The “Da da DA” was supposed to be the dramatic music played in the movies.
Today I am officially the same age as Ben. He’s never going to get older but I am. That is odd. I always used to tell him that he could have one extra year on earth so that we could die at the same time. He in turn always said he was going to live to be 100, but I said I’d be happy to make it anywhere into my 90’s so he’d be on his own after that. I was always pretty sure he’d enjoy a couple of years of being able to just play guitar without being interrupted anyway.
I definitely missed our Saint-Onge Family Birthday BBQ of steak and caesar salad tonight, and I missed Ben as always, but in fact I had a happy day. The weather has been miserable lately but today the sun shone through. A gift from Ben perhaps.
I spent the day enjoying a pedicure with Mom and Barb (how could a day ever go bad when it starts with a pedi?) …
… followed by lunch with my family (sans Lisa and Brett unfortunately) and dinner with Connie and Kirby, Nancy and Jeremy, and Lisa and Darren. AND, miracle of all miracles, I did not even cry once until right this moment when I received this text from Connie in response to my “thank you for the lovely evening” text. I hope she won’t mind me posting it here.
They miss Ben too. That probably shouldn’t make me happy, but it does. I like that I am not the only one that misses him. He was worth missing. Knowing that he had a positive impact on other people’s lives, and knowing that they will remember him too makes me happy. I like knowing that my life is not the only one impacted by his loss. Ben would like knowing that too. I hope he does.
Anyway, today was evidence to me that joy can still be had in conjunction with the pain, and it allows me to imagine that more joy could possibly follow. I think there may be a day when the joy will outweigh the pain, and perhaps the pain will fade into memories that mostly make me smile. Especially when I hear the memories that others have of Ben.
The other day I was driving to an appointment when I noticed that the car in front of me had a sticker on it with a sweet saying followed by the name “Cassidy Briggs.” I was immediately brought back to six years ago, when a little girl named Cassidy was in all the local papers because she was fighting cancer, and I remember when she passed away. Ben and I talked about her a lot at the time.
I drove behind that car all the way to my appointment. Every turn the driver made was the same turn I had to make, and eventually the car pulled into a parking stall exactly where I was going. I stopped my car and waited until the driver got out, and before I could change my mind I walked up to the driver (who probably thought I was a crazy stalker) and asked her if she was Cassidy’s mother. When she said “yes” I told her that I remembered her daughter, even though I had never met her. I told her that our hearts broke all those years ago when we read their story in the news, and that I had never forgotten it. I told her that I wanted her to know that her daughter’s life impacted people who had never met her, and that I had never forgotten her and I never would. And then I said goodbye and went on to my appointment.
I hope it made that mother happy to know that her daughter is not forgotten.
Missing you every minute of every day, Ben, but I hope you know that today I smiled and laughed. You are not forgotten. Never forgotten. xox