“An angel baby is a baby sadly lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or lost in the days, weeks, months or years after birth.”
We had a son named Bennett. Now I know that every parent says this, but Bennett was so smart and so beautiful. You could get lost in his deep blue eyes, impish dimples or blond ringlets. He had a mischevious smile that always kept you guessing what he was planning next. Benny was very different from our daughter, Darcy. Where as Darcy was more quiet and careful in new situations or around new people, Bennett would walk right up and try to shake a strangers hand. He was so rough, so crazy, and so confident in everything he did. He was all boy. He challenged me as a parent in many different ways than Darcy did, instead of the theatrics, I was constantyly chasing him, pulling him off of things. Benny was exhausting to parent, but I always had a smile on my face because he was so funny and engaging. At 17.5 months he already had a vocabulary that would rival any 2 year olds and was capable of communicating his needs. He was part of ‘our set’, Bennett and Darcy, from Pride and Predjudice.
Back in November 2013, I lay in bed on a Friday morning like any other while my kiddos ran and jumped around my room. Benny and I went shopping for a coat and birthday presents for his big sister. He spent most of the time in line flirting with the younger girl behind me. We were running late (per usual) to meet up with a friend. We went to the bouncy house place and I had a blast! Benny kept taking drinks from the water fountain and asking to ‘wash’ his hands. I called my husband and told him that yeah, things might be financially tight, but I loved being a mom and even though I never expected him, I loved having a son. We went to Wendy’s and Benny got fries and chicken nuggets and I felt so guilty he didn’t have any fruits or vegetables. He fell off the chair at the restaurant and I thought that was as bad as my day was going to get. On the ride home I was marveling at the late afternoon snow while Bennett slept in the back of my car, so tired from our busy day. I was removing him from the car and our world ended and this horrible new reality took hold. What I wouldn’t give to go back. What I wouldn’t give to memorize every dimpled smile, every laugh, every pout and every fit. But we cannot go backward, we can only go forward.
In the days after losing Benny, we watched people, mostly strangers, enter our lives and show their support. People in droves started showing up with food, flowers and presents to help us get through this hard time. We watched in awe as strangers began putting stuffed animals, drawings and flowers on Chester Street in Benny’s memory. The amount of support was overwhelming and we have been blessed to make many new friends.
We are now part of the club no parent wants to be a part of. I cannot begin to describe what it’s like to witness losing your child. You can’t imagine the hole that it opens in your heart that only time can mend or the questions that you will never have answered, like why did this happen?
We will never know why Benny was only with us for 17 months. We will never know why we will not be able to see him grow up with his big sister. We will never know why he wasn’t ours to keep.
Here is what we do know, we were so blessed to have Bennett in our lives, even if it was for a short time. The amount of love and happiness that he brought to Parker, Darcy and myself will never be forgotten. I have started this blog as a way to collect my thoughts and pull together information to share with Darcy when she is older. I needed an outlet for all of my anger, sorrow, grief, etc. and I wanted Darcy to be able to better understand things when she’s old. There is a lot of honesty and grief in what I write, so be forewarned. I had a hard time even fathoming sharing this information because it is so raw. I’m not looking for anything other than your understanding and your peace. When I started this journey, I thought of my blog as a journal, I never intended another person to read it. If it helps one person to understand what we are feeling, or helps another grieving mother than that is much more than I ever thought this would be. Do not feel that you have to read through this if you can’t, I get it, it’s not for everyone. Feel free to share if you wish. Please just remember that these are my feelings at that moment in time, and they are all over the place and will continue to be for sometime. Thanks.
Quote from Winnie the pooh-
‘If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you’