Things I’ve Done Since Ben Died

1) Learned to use a drill.  I found about 45 of them in the garage, because in our younger days (and poorer days) Ben used to build everything for us.  I always told him that if he ever got fired from the Force he could be a carpenter. He was really that good. Once he built my mom and dad a gorgeous oak bar which they still use regularly.

Most of the drills are too heavy to be practical for me to use, but I did find a “girl” drill.  And I learned how to charge the battery on it, courtesy of Zak.  Yesterday I used it to remove a bunch of clips that were holding speaker wire to the wall, AND I figured out how to remove all the wire. Which brings me to number 2

2) I learned how to unhook speakers and pull all the wires out of the wall.

3) I have learned how to be practical and get rid of “things.”  Ben was not sentimental that way. Despite the fact that he kept everything, it was more out of laziness than sentimentality. He always said that “things” are just “things.”  You can’t take them with you when you die.

So I have been selling a lot of stuff. Things that just clutter the house and therefore my mind. And I have given items that Ben loved to people he cared about who will also enjoy them, and will care that they belonged to Ben.

Nancy now carries Ben’s “man purse” around. He liked to call it a “bag” or a “satchel”, but the kids and I always told him to call a spade a spade. It’s a purse. Nancy likes it and uses it for work, just like Ben did.

Jeremy rides the stationary bike that Ben spent hours riding. Well, I think right now Jeremy is just circling it from a distance, but he will ride it soon I’m sure.

Jeff has Ben’s challenge coin. I put it in a frame with two pictures of them and photographs of the very humorous text conversation they had when Ben first got sick. It hangs in his office at work.

Zak wears Ben’s watch.  Raegan wears Ben’s sweat pants. (Yes, you read that right. Little Raegan walks around in Ben’s sweats constantly).   Zak also has adopted Ben’s electronics because he’s the only one who appreciates them.  Jaime has a framed picture of the notes she and Ben wrote each other.

Peter has a guitar that Ben left especially for him. Ben tried twice over the last year to tell Peter how much it meant to him that Peter had quite literally saved Zak’s life. Both times Ben tried to tell Peter, he (Ben) became too emotional, so he asked me to give Peter a particular guitar and tell Peter how he felt. I hope I was able to adequately pass on Ben’s message .

The list goes on, but the point is that other then the particularly sentimental items, the rest is just “stuff.”  And “stuff” is just clutter which creates chaos of the mind. So goodbye clutter.

4) I have become more patient and understanding. That probably stems from the entire last year and not just since Ben died.

5). I have paid bills. I’m working on the budget.

6). I have slightly chilled out regarding my hypochondria. Mostly because, to be honest, I tend to think about two things when I’m worried about my health.  The first is that I miss Ben so much and I really want to see him again.  Don’t freak out – I don’t say that in an “I want to die” sort of way. I don’t. That’s not what I mean. I just miss him so much and I know he’ll be waiting for me when the time comes.  So therefore there is less point in freaking out about little aches and pains.  The second thing I think of is that nothing I can ever go through will be as bad and painful as what Ben endured. Not physically, anyway. So I will just try to take whatever comes as it comes.

7).  I made the decision to install central air conditioning.  I got estimates and made the decision myself.  And I got a new hot water tank.  That is not something I ever would have done before without deferring to Ben.  I do wish I had insisted on the a/c last year so Ben could have had some relief from the heat.

In the meantime, I continue to be blessed with the best of family, friends and neighbors. Yesterday I received an unexpected knock on the door and found Jim there with a bunch of tools.  He fixed an outlet cover that Ben left undone for about 4 years, and hung new numbers on my house.

Thank you, Jim.  And thank you for remembering without me asking.  Thank you.

While Jim was hanging the house numbers, my neighbor (who moved in last summer and whom I have only met once) came over and spontaneously mowed my lawn.

In addition to those things, another neighbor has limed my lawn and taken care of other things around the exterior of my house, while on breaks from his own chemo sessions. Yes, you read that correctly. He endures his own health nightmare and still tries to help me out.

I miss Ben, but we are blessed and I’ve discovered that I can actually get a few things done for myself.

Some Good Days

So these are some of the things that have happened in the last week or so.  First of all, this lovely girl and one of her besties were off to see the Taylor Swift concert in Vancouver.  (Jaime’s third time).  I believe they had a very good time.  Huge shout out to Auntie Lisa who kept an eye on them for me (wink) and to Auntie Colleen who drove them all the way home so that I wouldn’t have to make the trip.  XO to you both.

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Jaime (left) and Kailin  

While those girls were rocking the night away, this is what was going on at home:

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The Leatherdale Girls came to town! That is Jordan (left) with Raegan.  Ben was very happy too…

We had some good times over the weekend.  When Beth and Jordy arrived, Ben had not been feeling well since his last chemo treatment.  As you can see from the picture above, he was still “couch bound” when they arrived.  By the time the long weekend was over he had started to feel much better.  I should probably be insulted that it takes Beth visiting to make him feel better, but … whatever it takes. Lol.  Maybe it was the fact that Beth informed him that he is a difficult patient.  I think she may have threatened him with all sorts of nasty things if his attitude didn’t improve.  Haha.  Whatever she did, it worked, and this is what it looked like as he started to feel better:


Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and Beth and Jordy had to go home.  Ben and I (and Raegan) consoled each other….

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Hahaha.  The Saint-Onge Family is apparently not capable of taking proper pictures.  Check this out….


That is Ben’s “model” pose.  His ‘Zoolander’ pose, apparently.  Yes, those are actually on purpose.

Even though Beth and Jordy had to go home, the good news was that Nancy and Jeremy moved back to Canada and now we are neighbours!  Wahoo! Last night the four of us celebrated with Thai food, and briefly contemplated taking one of the cooking lessons that Ben and his dad took at this restaurant.  Then Nancy and I gave our heads a bit of a shake and decided that Ben and Jeremy could do the lesson and we will just reap the benefits.

In all seriousness, I am SO relieved that Nancy is back, and to have her living so close now is blissful.  I am very, very happy.

Ben and I are off to see the oncologist in about 2 hours.  They have had some time to think about a plan, and I guess they will inform us when we meet.  We will also ask when the cementing of Ben’s pelvis is going to happen, because it has been bothering him quite a bit and was supposed to happen within two weeks.  One week has passed and we still don’t have an appointment, so hopefully we will find out today.

I wanted to write this post before we see the oncologist – its been a good couple of days and I think that needs to be appreciated all on its own without any of the other stuff mixed in.  And on that note, I will throw in a random picture of Ben with my beautiful Mama.  Can you believe she is holding a glass of wine?  In the words of Gramma…”I’m shocked“…. not.


Have a great day. XO