|Here's a picture of my dearest Benjamin I
drew today. I have never drawn anything before, I mostly write to
express my feelings, but today I felt that I needed to draw. The
combination of love and grief can do things a person never could
have expected. I
love and miss you dearly, Benjamin.
"When I Must Leave You"
When I must leave you for
a little while
Please do not grieve and
shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you
through the years
But start out bravely with
a gallant smile;
And for my sake and in my
name live on and do all things
the same, Feed not your loneliness
on empty days,
But fill each waking hour
in useful ways,
Reach out your hand in comfort
and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you
and hold you near;
And never, never be
afraid to die,
For I am waiting for
you in the sky!
Psalm 55: 1-3, 4-7, 16-17, 22
Give ear to my prayer, O God; do not hide
yourself from my request.
Attend to me, and answer me; I am
troubled in my complaint. I am distraught.
Fear and trembling come upon me, and
horror overwhelms me. And I say, "O that I had wings like a
dove! I would fly away and be at rest; truly, I would flee far away;
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will
sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
ONE MORE TIME
A SONG BY pAUL aLEXANDER
Lost and feeling low, not knowing where to go
Running out of steam with no vision or dream,
I am frightened and afraid
losing sight of plans I've made.
Wishing on a star, not knowing where you are.
Refrain: One more time I will
One more time I will try
I reach out my hand
with a prayer in my heart.
I am your child
You are my divine
At the end of my rope
I will hold onto the hope
That you will see me through this
one more time,
Stormy winds that blow, toss me to and fro,
And like the grains of sand I'm drifting
through the land.
And time and time again I wonder
where I've been
Trying hard to see, the path ahead of me.
Bridge: I come before
you, I am down.
On my knees I'm crying, crying, crying
Saturday, May 13, 2000
(17 days since Ben's death)
by the darkness, the bitter, painful hopelessness. Enveloped by a pain
deeper than the universe. Where is my precious boy? My heart yearns
to feel his touch, see his beauty, smell his being. When will we see the light?
No time soon…I know. For now, we are partners with despair, anguish,
misery, loneliness. My son is gone. My precious boy is gone. Lord, help me to
May 14, 2000 - 18 days since Ben's
What Makes a Mother
I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a Mother and I know I heard him say.
A Mother has a baby This we know is true
But God can you be a Mother When your baby's not with you?
Yes, you can He replied With confidence in His voice.
I give many women babies When they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime And others for the day.
And some I send to feel your womb
But there's no need to stay.
I just don't understand this God I want my baby here.
He took a breath and cleared His throat And then I saw a
I wish I could show you What your child is doing today.
If you could see your child smile With other children and say....
"We go to earth to learn our lessons Of love and life and fear
My Mommy loved me oh so much
I got to come straight here
I feel so lucky to have a Mom Who had so much love for me
I learned my lessons very quickly
My Mommy set me free.
I miss my Mommy oh so much But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep On her pillow's where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek And whisper in her ear.
Mommy don't be sad today "I'm your baby and I'm here."
So you see my dear sweet one Your children are ok.
Your babies are here in My home And this is where they'll stay.
They'll wait for you with Me Until your lessons through.
And on the day that you come home,
they'll be at the gates for you.
So now you see What makes a Mother.
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of Right from the very start.
Though some of earth may not realize until their time is done.
Remember all the love you have
And know that you are a Special Mom!
Kaylee and her mom for this beautiful Mother's day picture and poem.)
shining in his eyes
laughter setting the stars a-twinkle
smiles to angel faces
have welcomed the young soldier
from earthly battles bravely fought,
him gently, softly,
the nail-scarred arms of the King.
little soldier," the King says
battle is over, true life has now begun."
To my dearest family some things I'd like to say,
But first of all to let you know that I arrived ok,
I'm writing this from heaven where I dwell with God above,
Where there's no more tears or sadness,
There is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight,
Remember I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you,
When my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and said "I welcome you"
"It's good to have you back again, You were missed while you were
As for your precious family, they'll be here later on".
"I need you here so badly as part of my big plan,
There is so much we have to do to help our mortal man".
Then God gave me a list of things he wished for me to do,
And foremost on that list of mine is to watch over you.
And I will be beside you every day, week and year,
And when you're sad I'm standing there to wipe away the tears.
And when you lie in bed at night, the days chores put to flight,
God and I are closer to you in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth and all those living years,
Because you're only human they are bound to bring some tears.
But do not be afraid to cry, it does relieve the pain.
Remember there'd be no flowers unless there was some rain.
But one thing is for certain though my life on earth is over,
I'm closer to you now than I ever was before.
And to my many friends ....
Trust God knows what is best.
I'm still not far away from you...
I'm just beyond the crest.
And there are rocky roads ahead and many hills to climb,
But together we can do it taking one step at a time.
If you can help somebody who's in sorrow or in pain,
Then you can say to God at night "My day was not in vain".
And now I am contented, that my life it was worthwhile,
Knowing as I passed along I made someone smile.
So if you meet somebody who is down and feeling low,
Just lend a hand to pick him up as on your way you go.
When you are walking down the street
and you've got me on your mind
I'm walking in your foot steps only half a step behind.
And when you feel that gentle breeze or the wind upon your face,
That's me giving you a great big hug
or just a soft embrace.
And when it's time for you to go,
from the body to be free,
Remember your not going,
you're coming here to me.
I wish that I could tell you of all that God has planned,
But if I were to tell you, you would not understand.
And I will always love you from this land way up above,
We'll be in touch again soon,
For now, God sends his love.
1, 2000 - 36 days since Benjamin died
He was a
beautiful child…in body and in spirit.
With blue eyes that sparkled like diamonds in the sky.
An amazing smile reflected in the face of everyone he touched. His two year-old chatter and precious laughter…our music.
times, I scream, "Give my Benny back! I want my Benny back!"
But there is no response. Listen, the silence is
deafening...void of our music, void of our Benny.
with the last beat of his heart. My
whole being is longing. My
eyes, my nose, my ears, my lips, my hands, my arms, my heart…all
deprived of their greatest pleasures.
Teletubbies, Barney and Pooh,
leave us alone...he's not here to watch you, so just GO AWAY! My
Benny is gone...he's not here to play.
do we do with our shattered hearts?
much love to give, too little time to share.
If only love could have saved him, he'd still be here.
Brutal, blunt death, you thief.
So cruel...so final.
goes on, or so they think. Back
to work, I wear a different face, a different personality. But…at night…I cry. Empty,
angry, lost, lonely, sad.
whose worlds remain unscathed can begin to understand the bitter agony
left for us who mourn for our children. Futures
are gone when children die. No
future? Then what?
tender kindness of my caring friends is my lifeline. Those who lend an open ear. Beaten and worn, I limp through the days.
My hope is for heaven, but until then, I must honor my precious
son. I must sustain his memory and my love.
and missing you precious Benjamin,
in the Sand
night a man/woman had a dream that he was walking along the
beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his
life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand; one belonging to him, the other
belonging to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked
back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times
along the path of his life there was only one set of
footprints, and that it happened at the very lowest and
saddest times in his life...
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. "Lord,
you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me
all the way. But during the most troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand
why when I needed you most, you would leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child. I love you,
and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and
suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then
that I carried you."
coloring, by our precious Benjamin
artist, and his tools.
colors Ben received from his Aunt Angie and Uncle Steve for his second
birthday. These will be treasured forever. My precious Benjamin's
hands used these little crayons. He loved to color, draw, paint or do
projects. I miss him beyond imagination.
9, 2000 - 44 days without Ben
would have been 27 months old today. No one can truly comprehend the depth
of the grief a parent who loses a child feels, except those who have experienced
the loss first hand. It's an incredibly brutal force. The
loneliness, sadness and incredible physical pain are beyond most people's
comprehension. They could not even imagine how deep the emotions run, no
matter how long and hard they tried.
been able to bury my head and work four days this week. I guess I would
say it helps in that it forces me not to think of Ben every single moment of the
day. It does not, however, make any of the grief go away. I have to
just tuck it away at work, as best I can, until it finally has built up to the
point of overflowing. This doesn't take days to happen, just minutes,
sometimes, if I am lucky, a few hours.
say things like "You look good" or "You look better."
Sure, at that very moment they see me, I'm not curled up in a ball, crying until
my eyes are nearly swollen shut, feeling like my heart and soul have been ripped
out. For that tiny little moment, I probably do look good...on the
miss my Benjamin beyond imagination.
you, Benny Lump Lump.
16, 2000 - 51 days without Ben
bullet to my chest,
bring no more destruction
the pain ready to burst at the seams
my broken, devastated heart.
a dejected, isolated prisoner
be no more cold, dark and chilling
this loneliness of my shattered being.
dying inside, and nobody knows it but me.
The grieving Mother of Ben
10, 2000 - 74 days without Ben
poetry, just emptiness. I still miss Ben more than most can begin to
imagine. We have moved into our new home, but it is so empty without
Benjamin. We have seen tadpoles, frogs, turtles, snakes (ick!), and today,
a doe, all in our back yard. Benjamin would have marveled at them all,
with the true innocence and beauty only a two year-old has.
still struggle through my days, not yet making it a single day without tears or
deep pain. Benjamin was our "buddy" and we miss him so
much. Do not think we are weak for "lingering" in this
pain. If you do, it simply says that you have not lost a child and have no
concept of how deep the hole is in our hearts upon their death.
very special thank you to a very special person, Benjamin's "second
mom", our nanny, Tara, for this wonderful picture. It was taken
12/99, when Ben was 21 months old. It shows the loving spirit we all came
to know and love so well. We miss you, Benny!!
18, 2000 - nearly 4 months without Benjamin
Please See Me Through My Tears
You asked, "How are you doing?"
As I told you, tears came to my eyes...and you
looked away and quickly began to talk again.
All the attention you had given me had drained away.
"How am I doing?" I do better when people listen
though I may shed a tear or two.
This pain is indescribable. If you've never known it, you
cannot fully understand.
Yet I need you.
When you look away,
I am again alone with it.
Your attention means more than you can ever know.
Really, tears are not a bad sign, you know!
They're nature's way of helping me to heal.
They relieve some of the stress of sadness
....but you are wrong.
The memory of my loved one's death will always be with me,
Only a thought away.
My tears make my pain more visible to you, but you did not
give me the pain...it was already there.
When I cry, could it be that you feel helpless, Not knowing what to do?
You are not helpless,
And you don't need to do a thing but be there.
When I feel your permission to allow my tears to flow,
you've helped me
You need not speak. Your silence as I cry is all I need.
Be patient...do not fear.
Listening with your heart to "how I am doing" relieves the pain
for when the tears can freely come and go, I feel lighter.
Talking to you releases what I've wanted to say aloud,
for a touch of joy in my life.
I'll cry for a minute or two... and then I'll wipe my eyes
and sometimes you'll even find I'm laughing later.
When I hold back the tears, my throat grows tight,
my chest aches, my stomach knots...
because I'm trying to protect YOU from my tears.
Then we both hurt ME, because my pain is held inside,
a shield against our closeness and YOU,
because suddenly we are distant.
So please, take my hand and see me through my tears...
then we can be close again.
14, 2000 - Four months and 19 days without Benjamin
how I miss him)
then from out of nowhere a storm hit, fast and
left the dock in February of 1998. It was a bright and sunny day, no
in sight. We were a family of four, soon to be five. What a
journey it was. The quiet, calm water was so beautiful and
We could see the reflection of all our hopes and dreams.
waves ravaged us with salt water, burning and stinging. The
clouds stole the sun. The water became murky and dark, an endless
of black. We struggled through the storm, sailing blindly for
some time until we found an island. It was an island of hope, an
rested there for a short time, and then the glorious sun came out again.
Shining down so beautifully and bright, just
like those wise and beautiful blue eyes that gazed into mine. We set sail
again, now a family of 5, all the while knowing that the storm would hit
again. Anytime. Anyplace. It could hit with no warning at all.
We hoped. We prayed. We cried and we begged for the storms to
us, to no avail.
storm hit again, in the darkness of the early
morning. Throwing us to and fro. Sending us into terrifying waves
of murky, cold water. Stinging with saltwater and chilling to the bone.
Sending our hopes crashing like the sails. Tearing in the roaring winds,
coming apart in shreds as we watched our baby’s life fading away; feeling so
helpless, lost and scared; at the mercy of the
This storm hit so fast and furious, it gave us no chance to do
but say goodbye and brace for more storms we knew would surely
They were there the whole time, on the horizon, never far away.
been through storm after storm in what’s left of our ship. The
are shredded, gaping with holes that only time can try to stitch.
seawater continues to leak in. The winds whip us in every
There are times when the water’s calm and the winds
softly blow. Just enough to let us know it’s still in control;
still at its mercy. The water sometimes clears enough to see the
of a reflection. The beginning of something like hope, like
The sun shines down and dries the saltwater from our skin,
tears from our eyes. There are times that the waves rock us to
an almost peaceful feeling. We almost feel in control again. As
as we prepare ourselves for the next storm, we never know when it’s
to hit or just how hard.
something we’re learning to live with. We’re just drifting through,
enjoying the beauty in the calm water, and dreading the darkness of the
storms. Just drifting on the sea.
to the memory of Logan Vaught 12/7/98 ~ 12/9/98 HLHS and to
my friends who drift these sea’s with me.
24, 2000 - Five months of longing
song so poignantly portrays my pain and longing and searching. To hear the
music with the words, click here:
Song Title: Hold Me Jesus
Artist: Rich Mullins
Album Title: Songs
Well, sometimes my life
Just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small
So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace
And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart
Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something
I don't really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down, I'm falling on my knees
And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace
(Thanks, Dolly, for this beautiful globe!)
25, 2000 - Seven Months
just simply are no words to describe the moments of the days since I last
wrote. It is simply too painful and too dark to share with the world, so I
will not even attempt it. All I will say, is
"Thank You" to those people who don't expect us to have "gotten
over" or "moved on" from the death of our precious
Benjamin. In time, I know the pain will ease, but the time has not
come yet, especially with the holidays approaching.
those who have lost a child can fully understand. To those families I have
met along the way, thank you, so much.
Christmas In Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees, around the world below
With tiny lights like heaven reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear,
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people love so dear,
those sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas Choir up here.
I have no words to tell you the joy their voices bring
For its beyond description to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me, but please remember dear,
That I am spending Christmas, with Jesus Christ this year,
I can't tell you of the splendor or the peace inside this place.
Can you imagine Christmas with our Savior...face to face?
I'll ask Him to light your spirit as I tell Him of you love,
So then pray for one another, as you lift your eyes above.
So please let you heart be joyful, and let your Spirits sing,
As I am spending Christmas, in HEAVEN...
and I am walking with the KING!
20,2000 - 9 months without Ben
hard as I sit here and think about the upcoming months. February 14th,
Valentine's Day, would be Matthew's 7th birthday. Seven years old...it's
so hard to imagine what he'd be like...what he'd be doing.
will come Benjamin's third birthday on March 9th. The thought of it makes
me sick to my stomach. As I write this, I flash back to when I used to
update Ben's site when he was alive, anticipating the days to come, yet still
living in fear that we could lose him. It was a different kind of
sickening feeling. I can't even imagine what we will do on his birthday.
will come that awful month of April. The 26th will be the one year
anniversary of Ben's death (and my 34th birthday) and the 28th will be the 7th
anniversary of Matthew's death.
the life I'd hoped for...not the life I'd ever dreamed of...but my life
none-the-less, and my sons, none-the-less. If I had to do it all over
again, I wouldn't hesitate. The love and joy and beauty they brought to my
life will forever be in my heart, sitting hand in hand with the pain and
loneliness I feel in their absence. God bless you precious boys.
21,2000 - 10 months without Ben
a Special Little Spirit,"
all great Master said,
curly blond hair of the Little Spirit's head
need to go to Earth
spend some time, you know,
place I send most Spirits
tested, to learn, and grow."
Little Spirit, in sadness,
bowed her head,
from her eye a tear did steal
down her cheek it shed.
you fret now little one,
won't let you stay too long,
bring you back to help me here,
hardly know that you've been gone.
my choicest Little Spirit,
the apple of my eye."
he wiped the tear and gently kissed
Little Spirit good-bye.
back," the Little Spirit whispered,
she climbed onto her Master's knee,
the Master said,
told you, you would not be long away from me."
then, the Lord, He noticed
another tear welled in her eye.
are you so sad, Little Spirit,
should make you cry?"
glad I'm back," the Little Spirit said,
Master you must surely know,
Your Angel came to get me,
not want to go.
know You said You needed me,
that I'd be gone the shortest while,
Lord, couldn't I have had
little longer earthly trial?"
Master let the Little Spirit
down from off His knee,
firmly took the little hand and said,
walk with Me."
Little Spirit and the Lord
walked hand in hand,
the Master explained her special part
the great and marvelous plan.
Lord, I don't mean to argue,
understand that you needed me home.
left in such a hurry,
left everyone hurting and so alone.
didn't let my earthly parents know
much I loved them so.
too small to tell them Lord,
will they ever know?
feel they've been cheated,
in a way, so do I.
getting to share any more than we did,
can I ever tell them why?"
Spirit, I know your heart is heavy
this message you need to share.
you need not worry anymore,
watch over your loved ones there.
send them loving comfort
strong and helping hand.
contend and give peace to their aching hearts,
they will understand."
Little Spirit looked up at her Master
said "Thank You for explaining it to me.
could you please tell them
I'm safe and happy, and that someday
be here with me?"
said the Lord with a smile and a nod,
tell them all that I can.
the others came to see the Little Spirit,
the Lord let go of her hand.
said, "I'll tell them that you're pure,
pure as Heaven's Gold,
I needed the warmth of your perfect soul
keep Heaven from getting cold"