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!