Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I can't believe it's already been three months.  It still doesn't feel real to me.  Now I understand exactly what others who have lost children mean by that.  I still have daydreams while riding in the car that Ben will be in his beanbag when I arrive home...waiting for me.  But then I snap back into reality.  Sunday night I had to drive Kaleb up for his sleep study and Dartmouth.  It was a hard drive for me because often when I made Sunday night drives to Dartmouth it was to return back to Ben in the PICU after visiting my family for a day.  After I got Kaleb settled in, I headed up to the PICU to visit with some old friends of ours.  And I cried.  The next morning a whole new crew was on and so I went back again.  In my pajamas.  They were used to seeing me in my pajamas.  I could tell they were so happy to see me.  And I was happy to see them.  And then I cried some more.  During one of Kaleb's naps I was walking to the cafeteria to get some water when I bumped into one of Ben's anesthesiologists who LOVED Ben.  He was always so loving and fun with him.  He stopped me to say hello.  And soon after he sort of looks at me and says: "You have a sadness in your eyes, how come?"  My heart sinks.  I didn't even know how to tell him.  I guess I just assume that everyone knows.  He looked concerned and then asks, "Oh no...is he in the PICU again?"  I shake my head no and then mouth the words "He passed" because I couldn't bear to say them outloud.  And that's when the tears come and he hugs me and tells me how sorry he is.  Later I venture upstairs to the outpatient part of the hospital where Ben came for his appointments.  I went up to visit a PICU nurse that recently took a job with Ben's GI doctor.  While I was talking to her, a resident that we saw many times in the PICU must have seen me through the door because he came rushing out and gave me the biggest bear hug I've ever had and told me how sorry he is.  And then I cry some more because I am touched and because it is so hard being there without him. 

Today Steve gave a father's blessing to all of the children.  It's a tradition before the first day of school.  It's times like this that hit me the hardest because even though Ben didn't attend school, he still would get a father's blessing from his daddy.  It was his privilege.  And so my tears flowed again as another special occasion passed.  I miss you Benny!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Remember that post I did about Ben's grave marker?  Remember how the guy was supposed to get me a rough draft before proceeding?  How long ago was THAT?!?  He told me in 3 days he'd have it.  I would say it's been close to three weeks.  I finally drove back down today and walked in with a very irritated look on my face.  I didn't have to say anything as the look on his face read GUILTY all over it.  It's hard enough having to walk into one of those places, but to have them prolong the whole process is painful.  I just want it over with.  No more picking out lettering and pictures, deciding what color stone, how big, etc.  The only good news is that I changed my mind on a few things so it would have had to be redone anyway. (wait, is that really good news?) I'm just frustrated that there was never any contact made.  I'd go somewhere else except he's the only local business.  I'm excited to see the finished product though.  Scratch that.  I'm not really excited.  What's exciting about your child's grave marker?  Pretty much NOTHING.  But I'm looking forward to seeing more than just a patch of weeds and dirt.  It will be nice to have his marker done and in the ground.  Now I just need to decide what picture we will use.  Any opinions on a favorite picture of Ben? :) These are just a few...I would love to know what you would choose.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Steve and I and Ben were hanging out on my bed this particular day.  I was wanting to see if I could get a picture of Ben with his head up.  He didn't really have control over his head and so usually it would fall down.  You can see the success in the third picture.  It didn't last very long and as you can see he fell asleep out of exhaustion.  

Cute Benny!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


And they made me smile.  I remember thinking how cute they looked sleeping on the couch together so I grabbed my camera and took a picture of them.  Well, as you can see in the second picture...my flash and/or clicking noise when I snapped the first picture startled Ben awake.  I love that wide eyed look that says, "WHAT just happened?" Kaleb wasn't even phased.  Just the child that wasn't supposed to see or hear.  Cute Benny.  

I've been going through all my pictures of Ben, transferring them off of old CD's onto my hard drive so I can access them often. Because when you lose a child, memories and pictures are all you have left.  So be prepared for lots of cute pictures to come. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Stevie nick named the Elephant Benny.  He came with us today on a hike up Mt. Major.  He'll be traveling with us lots so keep an eye out for him. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


...have those times when you come upon something in the store and it CALLS your name?  My husband has this happen frequently.  And I never believed that it was real.  My favorite story was when he was fresh off his mission and was in the store with his mom.  He walked by the cutest white GUND polar bear.  It was calling his name, or so he claimed.  His mom relented and bought that bear for him, he still has it.  Yesterday I had to run to the store to pick up an item that I was missing from a recipe.  It was a quick trip.  As I was hurrying down a particular aisle, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a display basket of stuffed animals.  I never pay attention to those things.  I'm too cheap.  But as I was rushing past, I happened to see a little gray trunk peeking out amongst the sea of animals.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  I pulled out the cutest little baby elephant.  He was calling my name.  I can't help but have an affection towards these cute little animals.  After all, they remind of Ben.  So I bought him, stuck him in my cute little backpack and he now is my constant little friend.  I blame Benny. 

Friday, August 13, 2010


I took the girls down to MA to visit Ben this weekend.  His grave was overgrown with crabgrass.  We cleared it all hoping to get some grass planted soon.  I always feel so badly knowing that his grave has nothing on it, no stone or marker.  But it's all about money that we don't have right now.  So smart little Stevie decided to write his name in stones.  I thought she did a great job.  It was good to be near him again.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


That's how my sister described Ben's passing.  She told me that just maybe Ben felt like it was time to give me  back to his brother and sisters.  I've thought about that a lot.  I think she just may be right.
Today I felt like I received my answer.  My sweet friend Kathy was over for dinner today.  She helped me with Kayla and Kaleb while I was away in Utah with Stevie.  She gave them rides and made sure they were where they needed to be.  During those few days she spent a lot of time in the car with them.  She told me about a particular conversation that she had with Kaleb.
Kaleb mentioned to Kathy how weird it was that all of a sudden mom was out doing everything with them, actually PLAYING with them.  "She's even SWIMMING and JUMPING (on the trampoline) with us."  It's not that I was neglectful with them, it's just that I was hindered in my activities with them because of the care that Ben needed and required.  And they never complained about it either because they loved their brother dearly and would give anything to have him back.  It was almost a realization of what they haven't had.  And I find it funny that he wasn't able to make the connection as to WHY (as of late) I was out playing with them all of the time.  Kathy kindly reminded him why.  
And then it clicked.
It was a realization for myself that Ben was being self-less in leaving.  I think he knows that my time with his siblings is growing short and that they need more of me.  Kayla will be a freshman this year.  That's four short years left that I have with her before SHE will be leaving.  I'm grateful for my sister and Kathy for helping me to come to this realization.  I'm grateful for children who teach me such important lessons while here on this earth.  And I'm grateful for my self-less little boy.  Now if you'll please excuse me...I'm off to PLAY with my children!
(thank you Benny and how I MISS you...)

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Today was one of those days where it required doing something hard.  Not my favorite day.  Poor Ben has no grave marker.  It's something we've put off partly due to the finality of it all and partly due to finances.  Boy do those things cost big bucks.  I was thinking an average grave marker costs around $150.  WRONG.  Don't ask me why I assumed, just did.  We're looking at more like $600.  That's just to put a piece of granite in the ground.  Then eventually comes the upright stone.  I can't even go there yet.  We spent about an hour trying to decide what we want on his marker.  I'm glad it's the more simple decision.  It will get harder when we buy the upright stone.  He'll have his name, birth year, death year and a cute little elephant on the marker.  I was trying to decide what we should put on it to represent a part of him and decided he needed to have a little elephant.  I can't help but think of Ben when I see them.  
They have symbolic meaning as well.  Elephants are symbolic of: strength, honor, and patience.
 Ben exemplified all of these attributes perfectly.
The company we are using will have a few drafts in the next couple of days so I'll post it when it's available and look forward to your input on which one you like best.  
I am excited to know that he'll finally have a marker.  It will make visiting him feel a little more complete seeing his name on his spot.  We love you Ben.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I love these ladies.  Each one of them is living a privileged life.  The kind of life I was able to live for eight wonderful years.  I miss this life and so being around them has been sort of healing for me.  Thank you for taking the time to surround me with your love and with your beautiful children.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I know that Junior doesn't always take to being held by complete strangers, but I'd like to think that we weren't strangers, even if it WAS the first time meeting him in person.  He was happy to let us snuggle and kiss him as much as we wanted.  It did my heart some good to feel that weight in my lap again.  To remember what it was like to hold my little Ben.  Thank you Heidi for sharing your precious boy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Junior got his van today.
His face says it all.
We love you Junior!
We hope you have many years of happy travels in your new van!