The day after Ben passed I sent a mass email out to family and friends letting them know about Ben's death. Probably the hardest email I've ever had to write. A tender mercy came out of that email from a friend of mine. I met her when Ben was just a baby. She's an author of one of my all-time favorite books. In fact it was one of the few books that sat on the shelf above Ben's head. It's called "The Angel With The Golden Glow". I was privileged to meet her at a craft fair/book signing and receive my very own signed copy of this book. We have been in touch on and off throughout the years. She has worked as a hospice nurse, a private duty nurse and a health care counselor. You can read more about her HERE. She emailed me the other day letting me know that she had a dream about Ben and wanted to share it with me. We talked on the phone, I cried. She typed it out for me to have and I wanted to share it with YOU. Thank you Elissa for this beautiful gift.
On Memorial Day of 2010, I woke up from a dream involving a special little boy, Benjamin Orton. He had passed away two days prior at the young age of eight years old. This beautiful, little boy had been born with a small head and a small brain, otherwise known as microcephaly. Despite the multiple medical challenges that he faced, Benjamin brought love and light wherever he went. Adored by his family and surrounded by love, he lived far beyond most people’s expectations. I had met Benjamin and his mom several years earlier at a craft fair in
. He was just a baby at the time, but one baby that I knew I would never forget. I felt honored to sign a copy of my first book, The Angel with the Golden Glow, in honor of this special, little angel in our world. New Hampshire
I learned of Benjamin’s passing in an email from his mom, Becky. Ten hours later, I actually shared a dream-like experience with her son. In the dream, I found myself holding a close-up photograph of Ben being hugged by a little girl, whom I thought might be his sister. I had the awareness that he had passed, and I felt the urge to hold him. Suddenly, Ben was right there with me inside an open, cardboard, mailing box along with a butterfly and a half-filled baby bottle of formula. As I lifted him out of the box, I thought, “Oh my, look at how long your body is! You have grown so tall.” Yet, as I cradled him in my arms, his body was more the size of the baby boy I had met years before. Benjamin was so happy, smiling and making “goo-goo” baby sounds. His head and face were both perfectly shaped, and his hair was thick, dark brown and wavy.
As I held him in my lap, Ben reached for his baby bottle with his left hand. “No, honey, I’m sorry. You can’t have that right now,” I said as I pushed the bottle away. “I first need to check with your Mommy because I know you’ve been on a special formula.” Ben didn’t seem to mind. He just kept on happily smiling, almost giggling, and looking around at all the people in the room. At one point, I repositioned Ben on my left hip in the same way that I had held my own children when they were babies. Amazingly, Ben held up his head entirely on his own, something he could not do in this lifetime.
I needed to let Becky know that Benjamin was there with me; I also wanted to find out if he still needed any special formula. I searched hard to locate her telephone number and then I tried to call. But, every time I reached for the wall phone, someone else seemed to grab the handle the second before I got there. Finally, I decided to shift gears and try a nearby cell phone instead.
With the cell phone in hand, I began dialing Becky when I noticed the butterfly start to fly away. “Oh no, Ben, I need to get the butterfly that your mom sent with you!” I wanted to be able to return the baby, the bottle and the butterfly to Becky. Quickly, I asked someone else to hold Ben with special instructions to support his head. Having given those instructions, I also remembered that Ben had just been able to hold his head up on his own.
By this time, the butterfly had flown into the right hand corner of the room and halfway up the wall. He was now huge and almost a foot in size. I didn’t want to hurt the white butterfly so I tried to grab it carefully by the back of its body and legs with my right hand. But, this enormous butterfly was extremely strong. The harder I tried to hold onto it, the more the butterfly fought to get away. Finally, my right hand cramped, and I was forced to release it. As soon as I did, the butterfly quickly flew out of sight. Then I awoke with the awareness that Benjamin just wanted to be free. This beautiful, little angel was not meant to stay here on earth any longer. Just like the butterfly released from its cocoon, Ben was finally able to spread his wings and fly without being encumbered or limited by an earthly, human form. I smile when I think of him. I know Ben is a happy, healthy and playful, little boy. I’m sure he’s having so much fun now with all his little friends in heaven.