I woke up this morning like any other morning. A flurry of activity trying to get everyone ready. Just another day.
Just like it was just another day 5 years ago. Except it wasn’t. November 8th changed us forever. I look back on that day now and I hardly recognize myself. Things have changed. I have changed.
I’m not entirely certain I could ever imagine the path my life has taken since we lost Benny. I’m not sure I really thought much into the future during those first bleak days. Hope seemed like something reserved for someone else.
So here I am 5 years out and I can tell you that my life is almost unrecognizable. I never imagined feeling fulfilled again. I never thought that I would be able to laugh again or allow myself to feel vulnerable.
My heart will always ache. Even in my most joyous of times a part of me will be sad. I will never hold my son again. My children will never all be together in one place. I never thought this would be my story.
I certainly didn’t think that I would be waking up to try and organize the post move chaos that is my life while nursing two sick kiddos. This was not my plan for the day. I wanted to breathe, soak it all in. But my plans are as steadfast as they were on this day 5 years ago. I must remember how little control I actually have.
There are times when I look in the mirror and I wonder how different I must look. Older, sadder, perhaps wiser. Definitely content.
I’m reminded of the Velveteen Rabbit in these moments. We read a passage from the book at Benny’s Memorial and my goodness is it fitting for today.
‘You become, it takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But those things don’t matter at all because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’
Maybe in all of this grief and this heartache, I’ve ”become.’ I don’t think this is a final step or the end of anything. I think this is just where I am today.
I love you, my Benny bear. Thank you for every laugh, every snuggle and every smile that you brought into our lives. I love and miss you every single day.