Friday, December 30, 2011


Ever since your departure from this earth, I have been trying really hard to "Let the Spirit Guide" in my life.  It was my new years resolution for 2011.  So many blessings have come because of this choice that I have made.  Brady is a perfect example of that choice.  He has blessed our family in ways that I never would have imagined.  And now again our lives are about to change...and only because I have chosen to follow the promptings of the Spirit.  We are excited and ready.  I know that this is right for our family Ben, and I know that you are close by...cheering us on.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We aren't the ONLY ones...

thinking about you during this difficult season of missing you.
Thank you dear Lisa King.
It made my heart smile.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Today is December 1st.  I've thought about you lots today.  I'm having a harder time again, now that Christmas is nearing.  Sunday is our annual Make-A-Wish party and it's so painful not having you with us.  I love you Benny!  I miss your cute, skinny legs in these striped pajamas, and your LONG eyelashes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NOVEMBER 29, 2011

(this picture was taken May 29, 2010)
Today marks 18 months since you left this earth.
My heart still aches for you Ben.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Okay, so I know they've already met (in heaven) ...but he's never been to his grave.  So on our trip home from Utah we stopped briefly.  I didn't stay long because it was cold and I was tired.  I just wanted Brady to meet Ben...again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


About a month ago I had a really great dream about you Ben.  I was in some strange (and really big fancy house) with a lot of other mom's and their babies.  (Brady and the kids were with me)  I remember at one point I was panicky because all of a sudden you weren't with me, so I asked the kids where you were and they didn't know.  I ran around this unfamiliar house looking for you because I knew that you should not be alone in case you needed suctioning or other kinds of help.  I entered this room full of car seats and there you were, sitting in your car seat waiting for me. And I remember your suction machine was turned on and running next to you because I immediately worried about the battery draining - so I turned it off.  I scooped you right up, just like I used to do, and told you how much I missed you!  That's when you looked right into my eyes with the cutest smile EVER and said, "I ate lettuce".  I remember being completely shocked that you had just spoken to me.  And at the same time I was laughing and in my cutesy voice said to you, "BEN!  Who fed you lettuce?"  You never answered but I wasn't too concerned because my  next thought was to hurry and find the other kids so that I could tell them what happened.  I finally found them and told them, "You've GOT to hear this, Ben talked."  At which point I said, "Come on them how you can talk!"  That's when he turned and looked right into Kaleb's eyes and said, "I love you Bubby!" and then turned to the rest of us and said, "I ate lettuce!"  And we all laughed.  (and then I woke up) 

This dream came at a time when I think Kaleb really needed it.  He's had a hard couple of months.  I feel like it was Ben's way of communicating through me, the love that he has for his brother.  I shared this with Kaleb and by the end we were both teary.  As for the lettuce part?  It still makes me laugh.  I have no idea what the meaning of THAT was, but this I do know...that Ben's love for his brother is REAL and so powerful.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


It's amazing how you can fall in love with a little boy that you've never met...that's how I feel about Noah.  Ben brought me into the "King's world" soon after he passed away.  Lisa and I became instant friends.  We even found we had SO much in common.  It's a good thing we live on different sides of the world because I fear we would be trouble together. :)  Noah became sick a week ago.  His little body finally gave out and he returned home to his Heavenly Father.  My heart has been so heavy this morning knowing that my dear friend is feeling the same pain that I felt over a year ago.  It brings my heart some comfort knowing that Ben was there to welcome him home.  We love you Lisa.  We love your amazing family.  We pray for Heavenly Father's loving arms to surround you during this most difficult time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


 It's a good fit.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


That YOUR hands were in this...
Welcome to our family Brady Steven Orton

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I was in town Friday and snuck down to see you Ben.  It was just me and you...all by ourselves.  That doesn't happen very often.  I talked to you, cried over you and even lay next to you for awhile.  (that is until an older man stopped in his truck, afraid that I had fainted or something because I wasn't moving)  He moved on after he saw that I was least on the outside.  I miss you Ben.  I physically miss your being.  I miss holding you, touching you, taking care of you.  It still seems so surreal when I'm sitting at your grave, that this is my life now...without you in it.
I LOVE you Ben!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I drove into the driveway this morning...saw the buds had opened,  walked over to see them and cried.  
"Consider the sweet, tender children
Who must suffer on this earth...
I'm grateful that Ben doesn't have to suffer anymore..but how I miss him.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Whenever Ben was in the hospital - which was very often - my favorite place to be was in his bed.  He loved hanging out with me and I him. This picture is a treasure.  (thanks to one of his nurses that commandeered my camera)  Being in the hospital was exhausting, sleep was almost non-existent.  But there were moments where I'd give in to the exhaustion and catch a few moments of sleep.  Ben was always so patient during those times.  
How I miss him...

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I don't even know what to call this post.  "I miss him every.single.minute of"?  Or "This is HARD"?  I just feel like I'm being redundant.  But it's true.  And it doesn't change.  Not since he left my presence.  Not since he left my side.  Not since he left my arms.  Today the pain is unbearable.  It's like that some days.  Other days I just repress it.  Today, actually last night, the flood gates opened.  When I saw that picture of the post below...the one a friend sent to me, it opened up some raw emotions that I've kept locked up for awhile.  So today my eyes hurt from crying and my heart hurts from missing Ben.  I stare at his pictures, I smell his clothing, I rub his socks against my cheeks, I spin his hat around on my fingers wishing it was resting on his cute head instead.  
It's amazing to me that I can sit here and think..."I can't believe that THIS is my life".  It's been over a year and when I actually think about it, it still seems surreal.  "Is he REALLY gone?  Has it REALLY been over a year?  Does it ever get easier?"  Probably not.  People say it does, but the hurt is just as great, if not greater than the day that I lost him.  And since I can't hold on to HIM, I'm grateful for all the tangible things that I CAN hold onto while he's apart from me, like his socks and his hat.  And until I can be reunited with him, I'll just keep missing him, every.second of  

Saturday, July 2, 2011


A friend sent this to me today.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

B.E.N.J.A.M.I.N (by Stevie)

Best brother in the whole wide world
Extra special
ever ever naughty
ust as cute as can be
ll I ever could ask for and more
ine and always will be
love him to the ends of the earth and back for eternity
othing can take him away from me
(found this on my computer made my heart smile)

Monday, June 6, 2011


I took an impromptu visit down south this past weekend to see my parents and Ben.  It was a beautiful day.  Remember the yellow lilies my parents had planted the weekend before?  (see previous post)  The blossoms were GONE as a result of some serious hurricane like weather.  No worries, my mom's always got flowers up her sleeve.  We brought more down to the grave to spruce it up a bit.  

I love that mother of mine!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


My parents and many friends were so good to visit Ben's grave this weekend while we were up in Vermont.  They added some nice greenery and yellow lilies to his marker.  It's looking really beautiful.

And I came home to THESE on Tuesday.  The colors are so cheery!  
Thank you April and Emily.  


Monday, May 30, 2011


We feel so blessed.  So many notes, cards, emails, facebook messages, gifts in the mail from people who love and care about us.  We continue to marvel at the impact Ben has had on people's lives....ALL.OVER.THE.WORLD!  Thank you for making this first anniversary special.  For helping us to make it through one more day.  We couldn't do it without you!!!
(This "B" charm came all the way from Australia and this picture frame and picture from another dear friend.)
One year closer to being with you again...  

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Have you ever looked at something amazing, beautiful or inspiring and had whatever it was that you were looking at or hearing just come alive inside of you?  Have you ever felt the absence of love inside of you and then compared it to a time when you felt the pure love of another for you and realized that the feelings that come at times like those are like sacred moments that are hard to describe for someone else unless they too have had the same experience?  Have you ever held something or someone so precious to you that letting go seemed like a part of you was now missing?  Have you ever held someone so pure and precious and totally incapable of caring for themselves that you realized for a tiny moment you were what preserved the gift of life for them - - like a new born infant?  Imagine if you will being able to hold and care for a newborn infant that never grew old and never stopped needing the constant love and nurturing that made it possible to sustain that life.  In a way, that was what it was like to know Ben.  Holding him, touching him, caressing him, kissing him and just being able to look at him seemed to confirm that life itself was so uniquely precious that you were holding the gift of life itself in your arms.  He was somewhat deformed and yet he seemed perfect in every respect.  He was unable to speak and yet he conveyed a sense of being and purpose that could not be expressed in words.  He could not see and yet it was as if holding him allowed you to see through his eyes and look at things we can't see with our mortal eyes - things like love and
the purpose of life and the eternal nature of the soul.  He could not touch or sense touching, yet the act of holding him or touching him was like being given a momentary gift of being able to feel in a very physical way his spirit and to know that he was aware of being loved and wanted. 
So Ben was life-changing - and life confirming - not by knowledge you come by in a book or from a teacher, but from the very source of life itself, from God the Eternal Father.  How fortunate we all were to know Ben, even if it was just for a moment in time.  Thank-you Heavenly Father.   

Monday, May 9, 2011


 I celebrate my kids on earth...
 AND in heaven.
not just on Mother's day...but every day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I had a dream about you last night...only I can't remember all the details.  But knowing you were in my dreams makes me feel better.  Your year date is coming up fast.  I'm starting to get anxious about it.  I still can't believe this is my life...that you are gone.  Every minute of every day my heart and my soul aches for you.  I love you to the moon and back!

Friday, April 22, 2011


I was over at Dartmouth today with Kaleb.  We were in their brand new building for out patient surgery.  (across the street from the hospital)  Even though it was a brand new building, one that we had never stepped foot in before today...there were a lot of the same friends that moved into this new unit.  It was good to see them.  We were welcomed so lovingly.  The nurse and tech that took care of Kaleb were outstanding, but I already knew that because they had taken care of Ben many times before in that same setting.  The anesthesiologist was a new face for me.  Our nurse told her, "You have a gift this morning."  She looked at our nurse kind of puzzled.  What she meant (and clarified) was that WE were that gift.  She told the anesthesiologist, "What a gift it is to be able to take care of this amazing family."   She went on to talk about Ben and how he is legend around campus.  I was touched.  I love being able to entrust my children to people who LOVE us and CARE for us.  And how much easier it makes going back to the place that holds so many tender memories for me.  After the surgery, she wheeled Kaleb out to my car, gave me a BIG hug and told me that she hopes she doesn't have to see us there anytime soon, but if we need to be there...she would be so THRILLED to have us.  Thank you Ben, for being the legend that you are!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011


Wish you were here to celebrate with us...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stevie and the Elephant

Benny was MY constant sidekick, and the elephant was his.  I saw this picture the other day.  (bottom right)  I asked a lady where she got it, she didn't know.  It made me think of Stevie because she often draws and paints herself next to a giant elephant, symbolizing her relationship with Ben.  The other day a friend sent me one of those emails with cute pictures in it.  This picture was in the email.  I love it because it reminds me of Stevie and her brother...I love it because so does she.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

10 Months today

My heart is so sad tonight.  I don't look at Ben's blog too often anymore because it's so, so hard.  But when I have a quiet minute and am missing him terribly, I sit and look.  And then I cry.  And then I sob.  I cry so hard I can't breathe.  And then my husband walks in the door.  Thank goodness.  He put his arms around me as we sit together and look...and then we both cry.  Oh the pain.  This picture makes my arms ache and my heart hurt, but I'm really grateful I have it because looking at it reminds me of how I used to feel while holding Ben.  Look how peaceful we are.  I miss that boy. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Oh if the words that are in my head would flow down into my fingers.  I have never been a man that could use the written word to express my self, a talent that I have worked at hiding under my bushel.  But here I sit feeling impressed to put my thoughts down on paper.

Let me start with the sweet message that I read this morning on Ben’s blog.  (see previous post)  Have you ever had that moment where the spirit touches you most unexpectedly and you find your self reaching for something or someone?  I sit this morning with 750 students moving around me and the many tasks that await me and all I want to do is reach into my computer screen and hold my boy whose pictures I gaze at. 
There have been moments, sweet moments that I will cherish over the past 8 years.  Ben has never been far from my thoughts or heart, our home is a constant reminder of our eight year blessing.  I love these constant reminders of his life and the love he gave.  But every once in a while I find my self over come with emotion thinking of him.
I find it odd as to what makes these feeling boil to the surface.  A few Sundays ago I was sitting in our regular seat in church. A wonderful woman who is wheelchair bound was in front of us in the spot reserved for handicaps where Ben’s chair used to be.  About half way through the meeting I had my head down when I looked up and saw the back of her wheel chair and for one split second Ben was back, and that this had all been a bad dream.  Then in that same second my heart sank and reality flooded in and there I sat washed over by the emotions of a lost son.
I have not had a dream of Ben since he went to his Father in Heaven which is part of the heavy heart today, I don’t know why that is.  I’ve never felt like I needed one or that I need to pray for one until today. 
I have often thought of what Ben looks like today as he stands, walking amidst those to whom he was called home to teach.  I am grateful more today then ever for the plan that will allow me the opportunity to see and hug and be hugged by my son Benjamin Mckay Orton ..

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Benny, I had a dream about you last night.  You were still in your earthly body and I was taking care of you in the hospital.   There was a certain doctor in the room observing us and I was showing him how I loved to wrap and swaddle you, even as you got older.  He smiled and I know he was thinking how lucky you were to be so loved.  And then YOU smiled.  I know you knew how much I loved you.  (and still do)  I remember feeling such joy as I was in that moment taking care of you.  And then I woke up.  It's always hard to wake up.  But it felt good to be near you again, feeling so truly happy being in your presence. 
Please visit again soon...
xoxo Mom

Friday, March 11, 2011

As life goes on...

...I can't help but really feel the void.  I miss having you by my side at every game, at every function, at every activity.  Wherever I was, you were right there beside me.  I miss how much work it was just to get you out the door every day.  The way I had to plan ahead so that I had time to dress you in your warm clothes with your cute hats that accentuated your already LARGE cheeks.  I miss loading you into your wheelchair (even though you were getting really heavy).  I miss pushing you out the door and right into your van where I would lock your chair into place and buckle you up tight so that you would be safe.  I miss having to look for parking spaces big enough (because the handicap spaces weren't always available) so that your ramp could come down.  I miss being in public because people were always so kind to you.  
I just plain miss you Ben...

Saturday, February 26, 2011


is done. ;)
We love you Ben!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Today my dad came to see me in the hospital.  (see my other blog)
He brought a lovely poem he had written this week for me.
It was so beautiful that I wanted to share with my blog friends.
Thanks again Dad!  I feel so lucky to have received this gift!
Mother Loves You, Ben
It would take ten thousand kisses
Just to show how much she misses
You all the days you are gone

It would take ten thousand days
Just to tell you of all the ways
She wants to touch you again

It would be ten thousand blessings                              
Just to feel her hands caressing                              
Your angel face one more time

And it could take ten thousand years
Just to count up all of her tears
That she has cried just for you

She would climb ten thousand stairs
She would say ten thousand prayers
To hold your hands once again

Yes, she would walk ten thousand miles
Just to embrace you for awhile
And feel you breathing on her

It could take ten thousand wishes
Just to give you all the kisses
She has saved up just for you

She would wait ten thousand years
She would cry ten thousand tears
She would climb ten thousand stairs
She would say ten thousand prayers
Just to hold you again
          Just to see you again
          Just to love you again                                                                                   
Written by Grampy Hutchins
February 14, 2011