Ben, Let Me Sleep!

Today is my sweet Raegan’s 15th birthday and we will be celebrating here in Hawaii. Not a bad birthday present, am I right?

We arrived two days ago to beautiful weather and beautiful accommodations. We have already swam beside a massive turtle and watched the Dolphins swim. I have sipped a little bit of Heaven in the 100% Kona coffee at Starbucks  (although I did accidently drop the first one all over my sister after only having had about three sips) and we have plans today to go paddle boarding.  There is nothing for us to do for the next week or so except enjoy the sunshine and each other’s company. Life is good, right?

So why am I wide awake at 3:32 in the morning, feeling like I just sat through a three hour movie of Ben being tortured by the fear of dying and feeling like he had no one to share that fear with? I am exhausted.

Ben, please, get out of my dreams. I’m tired and the dreams like that hurt me.  Come back  to my dreams when they can be happy, not this way.

I want to enjoy Raegan’s birthday and our vacation. I know it has been six months without you. I know today marks the day. Believe me, I know. And it’s ok for you to live in my head but not like that. Please stop making me suffer through those memories time after time. I just want to remember you laughing.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

 

It’s the Day Before Surgery and All Through the House…

Well it’s a day before my surgery and I figured I should write a quick review of the Dave Matthews concert before I see the Foo Fighters this Friday. Let me first say that it was a pleasure to attend this concert with my lovely 14 year old daughter Raegan. She never whined or complained and was just a joy to be around. Once we got the venue, she reminded me that Rogers Arena did in fact sell popcorn and drinks to the concertgoers. So we both loaded up on popcorn and soda and took our seats. Well it turns out that Dave Matthews is so awesome that he doesn’t need an opening act. What he did was open the show with an acoustic seat and gradually added band members until the full Dave Matthews Band was on the stage. Raegan lit up as soon as they started playing “You and Me” which was the only song that Raegan knew – and she loved it.

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The rest of the show was great. He played all of my favourite songs except for 2 – “Gravedigger” and “Old Dirt Hill”. Once the encore was over we waited for almost everyone to vacate the arena before she helped me hobble to the SkyTrain for our ride back to Surrey. We had a really good time.

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So surgery…I am betting the farm that it will take care of the constant pain in my ass and right leg all the way down to my foot. Despite taking my pain meds, I am sitting at my desk typing this as fast as I can because the pain is so bad I feel like throwing up. So pardon me if you see some grammatical errors.

Here’s what I’ve been told. There are two people qualified to perform this surgery. It’s non-invasive. They are going to use a needle to freeze (and hopefully kill) the tumour that has caused the fracture in my pelvic bone. Then they are going to cement the fracture with orange play-doh and fairy dust. Just testing you. Pay attention now. They are going to cement the fracture with some kind of glue (I’m guessing) and then perform a nerve block on that god damn nerve that goes all the way down to my foot which is driving me fucking crazy!! So I am hoping to wake up tomorrow afternoon with significantly less pain. Fingers crossed.

Until then I will continue sitting in the living room for ten minutes at a time with my guitar, amp and a few pedals working on various Foo Fighters songs. Thankfully my bride has allowed me to have an amp, three guitars and a handful of pedals in our living room so that I don’t have to navigate the stairs to my man cave.  Thank you, honey bunny.

And for those who are interested: the J Rocket Audio Designs Tim Pierce Overdrive & Power Amp kicks huge ass. Great for Foo Fighters tones.

Tattas for now!

Surprise Number 1


Check out the smile!

That’s Ben enjoying the beautiful reclining chair that our Mama and Papa were kind enough to bring over last night to give Ben a comfy place to sit.  He can never get comfy because of the pain …. and now he can!  Hopefully this will solve the one problem that has been plaguing us.  (Well, that and the whole cancer thing….)

Thanks Mom and Dad!  You are the best.  That was so generous, and so thoughtful.  We really, really appreciate it.  Check out how happy you made him!  You delivered a Happiness Bomb! Woo hoo!

And in addition, Rae got to be a rebel, break the law and do this… Shhhhhh


We will never tell….

Everyone should ride in a recliner in the back of a pickup  truck, one time in their life.  Don’t worry….we just circled the cul de sac, but we will always pretend we went on a full road trip.  😏