Day three was the hardest and thankfully the shortest day. We made it to our destination in about 8 hours. Three long states and 650 miles. I suffered from severe "NUMB BUM" the last leg of the trip. We stopped at my brother's house to unload some things and then continued on to April's house. We were greeted so lovingly. AND...there was an elephant to greet us. It was Ben's way of sending his love to me today. Thank you for your well wishes and prayers. They carried us the whole way. Now we anxiously await the arrival of Heidi and Junior. We can't WAIT to meet them!!!
Today I left on a three day road trip to deliver Ben's van to his friend Junior. It's a bitter/sweet trip. Bitter because I wish that Ben was still here to use it but sweet because I know that Junior really needs this van and so it makes my heart happy. Ben spoke to my heart after he passed and told me who I needed to give this van to. It's been almost two months and here it is finally coming to fruition. I drove down to my sister's house today and will leave early in the morning to officially start the drive out to Utah where we will meet up with Heidi and Junior. I can't wait to finally meet them in person. I can't wait for them to finally have a wheel chair accessible van. I've never driven more than five hours straight so please keep me in your prayers that I will make it safely and that the van will not have any issues. I will keep you posted on this big adventure.
Every single night since Ben passed away I have knelt in prayer asking Heavenly Father to please help me to feel his presence, to dream about him. It's been nearly two months and I finally received an answer to my prayers. I held Ben again in my dreams. I won't go into detail as it is too personal, but suffice to say that it was so heavenly to hold him in my arms again. (he was his sweet self in my dream, wrinkly head and all...this time with a smile) It did my heart some good to wake this morning and recall the details. I'm grateful for answered prayers.
These are some Lilies that a friend of mine gave to me after Benjamin passed away. These are the flowers that remind me of him. They finally opened this week. The timing couldn't have been better.
Earlier this week we left to go camping at the Joseph Smith Memorial up in Sharon, Vermont. It's one of my most favorite places to be. I took Ben when he was six months old and that was the last time because soon after he received his trach. I didn't think it would be very smart to expose him to campfire smoke after that. This week I thought a lot about him...as you can see from the picture below. It's been almost 8 years since his last campout, and I'd like to think that he was finally able to join us up at Camp Joseph once again.
The other night I was finishing up the packing for our camping trip (that I am currently on). It was late and I was all by myself. Those are the times that are the hardest for me. I was making cinnamon rolls for the campout and was crying because I miss Benjamin so much. I stared at these pictures in my kitchen as I rolled out my dough. (hope my family doesn't mind teary cinnamon rolls) The pain is just so hard to bear sometimes that I can't even stand it. I remember a dear friend of mine who lost her daughter a year ago saying that she misses the weight of her daughter in her lap. How I understand what she means. That was my favorite place for Ben. Even when he was almost as tall as me, I loved nothing more then to snuggle him on my lap. His legs would dangle to the floor and I would wrap his body into mine. I loved the way his head fit on my chest. And I have no doubt that it was HIS favorite place to be as well. How I miss you Benny!
We have been overwhelmed by the gifts and cards that continue to appear daily in our mailbox or on our front steps. (I stopped counting at 500) I'm trying to get my thank you's out but if I happen to miss somebody, know that we love you all and are so grateful for your thoughtfulness during this most difficult time in our lives. We are just as grateful for those who continue to keep us in their thoughts and prayers. We need all that we can get. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
I still can't believe this is my new normal. I remember looking at other people's blogs that have lost children and thought..."oh that is just so sad, I can't even imagine what that family must be feeling or going through." Now I'm THAT blog that people read and feel those same feelings. I remember seeing blog posts about funerals and thinking that YES...someday I will have to go through it, but feeling like it was so far away. (even though I knew it could be any day) Now I'm THAT blog with funeral pictures. It's only been 6 weeks and everyday it just doesn't seem real. I recall others feeling the same way when they have lost a loved one, but really? You just can't understand what it is like until you actually go through it. Most days I try and keep my emotions in check because it's just too painful to let it all out all.the.time. This pain is heavy and it's real, it's hard. Thankfully I keep really busy so it forces me to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And thankfully I have such a wonderful and supportive husband who knows how to put me together again when I fall to pieces. And thankfully I have that knowledge of forever families and knowing that I'll be together again with Ben someday.
I know without a doubt that Ben wasn't ready to leave me. His body was just too tired. I know he would have chosen to stay with his family if he had that choice. But he didn't, and neither did we. So life continues on without him and it's hard. My heart is heavy every single minute of every single day because it's missing him. But I am so thankful I have so many pictures to look at every day. I love looking at his big blue eyes, his kissable cheeks, the fluffy head of hair and his long, flirty eyelashes. How I miss that boy.
You would have been 8 years and 3 months today. It's hard to feel like celebrating when you're not with us. We opted out of fireworks. I usually sat at home with you every fourth of July because those fireworks were just too loud for you. Besides...it was much more fun to sit in a quiet home with no bugs and lots of snuggles. We miss you Ben.