Bennett David Kahl

Bennett David Kahl
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers Ephesians 1:16

Monday, March 31, 2008

Rewind...catch up!

Who ever said that time heals all wounds never felt this pain before. This past week was probably one of the hardest I have had to endure this past year. Easter was especially hard I think because we were with Bennett last year and I remember every detail of that day...this year I was putting flowers on his grave. This past weekend was the NICU reunion. While we were so excited to see all of our friends, it was hard to think that the majority of our NICU time was spent cheering our little Chunky Monkey on and he wasn't even there with us...physically, that is.

Let me rewind to the week before Easter. Busy, busy, busy we were with bows, baskets, family pictures and thinking of our little man. I must have slept about 10 hours that week. Easter came and stayed for what seemed like an eternity. Ellie made her debut back to church, and BOY, was she a challenge! I ended up walking about a mile outside our church around the lake, which actually made me feel like Bennett was right there with us...strange how things happen. After church we went to visit Bennett and give him some fresh flowers and then we were off to Aunt Connie and Uncle Tim's house. We ate brunch and then Ellie Grace went on her very first Easter egg hunt. With baskets in tow we headed home so that daddy could pack for his first business trip. Monday morning brought a new week and one that I thought would be better than the last. The first three days flew by, because Brandon was in Dallas and I was busy every day with Ellie and BOWS! On Wednesday, Brandon arrived back at home and it was time to relax!

The rest of the week was spent preparing for our NICU reunion. This was such an ordeal for me becuase I knew we would see the people that were such a huge part of our lives for the past year and a half. I was excited, but so sad at the same time. From the minute that the twins were born Brandon and I knew that this event would be something we would look forward to doing together. We arrived and the first person we saw was Bennett's nurse Agnes. Agnes is someone you just can't explain with words. She is one of the most amazing women I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Seeing her brought tears to my eyes... We also ran into one of Bennett's surgeons. He performed more than three surgeries on our little prince and rounded on him a few dozen times. He didn't recognize us at first and I told him I didn't blame him...he only see's a few hundred people a day! He responded with, "Oh, no, Bennett was special. I am not exactly sure what God's plan was for Bennett though. I mean, he suffered for a majority of his life and then as soon as we had him on the right path out of here, he died!" This would seem shocking to most people...if you didn't know the doc as well as we do! The thing about life though, is none of us know what this mission is about. We spend our lives walking the path that God created for us. Each event is predetermined by Him and will shape every event to come in the future. So, I don't really expect to know exactly what Bennett's mission was here on earth. I think I have an idea, but let's face it...I will spend the rest of my life thinking/wondering about it. As people began to arrive at the reunion we started to see friends and "neighbors" that the twins had in the NICU. It was amazing to see these TINY babies all "grown" up. They had long hair and is a true miracle to see a baby go from less than one pound to almost 20! Some of the families have had new babies...and YES, they were born full term! This was awesome to see and it gave us hope! The day was long and emotionally exhausting. We came home and all three of us fell asleep for THREE hours!!!

Today, we went out to see Bennett. It was raining...and I hate that! I know where Bennett's soul lives, but that is still my little boy out there. I find myself standing next to him reminding myself that this is real. I really am visiting my precious little boy, that I prayed for years to have, in a cemetary. These really are flowers for him and I did try to find blue ones, so that everyone that saw them would know he is a little boy. I really do buy things I see for him and think that he will enjoy them. I do imagine what he is doing every second of every day, even when it seems like I'm not. I do look at Ellie Grace and imagine what Bennett would be like...and my heart still does ache all the time. So, I keep praying and hoping that time will heal this broken heart I have. I know we will never get over losing Bennett. I know we will never forget every single minute we spent with him in the hospital. But, I know we will see him again when our path finally leads us to him.

Ellie Grace news:
Oh, Ellie Grace!!! (I say while smiling and shaking my head) What do I say about the MOST strong willed 15 month old I have ever met??? She is something else. She has expanded her vocabulary to include: up, down, ugh-oh, and a variety of other words that she seems to think we can understand...

She is a walking machine and LOVES to eat fat free hot dogs and chicken salad sandwiches. She really loves to eat anything that we are eating...and there isn't much she doesn't like.

She loves to sit in Bennett's bouncy chair (yes, the baby bouncy 23 pounds!) and every single time she sits there she looks up at the moblie and says, "bubba, bubba." The amazing thing about that is that neither Brandon nor myself have ever said anything about that being Bennett's...but, it is clear as day when she says it.

Tomorrow we are making our first trip to the zoo. Ellie is fascinated with animals and people, so the zoo should be right up her ally.

March for Babies update:
I have to say that our team is up to $900.00!!!!!!!!!! I feel so blessed when I check our site and another friend has donated or volunteered to become a part of our team. You will never know how much this means to Brandon and me. There are only a few ways we can honor Bennett with all of you and this is one of, thank you from deep down in my heart. We aren't stopping here though. We have friends that have raised THOUSANDS of dollars and we know we can too! So, send those emails. Attach pictures of us, so your friends can see the miracles that benefit from their generous donations. The technology that was available for Bennett and Ellie are gifts from all those in the past that have supported this organization. A special thanks to Kim, Leslie and Ashley. These three fantastic ladies have raised about $600.00 together...keep it up!

Thanks for keeping up with us and our sites. These journal entries are like therapy for me. It's a way for me to say what I need to say...and whether or not anyone reads them, they help me get all of my thoughts out of my head!

Brandon, Angie, Ellie Grace and our little angel

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I am going to be honest here and say that the dedication of our friends and family still amazes us. I was blown away at the support all of you showed after the twins were born and for the months after. I am in awe of all of you again as we embark on this fundraising challenge to help the tiniest little fighters in the world.

There is one thing in this world that I am TERRIBLE at and that is getting any kind of card in the snail mail...thank you's, birthday' name it and I will probably send it a few months late. With that said, I want to thank ALL of you who are so generously giving your time to walk with us or have given monetary donations. There really isn't any little card that can thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart or ever repay you for what you are doing/have done for our family. So, thank you, thank you, thank you ~ you make our hearts smile every time we turn on the computer and see a message or notice that we got a new donation. It is like Christmas for us to see this...and on most days it is what keeps us going.

I have to give you a funny update on Ellie Grace. Today while we were out shopping I started to sing the ABCs to Ellie and very quietly she started to repeat the song back to me!!! I am SO glad that my mom was sitting right there with me because no one would have believed me if I had told them that Ellie started singing the ABC's. There is a witness to confirm...Ellie did sing the first part of the alphabet! Gifted child! Then tonight at dinner she was having a problem behaving herself in her highchair. To remedy this situation we turned dancing with the stars on in the living room while we ate our family dinner in the kitchen. All of a sudden Ellie throws her hands up in the air and starts to bounce up and down and she is moving from side to side. She was dancing to the was hilarious! She thought she had the chachacha down... Such a cutie pie!Keep checking for new slideshows daily.Thanks again for always going out of your way for our family.

Brandon, Angie, Ellie Grace, our little angel and the dogs

**Team Chunky Monkey news: I have 2 envelopes that are available to be used to collect donations from anyone who can use one at work. I am trying to recruit online and probably won't need the paper form. Also, after reading the team captain packet it seems that only the people that raise $200.00 will get a team shirt. Brandon and I are having shirts made for anyone that donates to our Walk for Babies. We only have a few more weeks until we make our order, but I will send out an email asking for sizes. One last piece of info, All of the money raised needs to be in the bank on April 22nd or 23rd. I will email more info to you before then, but I wanted you to know about how much time you still have to collect. I am so pumped up about this! I can't wait to get together and march in Bennett's memory and for all the other tiny miracles that are yet to come! GO, TEAM, GO!!!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Check out my Slide Show!

Check out my Slide Show!

A story worth telling

I wouldn't typically write two journal entries in one day...but, this is a story worth telling.

After a long day of lawn work, house work and entertaining Ellie Grace we headed out to get our typical white balloons and flowers to take to Bennett. Brandon and I usually take turns going in to the store to buy the flowers depending on who is driving that day. Today, Brandon was driving so I had the pleasure of picking out Bennett's special flower arrangement.

After much consideration, I decided on beautiful white lily's, babies breath and fresia. I went to the counter and asked the VERY young girl working if she would mind cutting the ends of the stems for me. With my son's bouquet in hand I went to get a bottle of water and check out. As I was paying I realized that I had forgotten the white balloons. No worries ~ I would just head back to the floral dept. again and make another transaction.

When I returned to get the balloons there was no one behind the counter. I stood patiently waiting, sure that the VERY young girl would be right back. I mean she DID leave her cigarettes, lighter, I-pod and knock off sunglasses on the counter, so how far could she have gone??? Sure enough she returned a few minutes later. I explained that I had forgotten to get three white balloons with light blue string. She was quick to complete my order and began to double knot the balloon string to the clip that was acting as the weight. I told her not to worry because I was just going to release the balloons is where the story gets interesting.

Let me remind you that this girl is VERY young ~ so young she had her highschool ring on her finger! She looked at me with pity in her eyes and said these exact words, "Oh, sweetie...I understand. I have been there."

WHAT??? Was she kidding me? She wasn't even old to "have been there!" I know my jaw hit the ground and for once in my life I was speechless. WHAT A JOKE!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

9 Months

When I found out that I was pregnant, nine months seemed like an eternity. Unfortunately, the last nine months have flown by since Bennett died.

We are still dealing with this on a day to day basis and some days it seems like yesterday, whereas others feel like ages ago. Today, on our ninth Bennett Day the weather is gorgeous! It's not too hot, there is little humidity and the sun is SHINING! Brandon is doing our yard today (it hasn't been landscaped since we had the twins!!!) and I know Bennett is right there with him. It is days like this that I can imagine my babies playing outside together and Brandon and I grilling in the back yard. The reality is that Ellie is napping, I am updating, Brandon is shoveling dirt and in a few hours we will all be sitting next to Bennett at the cemetary. I am steadily trying to redirect my thoughts towards the positive. So, I am thinking a good compromise for today will be to go and have ice cream with Bennett...we'll get Ellie Grace two scoops!

I know this site is still a work in progress. I am hopeful that I can make it as wonderful as our babysite and that maybe I'll get to bed BEFORE 4 in the morning (yes...I was up that late working on this site).

Please continue to pass the word about our March for Babies team: Team Chunky Monkey. The perfectionist in me wants to have the biggest and best team out there on April 27th!!! I really couldn't ask for a better 30th birthday gift...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Our temporary home

WELCOME TO OUR NEW SITE!!! So, we have created this new blog in order to keep our friends and family up to date on Team Chunky Monkey. We are quickly running out of "space" on our babysite and needed a new home to post all of our exciting news.

I am hoping to just have one website after the March for Babies is over, however I am not sure which one we will use as of now. Please check here for all of our Team Chunky Monkey updates and I will try to update with Ellie Grace news as well. I will keep everyone posted as to which site we will continue to use after the Walk for babies in April.

I hope you enjoy the video I put is filled with some of the most precious times in our life.