I believe it has been a full ten days since I wrote on this blog. Probably eleven days by the time I finish writing and hit “post.” March has been a challenging month for a few reasons. One being that my Beloved turned 47 years old on March 13. 47 years young. And he’s gone. Our whole future was ahead of us – everything we planned for and worked for. But he is gone and will never get to enjoy the fruits of all his labour. I will never get to enjoy everything we planned for, together with him. I call bullshit on that crappy hand we were dealt.
March 13th also marked exactly two full months since I have seen the love of my life, or spoken with him, or held his hand, or curled up next to him. Two full months since he struggled to tell us one last time that he loved us. Two full months since he breathed his first breath in Heaven. I miss him desperately. I talk to him daily. He remains the first person I want to tell everything to, and I open my mouth or reach for my phone for a brief moment every single day, only to remember that he is gone.
Every year it is tradition in our home to have a birthday dinner of steak, potatoes and Ben’s infamous Caesar Salad. Our family always joins us and we raise a glass to whomever is celebrating. This year we continued the tradition as best as we could.
Here was the cook of the evening with his doting grandparents:
Mr. Saint-Onge Junior produced a caesar salad that (with a little practice) may indeed eventually rival that of his Dad’s. Thank goodness Ben left us the recipe. We will never give it away, so don’t bother asking.
We enjoyed our meal as best as we could without the Man of Honour being physically present, and we uncorked a bottle of champagne and toasted Our Beloved Ben.
After dinner the front door opened and our house filled quickly with our nearest and dearest. I felt like I was wrapped in love. Here is a glimpse into what happened next:
And then naturally we had to take one of these ….
Look at the picture carefully. Thats a big FUCK YOU, cancer. With a small ‘c’, naturally.
Here’s one final shot of the evening. This is a lot of love for Ben, and by extension, for me. Thank you, everyone. You were here for us before Ben got sick and you stayed with us during the worst time of our lives when we needed you most. You cared enough to ask questions, to know what was happening, and to be there for us all …. especially the kids. You remain by our sides now and continue to walk with the kids and I through the dark. I believe the time will come that we will feel the sun again. I am truly grateful. (Nancy and Jeremy … I am sorry for cutting you out of the picture but I couldn’t find a small enough emoji to just block out your faces. But I include you in the love.)
Happy 47th birthday, Ben. How I wish you were here to raise your glass and eat some gluten free cake. I miss you more then I have words to describe.
It was odd to not have been running around trying to find the perfect gift for Ben’s big day. I really found that hard, but in the end, Ben ended up giving ME a gift that day. Here’s how that story played out:
Over the last month or so I have been trying to sell Ben’s truck. It broke my heart because he loved the truck and he had waited so long to own one. He told me that the truck was the only place he could sit where he wasn’t in pain. He loved that truck so much, that on the night Dr B came to visit us at home, Ben asked him, “Am I going to die?” Dr B said, “Yes Ben, you are going to die.” After taking a moment to absorb the horror of that statement, Ben’s next words were, “Can I still drive my truck?” If the moment hadn’t been so indescribably painful and utterly beyond horrible, it would have been comical. He just loved that damn truck so much.
Anyway, I was very torn up trying to decide what to do but ultimately it just wasn’t practical to keep it. So I listed the truck for sale and waited, and waited, and waited. I had a few bites but nothing really panned out and I was quite frustrated. I had one solid lead for a sale but in order for it to go through I was going to have to sell the truck for less then it was worth and I knew Ben would not have been happy with that. Still, the last two months have just been so difficult that I wanted to get one more thing off my plate, so I was reluctantly set to accept the lower price just so I could be done. I silently apologized to Ben for not holding out for a price that would have made him happy.
At the end of the evening of Ben’s birthday celebration as everyone was leaving, I received an unexpected text from a fellow who had seen the ad for the truck. Ironically, his name was Jeff. (For those of you who haven’t paid attention – shame on you – Ben’s best friend’s name is Jeff. So that was a nice coincidence.) Anyway, Jeff The Stranger contacted me right on Ben’s birthday to say that he had seen the ad and wanted to know if he could come by the following evening to look at the truck. I agreed, and so I held off on contacting the buyer who had offered to purchase it for a bit less than I wanted to sell it for.
To make a long story short, Ben sent me a lovely gift right on his birthday in the form of a buyer named Jeff who drove a very hard bargain …. he offered me $2,000 more than we had paid for the truck. More than a coincidence, I would say. Thank you, Ben. Always looking out for me as usual. You are the best husband.
It was a bittersweet moment when the truck was driven away. But having a buyer named Jeff contact me right on Ben’s birthday and ultimately pay me a sweet price for the truck is surely Ben’s way of saying “Its OK.” I sure hope so. I will miss that piece of Ben. Jeff The Stranger promised me he will take good care of it.
Three other blog worthy things have happened this month. The first was that Ben’s sweet baby girl decided to chop off her hair and donate it to help make wigs for kids fighting cancer (with a small ‘c’).
How awesome is she?
The second blog worthy thing to happen was that Ben’s main man Zak took off for Powell River to work for a few weeks while he awaits the start of his full time job in April that will carry him through until school starts in September. He is off earning his keep, and I miss that boy a lot.
Ben would be so proud and happy to see us together like that, with smiles on our faces. Despite how difficult the last year has been, there has been a lot of joy and positivity. The young man who is smiling in the picture above with his Mama is one of those positive things.
The third thing that happened is that the girls and I went to Edmonton for a few days so I could surround myself with the love of Beth and a lot of retail therapy. Beth and I (along with our four girls) spent seven hours immersed in shopping, with a brief break for a fruit salad that looked like this:
Over the course of the weekend we also took in a rodeo (yee haw) and paid a visit out to the barn to visit their horse. (Smelly place. I touched nothing.)
While we were walking into the rodeo I couldn’t help but notice a long wall of plaques with the bronzed faces of various “important” people, but only one of them jumped out at me and made me stop and point it out to the girls.
You’d think Mr Hole would have considered changing his name. Ben would have busted a gut if he had seen that.
That’s Jaime riding Miss K, with Kalyn alongside. On the right is Raegan, Jordan and Jaime.
A random pic of Rae and I.
It was a good trip. We rode a roller coaster that almost made me wet myself. I spent far too much money. Beth and I laughed a lot during the day and cried together at night while watching video clips of Ben.
Being with her healed my soul a tiny bit. I still have quite a way to go.