Plain and simple…everything reminds me of Bennett.
When one of us is eating rice, I think of how Bennett loved it. When we are devouring our ice cream cones, I think of how Bennett begged for the whole thing. When the kids watch a DVD in the car, I see his green headphones and think of him wearing them and watching Veggie Tales over and over again. When we eat at Chick-Fil-A, I’m reminded of how that was one of the only things he would eat while on chemo. When I go to a restaurant that he’s been to, I can remember the last place where we sat as a family of five together and laughed. When I see his toy walker, I can see the look on his face when he found freedom around the house as he learned to walk. When I use my water bottle, I can picture how he would push the button to make the mouth piece open and then he would laugh as water sprayed him. When we order at Starbucks, I always think of how he loved their vanilla milk in the orange box.
Seriously…everything reminds me of him. And I have to admit, it is so hard to not just pull the covers over my head each morning and say that I will tackle life tomorrow.
But if I did that, then I know I would miss out on the beauties of today. And today’s beauties have already been so sweet…
I got up and started my first day of training for the St. Jude Marathon that I will run in December. I got to watch Davis jump in the pool and swim to the other side all by himself at swim lessons. I got to see Reide’s face light up as she went under water and swam to the steps by herself. I got to watch Davis and Ben come up with new and creative ways to play rock, paper, scissors at lunch. I got to go shopping with the kids to prepare for our family camp we leave for next week.
And those were just the beauties before 1pm today!
The natural thing is to hide away in sorrow. The healthy thing is to see the beauties in the midst of your sorrow. Because believe me, there is still so much sorrow. And there will be. I lost my baby boy. Overnight I became a mommy without a baby in a crib. Without a diaper to change. Without a little one on my hip at all times. And that just sucks.
But God didn’t get us through the storm of cancer to leave me in the boat floating along with no purpose or hope, heartbroken and alone. That’s a trap that is easy to fall into. And a lie that I have had to fight against myself. Instead, He knows where He’s taking us…to the other side of the shore. It’s just like that one little sentence in the story in Mark 4 where Jesus calms the storm…
Jesus said, “Let us go over to the other side.” (Mark 4:35)
Jesus knew the storm was coming. But He also knew where He wanted the disciples to go. And His plan was not for them to drown.
We will not drown.
Now I don’t really think I’ve made it to the shore yet. Don’t get me wrong, the winds have died down and the storm is calm, but for now I’m still in the boat. Not hopeless and alone. But with my family, in the presence of God, watching the rainbow above and being reminded that He is still in control. And even without Bennett, there are still so many beauties ahead for us.
And that is a good place to be.
I know many of you didn’t know Bennett at all before he was sick, so I wanted to start sharing pictures and videos of him so you could see even more of how wonderful he was!! Here is a video of him with his toy walker learning to walk like I mentioned above. Oh that sweet smile!