Dear Daddy … Love, Zak, Jaime and Raegan

At Ben’s service, Zak stood up and gave the most heartfelt speech about his Dad.  He only brought a few written notes up to the front with him when he spoke – his tribute was entirely from the heart.

Eventually I will try to post a video clip of Zak’s speech onto this blog, because I don’t have a written copy.  Either way, just know that it was one of the most beautiful and loving tributes I have ever heard.  I was deeply moved by what Zak had to say about his Dad.  He was eloquent, funny, honest and loving.  It was so brave of him to speak, and my heart aches when I am reminded that Zak will no longer have his Dad by his side as he moves into adulthood.

A couple of months ago Ben helped Zak find and purchase his first vehicle.  It was a great Father / Son moment.


Just before Ben passed away, Zak was rear ended by another driver and his car was written off (not Zak’s fault, and he was not seriously hurt).  Yesterday, Zak’s Grampa (my Dad) helped Zak find another one.  A truck.  Zak is thrilled, and I’m so grateful to my Dad for stepping up, but my heart broke because Ben wasn’t here to help him with it this time around.

Ben would have wanted to be there.


The following words were written by Jaime and Raegan, Ben’s beloved daughters.  Their words were read on their behalf by Mario Bourdages.  Thank you, Mario.


Dear Daddy,

Thank you for always being there for me. I could always count on you to make me feel better. You always knew the right thing to say. I love you so much and I want you to know that I always think of you. Not only were you a fantastic Dad, but you were an even better friend.

You made me laugh, and I honestly loved your jokes so much. You were the funniest person I know.

You were always proud of us, no matter what we did. When we didn’t make great decisions you talked us through it and continued to love us unconditionally. You pushed us to improve and do our best, and you always helped us to achieve whatever we desired.

I am so proud of you for fighting hard against cancer, and for being a warrior throughout the whole process. I am proud to call you my Dad. I will always love you so much.

Love, Raegan


Dear Daddy,

Thank you so much for everything you did for me, and for always being there for me. You were an inspiration to me and I looked up to you in so many ways. You were so strong fighting these last few months, and I am so proud of you.

I wish you could still be here with us and continue to teach me things that no one else can. From the beginning you taught me so many things – from riding a bike, to driving a car, and so much in between.

I loved spending time with you and doing things like going to the movies, watching Vampire Diaries, going to Starbucks and taking driving lessons from you. Thanks for not yelling at me as much as Mom did while I was driving. You were so patient, and I really appreciate that.

Thank you for always coming out to support me while I played soccer and volleyball. You did so much for me and you always did your best to make me happy when I was upset.

I’m so grateful for the time I got to have you in my life. You will always mean the world to me.

Love, Jaime

The kids made this video for Ben a few years ago.  It still makes me smile.


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