Benny was up to his old tricks when Fletchie was born. During the shift change at the hospital, around 6 AM, we had a new nurse. I instantly liked her.
She said that she had heard about Benny from the previous nurse (I had also put it in my birth plan because I wanted them to know what we were going through, considering the last time we were in a hospital was when he died) and she was so sorry. She also told me that her son passed when he was 10. I shouldn’t be surprised at this point that these people have been continually placed in our path, but I was. She also told me that she had gone on to have another child, a little girl after her son had passed. She was the first person I had met in the flesh that I knew would understand our situation and I felt so much better.
When Fletch was (finally) born, Parker lost it. I expected it, he cried when Benny was born too. He wanted his little boy as badly as I wanted my little girl with Darcy. I was oddly calm, having been going through all of these emotions for months now. I think it’s different for women anyway because we’re bonded with our babies before birth. I just remember our nurse coming over and hugging Parker and saying ‘I know’. And she did, she’s been where we were. It made it so much easier. Yet another nurse in our lives that made such a difference.
The night of the accident, I had both of our Facebook pages taken down because we were scared that the media would pull information/pictures from them. It was almost a year before we reactivated Parker’s because he needed it for work. Mine remains down and I use Parker’s. I couldn’t fathom dealing with people from back home that didn’t know about the accident. I was already the girl who’s mom died in high school, I didn’t want another title.
The other day I dropped Darcy off at camp and was talking to Tara while toting around Fletch. A woman approached me said, ‘I don’t know if you remember me, but our girls took dance together at the Y.’ I recognized her and began to panic. Darcy was in dance when I was pregnant with Benny. We had a few play dates, birthday parties with this family and Benny had been there. She knew Benny and probably had no clue about the accident.
She asked how old Fletch was and started asking about Darcy. I redirected the conversation to her girls and hoped she would leave it at that. Tara was standing next to me and I knew she could tell as much as myself what was coming.
‘How’s your other son, Bennett I think? How old is he now?’. Now I’ve become pretty adept at telling people that he passed. I’ve never told anyone that knew him before. It was awful. Her reaction, the silence, all of it. I’ve been living with it for nearly 21 months now, but her reaction brought it all back, how truly awful it really is that he’s gone. It cut through me.
I felt bad for her, to ask such a simple question and get such an awful answer. Where can the conversation really go from there? She said she was sorry and I said it’s OK, which it’s not. We talked for a few more minutes about dropping her daughter off at camp and she left.
As soon as she was gone I think that Tara and I took a collective breath. I didn’t have to say much, Tara knew. It was like being on a train headed for a collision with no brakes.
The irony was that I had toyed with the idea of putting my FB page back up, but I don’t think I’m ready for that. For now, I’m ‘Parker.’. It’s a good thing that Parker really doesn’t care what I do as long as I maintain his business page. Things that were so simple before have become so complicated.
So we have this new little guy in our lives and it’s chaos again. I welcome it, no I thrive on it. I think I’m one of those people that just needs to be going, going, going. But my new chaos is much different than the old, much less stressful. I have all of these posts that I’ve wanted to share and just haven’t had the time or mindset to sit down and write. It’s hard to type with a baby stuck to your boob!
I’ve had 3 weeks to love this little guy. 3 weeks of complete bliss and joy. 3 weeks of learning when he’s hungry vs. gassy. 3 amazing weeks. I feel so lucky that he’s ours, that we were chosen to be his family. Not everyone gets a rainbow, so I know how extra special he is.
We are fortunate in that so many other people recognize how special he is, how much he means to us. These are the same people that have stood by us for the last 20 months, many of them new friends from our community. These people were strangers to us before November 8th and have since gone out of their way to help us through the hardest time in our lives. It takes a special person to be able to do that, it’s amazing to me how many there are in our lives. They have listened to me talk about Benny and have never become uncomfortable. They’ve allowed me to keep his memory alive. Their children have allowed Darcy to talk about her little brother. They are our ‘Benny’s Bunch’ and we are so thankful for these people.
With the good comes the bad though. The people that have disappeared, that cannot be apart of this. The ones that couldn’t be bothered to reach out after Fletch was born. Part of it is my fault with my Pollyanna hopes that everyone would be as excited as we were. Sadly, that’s not true. It’s hard for me to let go of people in my life because I know how tenuous it is and how quickly things can change. I cannot continue to carry around this anger though and at some point I need to move forward. It’s not going to happen overnight and I’m sure some part of me will still hope that maybe someday we can reconnect, but I know how unlikely that is. I’m sad and disappointed.
It’s hard to wrap my head around when we have had this community of strangers take us in and some of our closest friends can no longer be a part of our lives. I suppose it just speaks to strength in character. For every friend that has disappeared, at least 2 new ones have shown up. We’re truly lucky to have such an amazing community of new friends!
You are a big brother! You have an incredible little brother that I just wish so much that you could meet. I know that you had some part in bringing him into our lives and I’m so thankful for that.
Before he was born I was so focused on how hard it would be to have another baby, another boy. I was so worried about what stuff of yours I could reuse, what clothes, toys, what to do with your room. I was so concerned that I would have a hard time bonding with the new little guy. What if something happened to him to? How would I ever pick up the pieces again? I was so scared of how much he could look like you. How would I deal with that?
Now that he’s here, there is happiness again. I remember how easy it is to fall in love. I’m surprised at how quickly it happened, how intensely we are bonded. I think that is because I know that he is a part of you, Darcy and Parker. I’m so lucky to have Fletcher in my life and so surprised by how much love I feel. The clothes, the room, it’s all secondary, I will figure it out. Yes, he does look like you, a lot. The resemblance is so incredible that there are times when I hold him and I forget where he starts and you end. There are moments when I feel sent back in time to when you were a baby and we were all so happy. I get glimpses of how it used to be and I have to ask myself, did it all really happen? It’s confusing and makes me feel so guilty because I never want to downplay the fact that you were here. Right now it’s just hard to distinguish between my two little guys. He certainly is mouthy and much larger than you were and I know that he will be his own person in time.
It’s hard not to wonder if he will be more like you or more like Darcy. You were our carefree, loving life little guy. Darcy is so obsessive and serious sometimes that I forget that she’s only 6. I hope that he loves the cars like you and Daddy.
Now that he’s here, I wish that you were here more than ever. That happiness that I talk about, it’s an incredible feeling, but fleeting when I realize that you’re not here to share it with us. You would be 3 now and I’m sure a handful. I would probably be overwhelmed with 3 of you, but that’s how my life usually is.
I wish that you were here to add to the chaos. I wish I was telling you to be quiet because the baby is sleeping. I wish that I could have all of my children together in one place. I wish that we could take a family picture or go on a family vacation, all of us. There’s such an enormous piece of our puzzle missing. I wish you were here.