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One year-old!
(March 9, 1999)

This is a picture of Benjamin on his first birthday. He had fought through three open-heart surgeries and 10 hospital stays his first year, but from then on, he remained very, very healthy and truly began to blossom.

 

Yeah, bath time!!

Here, Connor and Ben take a second to pose for a picture. Ben loved to take a bath. He had just started to "swim"…float on his tummy and push himself back and forth in the water. He loved it so much.

 

Christmas 1999

 

After many tries, I finally got this great picture for our 1999 Christmas cards. The gold angel was in memory of their brother, Matthew, who died 5 ˝ years earlier from SIDS.  (Connor - 4 ˝, Ben - 21 months, Nicole - 8 ˝)

 

Happy 2nd Birthday, Benny!!
(
March 9, 2000)

Ben was so excited for his Teletubby birthday cake! Here you can see the excitement on his face. He loved the red Teletubby, Po, the best.

 

Toot, toot, goes the fire engine!

Ben really liked this fire engine he got for his birthday from his Aunt Renae. In the background, his cousin, Danielle, waits for the right moment to take it from him.

 

Our little Picasso

Ben loved to draw. Here he is with his colors and his Barney coloring book. Look at his precious little hands…so perfect.

 

He loved going out to the new house.

We had sold our house and starting building a new one just before Ben died. Four or five nights a week, we’d drive up to the lot and watch the progress. Ben was "in heaven" out there. He would run and run and run (and fall and fall and fall). He would truly have loved to move there. We had so many dreams, now they are gone. We miss you, Benjamin John.

 

Ben at the house in his favorite jacket

Ben absolutely loved it at the site of our new house! Here he is getting out of the car and just running up to the house. He loved this jacket, too. Even when it was 70 degrees, this is the only jacket he wanted to wear.

 

Easter 2000
(April 22, 2000 - Four days before Ben died)

Here’s Ben with his Mommy, both admiring the beautiful Easter egg he colored.

This was the last picture we took of him. We lean on the promise of Easter and of eternal life together again in heaven.

 

April 26, 2000

5:30am – Our sweetest Benjamin died suddenly today, on his mommy’s 33rd birthday. Ben was the center of our universe, our life, our love. We are devastated.

(I debated whether or not to include this photo, but decided it’s a part of Ben and our family. I’m sorry if this picture brings you pain or discomfort, but the pain others may feel by seeing this photo, truly pales in comparison to that felt by his family and others who knew and loved him so incredibly much. Love you, Ben.)

Ben’s first scraped knees

I had to have a picture of Benny’s knees. He had fallen and scraped them at the house five days before he died. He was doing so well…such a normal little two year-old boy.

Ben’s flowers

Flowers for the funeral

 

More flowers

Flowers for the funeral

Some of Ben’s favorite toys
(clockwise beginning with stuffed dog)

"Fighter" dog with boxing gloves symbolized our Ben…never gave up, The Little Engine That Could book from one of his nurses, John Deere tractor from wonderful friends for his 2nd birthday, Teletubby coloring book and crayons, plastic bag of his nukies, farm animal book, Teletubby shoes, plastic cow (left of shoes) Pooh and friends musical piano, and new semi-truck he got in his Easter basket.

Balloons for Ben

Teletubby colored balloons were released at the cemetery.

(Visit the Balloons for Heaven memorial site we have created in memory of our Benjamin, Matthew and all other children gone to heaven too soon.)

Until we meet again, dear son

Everyone released a balloon, and we all gave Benjamin a great big Teletubby hug and bye-bye...until we meet again.

Our Angel, Benjamin John Cusick

3/9/98 - 4/26/00

 Thank you for everything, sweet angel, Benjamin.

 

Love you forever and ever and ever,

Mamma, Daddeee, Cole & Con

(Mommy, Daddy, Nicole & Connor)

 

05/13/00