Welcome Spring


 Yesterday was one month since our Little Buddy left us, and it felt like one month since the sun had peeked through the dark clouds. (Literally and figuratively)  Yesterday though, Benjamin offered another Beautiful Distraction on a day that could have easily left me feeling sad, depressed, and lonely. It was a day where it was too beautiful to lock yourself inside and feel sorry for yourself.  Instead, we spent all day outside making wonderful memories with the kids and focusing on our family. (And the reason why our house was a mess) 🙂



The girls and their friends spent part of the afternoon selling their old things (sorry neighbors), raising money for The Smiles Park. What a way to honor Benjamin on such a beautiful Spring Day.  

Today, I was able to take more donations to The Civitan Club. One month after our Little Buddy left, our wonderful friends and family have donated over $11,000. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about how generous people have been in Benjamin’s honor. 


Continuing His Work

About six weeks ago, we scheduled a time to meet with The Cross radio station. The Cross generously volunteered to donate a portion of the funds raised during their fundraising week to the Smiles Park.  Unfortunately, our meeting was scheduled for three days after Benjamin passed away. The day before, I text the Civitian Club to see if they were still going. I think none of us really knew how to handle this, but deep down I knew that Benjamin would want this playground built, so I agreed to meet. At this point, I had no idea how I would be able to talk, or leave the comfort of my house and family, but I knew it’s what Benjamin would have wanted. 

Our time talking went well, until I was asked about the recent events.  I lost it for a moment, took a little time to breath, and continued on.  Though it was tough, I felt very proud to be able to help Benjamin continue his work.  Though Benjamin will never be able to enjoy The Smiles Park, it makes my heart smile knowing that so many other children will, and many of them will remember Benjamin because of it. 🙂  

I left that day with a feeling of comfort that I didn’t have before. Whether it was getting out of the house, or doing what I knew Benjamin would have wanted, or the prayers and wonderful words of comfort and honesty I received from the radio station, I am able to look back and carry that with me knowing because of God and Benjamin, I am stronger than I think…strong enough to continue with his work. 

JGS Shootout

In January, I attended the JGS Priests’ Shootout. Benjamin wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t go, but I wanted to make sure the school knew how thankful we were. This was such an awesome event for such a great cause, The Smiles Park. Benjamin really had an impact on the kids the week before, and it was evident by how they all showed support for the playground.


The school asked for donations for the playground to attend the game, and after the totals were in, JGS raised $1,400!! This far exceeded my expectation, but I wasn’t surprised with such a generous community. 

This school, church, and community have been so wonderful to our family. We are so thankful for the sweet messages, food, flowers, prayers, and the continued support for the Smiles Park.  The Smiles Park has been one of Benjamin’s Beautiful Distractions for me. 



Silence Broken by Beautiful Distractions

For almost three years, I had only been in my own home on one occasion without the swishing of the vent, the occasional alarm, and the sounds of Benjamin with his toys.  Now, I am left with silence during the day. A silence that can be so painful that I have to hold my fingers in my ears to avoid it.  I have never had alone time, nor did I want it. I was so dependent on Benjamin’s presence.  

Grieving has been a confusing  process. I assumed I would cry all day everyday, but I don’t. Most of the time I feel numb…not sad, or happy, or worried, or anxious… Just numb. I’m numb until a trigger happens. Then, I feel completely heartbroken.  

I’ve had my numbness broken by a few occasions…having to return Benjamin’s equipment, occasionally wanting to rush home to hang out with him, panicking during day thinking I missed his feeding time, and when I realize there is no reason to rush home to see him after picking up the kids from school or gym.  The feelings of anger and sadness come rushing back, as well as, the selfish feelings of missing him even though I know that he is in a wonderful state in a wonderful place. 

Along with the numbness, I have so many fears and concerns…1. Will people forget about  him? 2. Will I forget the little things about him… His squishy cheeks and the feel of his beautiful hair?  3. Will I feel numb forever, or will I turn into a sobbing mess?  4. Will I always have this pain in my heart? 5. Will Lennon and Isla be able to remember how awesome Benjamin was? 

In the silence, all I can do is pray. Pray for strength not only for me, but also for my kids and husband. Pray that we will continue to live by the lessons Benjamin taught us. Pray that others will also be renewed by Benjamin’s story. Pray that one day, the silence won’t be so painful. 

Benjamin has been able to occupy some of our time with what we call “Benjamin’s beautiful distractions.”  The heaviest snowfall in years only a few days after Benjamin’s procession to Heaven was not coincidence. Our new favorite song coming on the radio right when you think you might want to fall apart is not coincidence. A sweet note or gift being dropped by the house on those days where I am so afraid of the silence that awaits me is not coincidence. Just like Benjamin took care of us when he was alive, he is still caring for us today. We are so honored to have our own little guardian angel watching over us and occasionally telling us “it will all be ok” with “Benjamin’s Beautiful Distractions.”