Capture Your Grief

I started the ‘Capture Your Grief’ journey after reading some fellow bloggers posts. I figured why not, the timing was right before our 1 year mark. All of the topics came from the Carly Marie Project Heal website. She put together a list of daily topics/pictures to share. Reading everyone else’s posts helped me to realize that we weren’t alone. The website is actually a really great resource for baby and child loss as well.

I feel like CYG gave me the opportunity to further define my future goals. I’ve been able to look at the help that we had following the accident and realize just how lucky we were. I’ve realized that there is truly a need in our community for parental support and it’s something that I’ve started looking into.

The journey had me writing about several topics that I have already explored and some I hadn’t even thought about yet. I hadn’t really stopped to ask myself where I was on my grief journey. I knew how many months it had been since Bennett died, but I hadn’t really stopped to look at where we were relative to a month, 2 months, 6 months ago. It honestly put a very positive spin on my life going into the 1 year anniversary. All of a sudden I was able to take a step back and really notice that we were doing ok, we were surviving.

Darcy has come full circle in her grief and has become so open to talking about her brother and her feelings. That’s not to say that she still doesn’t have her challenges, but she’s just in a much better place than last February. I couldn’t imagine my life without Parker by my side. He’s my rock and I truly need him in my life. Somehow taking a step back and being able to compare ‘today’s me’ to ‘6 months ago me’ was very empowering. I was able to see how much we have done as a family to try and heal.

This is not to say that we don’t miss Benny, everyday. It still hurts, a lot. I still have pain from the accident, which is a constant physical reminder of what happened. There are good days and bad days. CYG just gave me the opportunity to recognize that the good ones were actually happening.

Advertisements

Benny’s Bunch 5K

We will be bundling up again this December and running/walking in the Greg Hill Foundation Jingle All the Way 5k. The event is December 13th at 10 AM in Sudbury. We walk/run in the freezing cold, then head to 29 Sudbury for some food and drink. The event is only $30 and there is no fundraising. It benefits the Greg Hill Foundation, who helps local families that have been touched by tragedy. Please consider joining us for this festive event!

Jingle All the Way 5k Registration

DSC_0182

Political Rant

So, I’m a little behind in posting this, but it’s been a tough couple of weeks. I’m frustrated. Parker and I didn’t vote in the November election, we didn’t feel that we were educated enough to make a decision and quite honestly, after the year that we’ve had, it really didn’t feel important.

I’m sick to my stomach as I read that ACA might be repealed. All of a sudden, the fact that we SHOULD have voted is abundantly clear. I’m so tired of hearing about the people that take advantage of the system, don’t deserve it, blah blah blah. I get it, there are people that take advantage, that probably don’t deserve the help that they get. Here’s the thing, I do not enjoy being cast into that group.

I went on short term disability shortly after the accident because I needed to. I was a mess, I had a husband and daughter to think about and driving wasn’t even an option at that point. STD covered half of my health insurance benefits, so we were paying $600+ a month. In February, my LTD kicked in, and guess what, they don’t cover insurance AT ALL. For months we paid $1400 out of pocket to keep our health insurance. In April I was thrilled to finally get a letter saying that we had coverage under the ACA! I was able to drop the ridiculous insurance bills and breathe for a bit. We in turn have been paying for our therapy out of pocket because medicaid therapy options are very limited and we wanted to continue seeing our counselors. This was our decision, but believe me that we are paying handsomely for this.

I have worked my ass off since I was 19 and had a job and benefits to take care of my family. Now that we truly need help, the fact that this whole thing could blow up in our faces is gross. WE are the people that need help! My disability runs out on Weds. I am still not driving long distances, but there is so much BS tied into my policy and I’m done. I’m so tired of fighting.

So, this turned very political and I apologize. I am an independent and don’t vote on party lines and quite honestly I cannot stand politics. I’m so tired of the complaints from ‘One Side’ of the people who ‘deserve help.’ Screw them. I hope they never need it.

1 Year ‘AA’

IMG_5180
I cannot believe that I’m even writing these words. I cannot even begin to wrap my head or my heart around the fact that I have lived a year without my son. They are words that I wish on no one, yet over the year I have met far too many other grieving moms.

So, one year. There are so many things that I could write about here, but I want to write about Bennett. I want to share him. I want the world to know the amazing little man that stole my heart.

He was only 17 months. It’s hard to write the word ‘only’ when you consider how large his personality was. This kid was all Fletcher, he was social, outgoing, engaging, flirty, he just had a presence. Benny would walk into a room and it was hard not to be drawn him. He was so charming and charismatic, he was like a gravitational force. I often feared for the poor ladies once he was older. At Parker’s Open House last year he was walking around and shaking people’s hands. Perhaps he would have been a politician.

Every parent says that their child is smart, but Benny truly was. We tried signing with him because it had worked so well with Darcy. For whatever reason, he would have none of it, and started talking, a lot. At 17 months he was already saying mama, dada, i love you, wash, that, cat, dog, Packard, no, more, yes, milk, San, Darce, Evie, Huntah, auntie, truck, car, I can keep going. His language and ability to communicate completely amazed me. He was already beginning to potty train because he wanted to be like his big sister. His motor skills were unmatched too. He was climbing slides (or pretty much anything I suppose) and for a boy, had a great amount of luck at not getting hurt. He had incredible balance and perception of what he was capable of. If he thought that it was too big of a risk, he typically wouldn’t take it. He had self preservation, which is saying a lot for a boy!

Benny was pretty even tempered, but when he got mad, watch out! He would throw the biggest fits, throwing him self on the floor and banging his head. It was rare when it happened, but when it did, he would go full boar. It was probably one of the funniest things that I have ever seen. The week of the accident, the kids were in the bathroom with Parker brushing their teeth. Darcy pushed him out of the way and went to get onto the step stool and turned and bit her in the stomach-it drew blood. He wasn’t one to be pushed around.

He loved his sister. Besides the biting incident, the two of them got along like nothing I’ve ever witnessed in siblings before. I think it was because Darcy is so Type A and Benny was very go with the flow. He was also her comedian. Whenever they were together she was usually laughing at his antics. They were yin and yang. Darcy loved to have blankets on the floor, Benny quickly began laying on them and Darcy would pull him around the house, laughing at him. He was crazy. She spent so much of her time with him hysterically laughing and he would just keep performing. They were perfectly matched.

He loved cars and anything mechanical. I would pick Benny up from Sandy’s at the end of the day and we would head over to Parker’s shop to pick up Darcy. Well, of course he would have to get out and either run around with tools or get in the cars. He spent hours in that shop observing and was already grabbing the shifter, turning the wheel and looking for the keys. He would get angry when I tried to pull him away from the cars. He had a love like his fathers.

He was very musically inclined. He loved to go into the basement and play the drums. Before the accident, Parker had spent some time working with him on some beats that he actually picked up. He was drawn to our organ and any of the kid pianos that we had. Music and dance was his thing.

He was my love. At night, he would go into his room and grab his blanket and paci and climb up into the rocker to read books. He would settle in so quickly and was such a cuddler. I miss the feel of him in my arms at night and his breath on my chest in the morning.

I miss him everyday. It hurts so much to know that he’s gone, but it hurts worse to forget him. I’m sure that there are a million other great memories and I invite anyone to share. He was one incredible dude and I was so lucky to have him.

Sun

images

I’m trying, I truly am. It feels weird to post such an optimistic phrase during such a terrible week. First anniversary of Benny’s death.

How did we get here already? It seems like moments and decades combined into one. Has it really been a year since I held him? That seems almost impossible. It seems almost impossible that any of this has truly happened.

I remember this week a year ago. I remember going to a work dinner on Tuesday night and talking to the kiddos on the phone. It was the first time that Benny really talked to me on the phone, he really got it. He told me goodnight and that he loved me. I was so excited, as he had never done that before.

I remember spreading out in the basement with Darcy to work on her invitations for her birthday on Thursday night. There was mo way that we could do them upstairs because Benny would have gotten involved and glitter and 17 month olds just don’t mix.

I remember running to Old Navy on Friday morning to pick up some gifts for Darcy. Benny was flirting terribly with the girl behind us in line. There was so much Fletcher in that little body.

I remember going to the bouncy house place and habing a blast. It was mommy and Benny time. He was so rough, all boy.

And that’s where I’ll stop. I don’t forget what happened next, I never will. I remember that Benny lived. Right now, that’s all that matters.

Saturday is going to suck, there’s no way around it, we have to go through it. I’m going to try to focus on his life, not his death (if thats possible). I feel like we’re going into battle with the unknown. I suppose that’s what this whole first year has been about though. Battling the why’s and the how’s.

So I’m going to try very hard for sunshine. The shadows haven’t gotten me anywhere in the past. We have a lot of sunshine in our lives and we are surrounded by so much love that keeps us going. Thank you for that.

Our Last First

CAM00388
IMG_5267
IMG_5279

Yesterday was our last first. The last holiday that would be our first without Benny.

It was hard to see the little ones walking door to door as our big one raced around the neighborhood. Thank god for Lyla and her too big box. She needed a hand to hold to walk up the steps. We got to help a little one. Maybe that’s why it didn’t hurt so much.

It’s contagious when the kiddos are that excited. No matter how bad you feel, it’s hard not to get excited with them. It’s hard to stay sad.

We made it through a year of firsts. Where did the year go? How did we get back here so quickly? How did we keep going?!?!

I cannot believe it.