On a Monday, six years ago we got a call we never expected. If you’ve followed us from the beginning you know that on the other end of the phone was one of the neonatologists assigned to round on our precious Bennett. His voice was calm and matter of fact…we needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible. They were working on Bennett and trying to keep him alive until we could get there…
Twelve hours earlier I was sitting at his bedside. To be perfectly honest it makes me sick to admit this, but I can’t even remember what I did with him…did I rock him? Did I just sit there and talk to him? Did I bathe him? I wish I had documented his life more. I wish I had video of him from every single day he was alive. I wish I had fought the hospital and had more pictures of he and Ellie together. I have a million regrets about things I had control over, but didn’t think about doing anything about. I am firm in my faith and I believe there are no mistakes, but the little details, like pictures and video were just an oversight on this worn out, stressed, new mom.
When we got to the hospital we never expected to see our baby the way he was. NO clothes, blood, a ventilator…it was a scene out of an medical drama. I remember grabbing Bennett’s hand and looking at him. I knew then he was gone. His eyeballs were drifting from left to right and then they would just stare straight ahead. For a moment my hope got the best of me and I thought just maybe he could fight his way back like he had done so many times before.
The truth is, his little body was just tired and it was his time. He fought every single day of his six month life. God had given him to us and we had become changed people in that time. Brandon and I had grown immensely in our faith and our relationship just from having known Bennett. He healed our hearts, taught us what true faith is, and showed us how to fight through absolutely anything.
That Monday was filled with chaos.
On Tuesday, we waited for the neurologist and then waited even longer for his results.
This week six years ago was the absolute worst week I will probably…prayerfully and hopefully EVER have as long as I live. It was filled with tests, choices, tears, family, friends, phone calls, and sleepless nights.
On Thursday night, we said our private good-bye to the best, first born child, ever. In my mind I went through all of the earthly times I would miss with Bennett. I made so many promises to him that night. It is a gift and a blessing that I remember that night with such clarity. Brandon and I left our family up there that Thursday night to keep our Bennett company. They read books to him throughout the night and made sure he knew he wasn’t alone. B and I went home and I wrote the eulogy I would read at our son’s funeral and we took turns rocking our baby girl in the middle of the night during a terrible thunderstorm.
On Friday, we made a choice no human should ever have to make. We bathed our little man and dressed him in an outfit that matched the one his twin sister was wearing at home. Slowly, they administered pain medication to our little man and then all the machines were turned off.
It was excruciating to pass our baby back and forth between our rocking chairs and just wait for him to take his last breath. Brandon was the first person to hold Bennett and as fate would have it Bennett took his last breath in his daddy’s arms. I truly believe Bennett always found safety and comfort in Brandon’s arms and in his voice. They honestly did have a bond like none I have ever seen. I’ve never asked B if he felt that…it’s just my opinion based on what I witnessed between the two of them over the months. I mean seriously, look at him stare at his daddy in this picture and hold onto his thumb!! This is one of my favorite pictures ever!
We held on as long as we could. My heart will hold on forever. The pain is raw and gut wrenching, still.
I tell myself when my hearts aches and my stomach turns into knots that as time passes it’s just my journey closer to seeing my perfect angel again.
That doesn’t stop the tears from falling, the nights from being restless and the day from coming though.
This Saturday will mark “the day” and it will make six years since we said our good-byes.
I know you are in the most wonderful place imaginable! Our pain, as the ones left behind, is still so raw six years later though. I still think about those promises I made to you that Thursday night and I try to live every single day to honor them. You are as much a part of our family today as you were the day you were born. Ellie and Cullen talk about you almost daily. We live knowing you are watching over us and we are thankful to have our own personal guardian angel. I pray you enjoy your Heaven day on Saturday with a celebration and a thankful heart that you were chosen to go back home to Him. WE love you more than you would think humanly possible, little boy!
Happy Heaven Day, Bennett!
All of our love forever and ever,
Mommy, Daddy, Ellie and Cullen