sent her links to information. And I prayed for her and her husband while they made this life changing decision. I mentioned before Jenny and I were not in a position to welcome any other families onto our co-op bench so I kept my mouth shut tight when talking to Kelly. I can’t tell you how many times I said to Jenny, “I have this friend I would really like to invite to our group, but...” It is hard to let people you love off your bench, but it happens. And when it does go that way you can easily make room for someone new. Our group dynamics changed and last spring I had the privilege to finally invite Kelly to our co-op. She said, yes! For a year and a half she has been sitting on this homeschool co-op bench with us, saying yes.

She continues to say yes. Tomorrow I will share with you how her "yes" brought about this crazy dream we now share together.

Andi and Brad have been married since 2002. They have five squishers who keep them on their toes. She is a second generation home educator. In her spare time Andi creates and sells handmade goodies in her shop, Andi Gould Designs.


  1. Goodness, am I thankful for Kelly! I'm still learning who she is and as I hear some of her story unfold, I sometimes sit at home and cry. I cry because I wish I was there when...
    I could cry right now just thinking about it.
    This friend? I love her...the person I know today because of what she has lived through.

  2. PS...It totally happened. I'm crying. {surprised ya, didn't I?}

  3. And now I'm crying again! Cause you know I was when I wrote this.


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