I’ve never been so happy to see 12:01 in my life. It means that we made it, that we survived yet another heartbreaking milestone in Bennett’s death. We should not be measuring time by survival. I shouldn’t have to wail in pain to the Universe about how unfair this all is. Our lives should not have to be defined by his death.
Most days it’s enough that he was here. Most days I can smile and take joy from my daughters life and my husbands antics. Not at this moment. I welcome the numbness as a way to get through. I welcome the day to day tasks that I use as a way to escape. It still seems unreal, so awfully horrific. Like watching a movie, or living someone else’s life. Why did this happen?
When Benny was born we counted his life in months. I consider that my life ‘Before the accident’ or ‘BA’. Now we count his death in months (‘After the accident’ or ‘AA’). It’s like someone drew a line in the sand and we started counting backwards again. That’s how everything feels, backwards. It was 2 months ago today that I laid in bed in the morning like any other Friday while my kiddos ran and jumped around my room. 2 months ago 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. 2 months ago 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. 2 months ago today 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. 2 months ago today 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. 2 months ago I was marveling at the late afternoon snow while Bennett slept in the back of my car, so tired from our busy day. 2 months ago that 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 to 2 months ago + 1 day. What I wouldn’t give to memorize every dimpled smile, every laugh, every pout and every fit. I’ve thought about that day a lot and what I could have done differently, how I should have reacted. I’ve wondered if I had just brought him right up to bed like I was going to, and then gone down to the car, If I had jumped into the car, if, if, if. I need an undo button. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I’m not supposed to be here again.
What I wouldn’t give to be back in this moment. To be sitting here and enjoying Bennett’s first bites of Birthday cake with Darcy and Daddy. Like everything though, he had to do it big, over the top. Why just eat the ice cream cake when you can taste it, I mean really taste it with your eyelashes and your nose and your hair? That blue stuff doesn’t come off very easily in the tub either. But that’s how Benny did everything, all the way.
I had stopped giving him tubs because he refused to sit. He wanted to stand and hold the shower hose and be showered like his big sis, all before he was a year. It was like bathing a greased pig with big blue eyes. Such independence and spirit. I think the hardest thing is wondering how this huge personality has just disappeared. I just don’t get it, I cannot wrap my head around it. How did we end up here?