To be honest, I was kind of dreading the Holidays, knowing that it would be tough without Benjamin. I was right… It’s tough. Though I struggle with occasional sadness, it’s hard to be sad too long with a house full of amazing kiddos, and a husband who knows just what to say, and when to say it.
It all started with the trip to buy a small tree for the cemetary. Nothing brings Christmas cheer like a woman picking out tree decor in tears. (Sarcasm) I know it can’t ever be easy dealing with the loss of a child at any age, but sometimes it’s hard to swallow that at 34, I am decorating a cemetary plot. I would rather be watching Benjamin’s eyes light up at the sight of Christmas lights, or seeing him dance along with his sisters while they decorate the tree, or noticing the excitement when he finds the most perfect Christmas gift.
Two weeks ago, my sadness turned into a complete meltdown over something I hadn’t even thought about… Our family Christmas card. While knowing that I would refuse to take a family picture without Benjamin, I worked on a collage of pictures from this past year. As I scrolled through them, I was reminded of Benjamin’s decline in health. There were few pictures with big smiles, and most pictures he looked pale. It hurt to look through them, and I definitely didn’t want anyone to remember him that way. I had given up and decided that this family would not be participating in the Christmas card tradition, and I wasn’t sure if we would ever again.
In a moment where I was alone with Rush, I cried, and cried, and cried, barely able to catch my breath. Rush being the sweet and loving child he is, walked over and placed his head in my lap. He then walked behind the coffee table, crouched down, and jumped up with his modified “peek-a-boo.” To conclude his cheer up routine, he does this…
It’s amazing how intuitive this kid is at 20 months.
The next day, we had Sirmon family Christmas pictures. We took a few of us and Benjamin’s plaque, not expecting to use them. The next day, I pulled up the pictures and God had answered my cry, as he always does. They were perfect, God set that up for me. I now can’t wait to have our family Christmas cards completed, and for everyone to see them.
Tuesday, I took the kids to the cemetary to decorate Benjamin’s Christmas tree. The girls were so excited and enjoyed every minute never uttering a word of sadness. Lennon and Isla have their moments, but I truly believe they have a better grasp on death and our true eternity better than most adults. I am so proud of them. Rush was just so happy to be outside. This special moment was something I needed.
I know it won’t be easy, but we will continue to remind ourselves how lucky we truly are. I can’t think that Benjamin was taken too early from us, but instead know how blessed we were to be given Benjamin for the time he was with us, a true gift. God loaned us his angel, and although just for a short time, it was enough time to change my life and lives around him.
In less than a week, we will have another miracle to be thankful for…the birth of our fifth child. I can only imagine what Benjamin is telling her before she enters this crazy family.