I love this article. It so clearly defines my feelings on this topic that I have shared many times.
Day 13 – Month 13
By the time Benny was 13 months old he was giving us a full on run for our money. He was completely mobile, standing, walking, it was like it all happened overnight. He was constantly climbing everything and anything that he could. He spent so much of his time trying to be like the big kids. His vocabulary was incredible for such a young guy. We tried signing, but he refused. We’re pretty sure that his first word was either ‘cat’ or ‘that’. It was hard to tell and he always pointed. Of course he said ‘Darc’ all of the time. He was a comedian and enjoyed entertaining all of us. It was so hard to get mad at him because he was so amusing.
I am officially in the home stretch. I’m whale huge and uncomfortable and feel so unprepared for this new little one. I mean, clothes are washed and organized, diapers and wipes are purchased. The house is still construction chaos, but we are used to that by now. We only work well on deadlines.
I’m unprepared emotionally. I’ve had to go through all of the baby stuff again. Most of it was hand me downs or from Darcy, so I have to say it’s been fun seeing that again. The stuff that was truly Benny’s though, it sucks. A piece of me dies each time we come across his shoes, or his hats or his toys that have been away. I don’t even know where to begin with this stuff. His dresser remains the same, an untouched mausoleum to a 17 month old boy. I know it’s only things, but they were his things.
I’ve looked at this situation so much from Darcy’s perspective, but now as I get closer to holding this little man in my arms, I’m overwhelmingly sad for him. He will never know his older brother. They will never meet, besides my dreams. They will never play together, or laugh or argue. He will know him only through pictures and stories. I’ve thought so much about what Darcy lost, but never really much about what Fletcher will never know. I’m so sad for him.
I’m worried about how overwhelming it will be to hold Fletcher in my arms for the first time. I’m scared about being in a hospital setting for any of this. I truly hope that St. V’s will honor our wishes for a natural birth. I’m scared for all that could go wrong, even though I’ve had two perfect deliveries. There are no guarantees and that is what frightens me the most.
Today I had a doctor’s appointment and I was talking to the nurse who taking my blood pressure, weight, etc. She was talking about how she lived near me and how awful our hill is in the winter. Of course at this point in the conversation I’m wondering if she knows ‘our story,’ but this is a fleeting thought as we continue to talk.
I have to admit that she looked familiar, but I figured that I had just seen here there before. We’re chatting away when she stops and looks at me says that she doesn’t really know how to say this, but she was there, in the road with me the day of the accident. She was one of the nurses that gave Bennett CPR. I didn’t know what to say, I was completely caught off guard. I had known that there were 3 people to do CPR on Benny, but it was all such a blur. The police had no information for us on who was involved and we found the others on our own.
About a month after the accident, my sister found an article from the T&G that interviewed this nurse that had been on the scene of the accident. Quite honestly, I had no idea that she had been involved at all until after the fact and I had contacted her to thank her. She was the only person that I had still not met. Until today. I got to hug her and tell her how thankful we were that she stopped to help us, to help Bennett. She said she would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Just another amazing stranger. A hero among many that showed up for us that day. How amazing for her to cross my path over a year later. I have to think that this is the work of a little blue eyed angel.
“Perhaps most of all, though, you deserve to be okay. You deserve to know that a day in which you can just barely get out of bed because you are sad, or sick, or simply not ready to see the outside is not the end of the world. You deserve to know that moments of weakness do not make you fundamentally weak, only fundamentally human, and that sometimes we’re not going to be effusively happy, and that is okay. You deserve to be happy just existing and not constantly holding yourself up to a standard of fake smiles and forced cheerfulness.” Chelsea Fagan
Couldn’t have said it better. There are good days and bad ones, and just because you don’t see the bad ones, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Just because I’m smiling on the outside, doesn’t mean that it’s all happiness and light on the inside. People have moved on, have expected that we have done the same. Some people have started calling again, wanting to spend time with us. We have not moved on, we will NEVER move on. We live everyday with the knowledge that we have a son that will forever be 17 months.
What started out last year as a ‘last minute 5k’ for the Greg Hill Foundation has grown into something else. To quote my friend Erin, “Amazing how less than two years old and he has the power to gather the masses. An incredible day to honor and cherish Benny.”
This year we had over 50 people walking/running last Saturday, it was incredible! We were easily the largest team to participate in the event. Watching the sea of Benny shirts on the route was inspiring. To know that this many people turned out to support our little guy and our family. We had folks traveling from CT and NH just to walk with us. There was so much love in that crowd.
Santa was there as well as cookies, candy and carolers to keep us moving. This year it was a balmy 35 out, so we didn’t freeze! Afterwards we went over to 29 Sudbury to carb up great food and free beer while we listened to the live entertainment and watched the kiddos run around.
People sent in donations for us to drop off as well and we were able to turn over an additional $120 to the foundation. It was an incredible day and an incredible feeling to be surrounded by that much love. Thank you once again Benny’s Bunchers!! Thank you GHF for all that do to support local families and bring us some hope during our darkest hours!!
After the accident happened, I knew that I needed to do something, anything, in Benny’s name. While I’m still trying to vet exactly what that is, I intend to give of myself in honor of Benny’s life. He lived and even though it was short, he was here and he was mine. My intention is to try to better other grieving parents/childrens lives, be it though a non-profit or just simply reaching out. No one should have to bury a child alone.
I’ve been toying with the idea of starting up ‘Benny’s Bunnch’ as a parent/child grief resource. I know that there are groups out there such as Compassionate Friends, but I’m looking at something more than a grief group. I think back to the hospital sending us home with tons of paperwork with terrifying statistics. There was no follow up whatsoever and no guidance. We are just lucky that we have social workers in our family that were able to push us in the right direction. We got help almost immediately. I have met several other people on this journey that haven’t had this type of support and perhaps would have benefited from it. I haven’t yet figured out what form this should take or a time frame. I just know that I want to help others. This process is much easier when you don’t feel alone. I’ve been surrounded by other moms that have helped to guide me. It’s time to return the favor.