A Letter To Benny


Happy 10th Birthday little man!

I don’t know if I have any words left to express the feeling of your absence.  I mentally thumb through my memories of you.  They are more faded than I would like.  Some of them are only there if I don’t look too hard.  As soon as I try to focus on them they vaporize.

I miss you so. If I were granted the wish to see you again I would smother you with kisses. I would count your fingers and toes just as if you were a newborn. I would run my fingers over your familiar scars, rub your head, hold your face in my hands and soak you up for as long as I was allowed. Perhaps it is a kindness that I can’t have a visit with you because I could not bear to lose you all over again.  I used to have these dreams over and over again that you would come to see me, but I was so busy crying and worrying about you leaving again that I couldn’t enjoy you being there.

Yesterday would have been your last day of 4th grade. Would you like school?   Would you be into sports?  Would you be artsy? a book-worm? into riding your bike?  Would you and Jeremia still be inseparable?

Amber and I were discussing and laughing tonight how you would come up to our shoulders now.  We think you would be all limbs, long and lanky and your hair would be one big mop of curls.  Still just as cute as ever!

Would you still love pink and aspire to be a ballerina fireman?

What kind of birthday cake would you ask Dad to make for you? What kinds of presents would you have requested. What dinner would you choose?

I think we will have macaroni and cheese, with corn on a stick, baked beans, and cherry pepsi for dinner in celebration of you.

I wish you could have had the chance to be a normal kid. I wish it had been in my power to make everything better.  I wish you were here to hold and hug and scold and fret about.  I wish I could sit at the dinner table and remind you to eat your green stuff and help you with your homework.  I wish I could sneak in your room and watch you sleep.  I wish I could squeeze you tight and smother your face with kisses. I wish you were here to  blow out your birthday candles and open your presents.

There is a hole in our family where you belong and I wish like hell you were here to fill it.

As I type this I can feel you nudging me telling me you are here.  I know you are.  I feel you.  I see you in so many things.  I am grateful for you.  I love you so completely that I ache to see your face, to feel you nuzzled into my neck while I rock you and rub your head.  Don’t think for one second that just because you would be ten that I wouldn’t hold you like the baby you are to me.

Daddy and I have decided that we are going to conduct as many random acts of kindness (RAOK) as we can from now until June 27th, the anniversary of your death. I cannot believe that you will have been gone just as long as you were here.

RAOK helped us cope after you died.  They are something we enjoy immensely.  One of the things we will do is take a hundred or so dollar bills and stick them in random places for unsuspecting people to find.  Daddy is really excited to put one on a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch at the grocery store.  I think we will probably put one on the syrup too.  I will encourage everyone we know to engage in RAOK because there is truly no better feeling than giving just for the sake of it.

I have been saving this picture for you.  I took it at the fair with you in mind.

I still remember sitting in your hospital room with you perched in your bed surrounded by your favorite toys.  I asked you to hand me “My Little Pony” and you corrected me saying “It’s my little pony not yours.”  Right you were.

My beautiful spunky little boy, I wish I could know the man you would have become.

Thank you for picking us.  Thank you for all you have given and continue to give.  Please stay close with me today and always.  I love you. I love you. I love you.  Happy Birthday!




Filed under Brain Stew, Celebrate

4 responses to “A Letter To Benny

  1. Mindy Mc

    I will honor your sweet Benny today with my own RAOKs. Happy Birthday Benny. I wish so much that your mamma had you with her today to hug and kiss and squeeze.
    Thinking about you Amy..

  2. Joan Kellogg

    What a beautiful letter.

    I have really been struggling with so many things.

    I will perform Random Acts of Kindness. I will look outside of myself.

    For Benny.

    Love you Amy.

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