Saturday, May 31, 2008

Scrolling Saturday - I cannot find the words to begin

Yep! It is Saturday again. Time for Scrolling Saturday!

Gather up your favorite archived post, dust it off and repost it!! It's that easy! Click HERE to view other Scrolling Saturday entries.

Thank you to the hostesses of this meme, Manners and Moxie and SuchSimplePleasures.
This evening I volunteered with my wonderful Donna at the telethon for our local children's hospital. Donna and I have done this long before my three children needed care at the hospital: we started 8 years ago in memory of her son. Benjamin passed away after a 5 month battle with cancer. Working the telethon and hearing Donna share her story always brings a rush of emotions.

For Scrolling Saturday I have decided to re-post an entry that I struggled with to write. It was originally posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - around what would have been Benjamin's 10th birthday.

I cannot find the words to begin

I have a post in my head. It has been floating around in there for a few weeks now. Well, actually, it is banging and bumping and pissing me off! I stumble on moments of clarity, where the true essence of what I want to write comes to me, but just for a moment and then it fleets away, leaving me angry and confused. I so want to get these certain thoughts down. To validate them. To give them reason. To give them a chance to help me learn and grow and accept.
I do not even know where to start.

People always say to start at the beginning - but I am not sure where the beginning is for this story, nor do I really know where the beginning for my after thoughts start. Does that make sense at all?

I could begin with describing the friendship I made with a fellow soccer player 13 years ago. Donna and I met on the soccer pitch and we became good friends. Not best friends. Not even call you up to go to the movies and hang out friends. But at the same time, not just soccer buddies.

I could begin with the birth of Donna's son ten years ago. Little Benjamin came into this world during the Great Ice Storm of '98. All of Ottawa, let alone much of Eastern Ontario and Quebec was hit by a terrible ice storm, leaving some people with no power for days, even weeks. Donna was scheduled for either a c-section or an inducing - I cannot remember. Well, the hospital told her to stay away unless labour really started as we were in a state of emergency.

I could begin with how Benjamin became Donna's world.

I could begin with the day that Donna found out her two year old son had leukemia. The day her life shattered into a million pieces.

I could begin with the day I helped to organize the largest bone marrow registry day ever seen in Ontario. I could sadly begin with how we never found a match for Benjamin, but that we did find at least five other matches from the crowds of people we convinced to register.

I could begin with the day that I delivered the first of many care packages to the hospital from the soccer team for Donna and her son. And how my relationship with Donna changed that day. Donna was going through marital problems and needed a friend. Donna was watching her son suffer and needed a friend. Donna was lost and she needed a friend. I became a true friend. It changed my life.

I could begin with the day that I started spending time with Benjamin. Donna was not emotionally stable enough to care for her son 24 hours a day. In addition, her estranged husband was causing additional stresses and issues. Doctors ordered her to rest. She was even hospitalized. To make sure Benjamin was never alone, I went to the hospital a few hours every day.

I could begin with the day that I spent with Benjamin where we painted pictures, laughed, read books and cuddled. It was one of his last days here on earth. I will never forget that day. Benjamin was playful and attentive for the first time in a very long time. I must have read him five hundred books that day, including a lovely book entitled, " I will love you forever".

I could begin with the day I got the call that Benjamin had passed away.

I could begin with the sad day I stood in front of a crowd and eulogized the sweetest little three year old.

I could begin with the day after the funeral when I concluded I would never be strong enough to ever be a mother. I saw what Donna was going through and I knew I did not have the faith, strength or know-how to ever deal with loosing a child.

I could begin with the painful day that Donna informed me that seeing me, her friend, was too painful. That I reminded her of her loss. That she associated me with her died son, and it was too much for her.

I could begin with the day Donna finally returned one of my many calls. And we picked up our friendship, dusted it off and become true friends again.

I could begin with the day my first born son was rushed to the Children's hospital. We did not know if he would make it. He was admitted and we brought him up to the exact room that Benjamin had stayed in two years earlier. I could begin with me stopping at the door and tightening my grip on my husband's hand and telling him this was Ben's room. David explained to the nurses and they all agreed perhaps we should locate another room. I disagreed. I knew that Benjamin would look out for DJ. I knew at that moment my frail son had the best guardian angel possible.

I could begin with the day I stopped visiting Benjamin's grave. When my first son lived one day longer than Benjamin ever did, I could not enter the cemetery. It pained me so much to not be able to go by his grave site, in the past I found comfort in visiting with Ben. But I could not. It did not seem fair.

I could begin with how much of a struggle Donna has been through since her son died. I could begin with how proud I am of her. How much I know she hurts, and how much it must hurt to go on - but she does. It is never easy, and it never will be easy - but she does it. Oh, she has lows that no mother should ever experience, but I think her wounds are slowly healing. I hope that they are healing. I pray that they are healing.

I could begin with how much I miss little Benjamin. I could begin with how much I love Donna. I could begin with how much I worry about Donna.

I could begin with wishing my special angel boy Benjamin a very happy 10th birthday and thanking him for all the life lessons he taught me.

...but I cannot find the words to begin...


Tara R. said...

This was a beautiful tribute to Benjamin... so poignant and loving. Thank you for sharing this again.

Sniz said...

How touching and heart wrenching. You wrote it just right.


Kellan said...

Oh, this is a beautiful tribute to a special little boy, it has me in tears, it is so sad and yet so touching and sweet. Thank you for sharing Ben and for sharing this post.

Take care - Kellan

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Oh, Laura, my heart is just broken. This is so beautiful and I am so glad that your friend has had you in her corner all this time.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh Laura...
What a blessing your friendship must be. This was a beautiful post, I'm glad you Scrolled it.

Janet said...

Sitting here with tears in my eyes, I am reminded that I can hardly handle reading stories about sick and lost children. I don't know how your friend had the strength to live it. I trust that your friendship had some part in seeing her through.

Lovely post.