Happy 10th Birthday Ben

Reading My Memoir to Ben, March 28, 2023

I wish I had words, something profound. However, there can be power in silence. A quiet acknowledgment of something more meaningful than words can express. Ben, I'm finally allowing myself to just be "me." As I wrote in my memoir, to be "Real." Thank you baby boy, I love you.


Excerpts from The Gift of Ben (Chapter 82) (walking through a Christmas shop in CO after losing Ben):

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.” It had been a quote from The Velveteen Rabbit on a picture frame I had just purchased, but as we drove home, I knew only that I had not become. I was so far from becoming that I had lost all hope of it ever occurring. I was mired in grief and desperation.


“It doesn’t happen all at once,” it said. “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.” I so desperately wanted that, to be real, so I grabbed the frame instinctively, paid for it and made a hasty exit.


Ben had “become.” Actually, he simply Is, and always was, real in full living color and vibrancy. I had not, however, become anything but a trapped animal, going through the motions of life. I felt fragmented, not whole, and yearned so deeply to just be me. To become real. Yet I was so very far away.