Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How we celebrated Benjamin's 2nd birthday

~ Birthday Meals ~

We traditionally let our children choose their birthday meals, and I thought it would be fun to have birthday meals for Benjamin. So we had. . . .

chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast before the boys left for school

Fudge sundae Oreos for snack

Cafe Rio burritos and ginger ale for dinner


~ Cleaning the Headstone ~

DC and I went to the cemetery and cleaned the headstone. I learned online about a way to apply a preserving wax and shine it up, so we did that, too, and it looked so much nicer!



It was so nice to have this quiet time to talk about our beloved son and what he means to our family. This was one of my favorite parts of the day.



~ Balloon Release ~


We sang "I Am A Child of God" as the balloons went up. It was a special moment, even though things didn't go quite as well this time as last time. (We had two balloons pop, and two get stuck in a tree! :(. I'm so glad I got pictures of the notes the boys wrote to their little brother--they were so precious.

Then came the obligatory playing in the leaves. . . . :)



~ Cake and Ice Cream ~


We had his special carrot cake (the yummiest ever - sometime I'll post the recipe :), sang Happy Birthday to him and blew out his candle. I love how in this photo you can see the reflection of the candle flame in the picture behind it.

We will have a FHE this week to talk about our gifts to him. Each of us will choose something and write it down to work on this year that will help us return to Heavenly Father and be a forever family, so that there will be "No Empty Chairs." The little wooden box in the photo above is where we keep these.



Thank you so much for the comments on his birthday post and for sweet emails and phonecalls! We felt so loved, and it truly was a beautiful, joyful day!

Day 43 - { suzie-Q }

Do you know someone who has just lost a loved one? Do you want to be a good friend to them? Blessings on you! And good luck. You may be in for a long haul. From the reading I've done, it can take 1-2 years for a person to "recover" from losing a child--although, one never "gets over it", but does learn to live with the loss.

For my part, I am amazed that anyone still even reads my blog or asks how things are going! I feel like I have been a broken record for so long! I'm still trying to figure out exactly who I am - the loss is mostly defined and I have learned ways of coping with difficult questions in conversation - but now that I am about to make another big change and have a new baby - who am I now?

Well, for one thing, I am ridiculously blessed.

Here is one more proof that Heavenly Father loves me. . . .


My friend Suzie-Q came all the way from Alabama with her two little cuties to be with us when we celebrated Benjamin's birthday this year.

(She may look familiar to y'all. . . . :)

It was wonderfully healing to have the chance to talk in person with someone who cares about me so much and doesn't mind if I still cry sometimes.

We did lots of fun things. cooked way too much delicious food. sang together. dealt with adorable children. took adorable children to the park. watched North and South. went shopping. and best of all. . . . just talked and talked.

100 days of gratitude tag

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 42 - {our celestial son}

goChristWithChild 001

                              Take My Hand, Greg Olsen


Today is Benjamin's second birthday in heaven. I can hardly believe that two years have passed since that most precious day of my life when I held him in my arms.

I am filled with memories of that day to the point that it seems like I could reach through the layers of time somehow. It feels like if I drove to the hospital, somehow I would see us there. The room is always filled with light in my mind.


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That day I knew that he didn't get to stay with us, and that at some point that most painful of experiences would come--having to say goodbye for this life. But I was still so happy at being with him--seeing how cute he was, putting my head against his soft head, watching Jaime clean and dress him, feeling heaven so close. I feel that he was watching as we kissed him and carefully dressed him in white.


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Each of my parents and sisters, and my brother Joseph, took a turn holding him. It is a testimony to me that the Spirit was very present that I felt no selfishness in letting them share the time. Although every time he was placed back in my arms I had a wave of relief and joy, the time I watched others holding him was also filled with joy. I know there were times that I cried, but most vivid to me is the memory of light and peace that seemed to cover me completely.

I want to express my gratitude for the beautiful experience of having a celestial son. The pain and grief that I have passed through because of the separation from him have been nearly unbearable at times. But I never would trade it for anything. I love him like I love my living sons--with a depth and completeness that I can't help; it's just part of me.




I rejoice in being a mother. I rejoice that I will get the opportunity to nurture and enjoy Benjamin someday. I rejoice in my Savior, who has shared my anguish and provided miraculous healing, and who will restore my son to me in due time.

And so, happy birthday in heaven, sweet Benjamin! I'm so grateful you're my son!




“And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation. For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver.”

Doctrine and Covenants 45:58-59

100 days of gratitude tag