With a mixture of a little pneumonia and severe diarrhea, Benjamin thought it was necessary to check out the facilities in our new hometown. We checked in yesterday, and he has been receiving fluids continuously. Hopefully we will be home soon, but I want to make sure he is ready first. We have been very happy here. Starting over with a new hospital and new doctors is very nerve wracking, but Benjamin has been well cared for here at St. Francis. I know he is feeling a little better, because he keeps signing for wheels on the bus. 🙂
Sparing the details, Wednesday I frantically arrived home after a call about Benjamin. Usually by the time I arrive, it’s handled, but today wasn’t that day. The motionless, grey body I walked in on showed no signs of Benjamin except for his beautiful eyes and brown hair. After a few minutes, the color returned and Benjamin started to move again. It has taken him a few days to recover, but I think we are on track to a full recovery. We have had many scary moments in the past, but this was my first time to call for 911. Thankfully, we were able to cancel the request.
So what now…how do we recover from that? When asked how I do this, I replied, “Because you have to, because I have to greet Lennon and Isla at the door with a ‘How was your day at school?’ and a big smile.” Though most of my moments are filled with thankfulness that Benjamin is still here, every once in a while I dwell on what might have been? What if I had been farther away? What if he had gone without oxygen one more minute? But I also think about what Benjamin is feeling. Is he tired of this? Does he feel like I failed? It is just so hard to get the vision of what he looked like out of my head. For a minute, I thought that I had lost him.
Apparently, it’s not Benjamin’s time. He still has work to do, and I will do what I can to get his message out. This week on International Day of Acceptance for People with Disabilities, KC and I took Benjamin to Jesus the Good Shepherd School to talk about Benjamin’s different abilities and the Smiles Park Project. I knew Benjamin would be a hit communicating through his Communication device, but I was worried how the kids would attend to me. Benjamin and I both talked on the topics, and I then opened the floor for questions, not knowing if they would have any. I was pleasantly surprised at not only how many had questions, but how many had fantastic questions. Kids are so smart, attentive, caring, and truly interested in people with different abilities, and this gave them a great, safe platform to ask questions. I left impressed and confident that the kids we talked to that day would show compassion and love to Benjamin and kids like him in the future. I’ve had many parents tell me how excited the kids were to see Benjamin, and it brought tears to my eyes.
This Tuesday, for Catholic Schools Week at JGS, the local Priests will come together for a basketball shootout. The money raised at this basketball exhibition will go towards the Smiles Park Project. We are so lucky to have had the girls’ schools past and present support their brother and the idea of all-inclusive playgrounds. With donations, will come awareness, and with awareness, comes acceptance. WE PLAY AS ONE!
Please join us for the Jester Jog. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the West Monroe Civitan Smiles Park, an inclusive playground to be built in Kiroli Park.