I have been journaling a lot over the last week. It started with a list of things I would have liked to do with Ben on his 21st birthday (like share a beer) if Sanfilippo had never been part of the equation. It moved to a poem about the things I knew about Ben despite Sanfilippo (like he would always laugh with his whole being). And like most things Ben encouraged me to do, all this quiet time writing ended with a feeling of resolve, action and determination. Over the years, journaling has helped me cope with the transitions Ben experienced, sort out the feelings in my heart and guide the decisions at hand. The simple act of writing this list let me embrace the pain of what would never be, step away, and see all that I loved and knew about Ben. In some sacred way, writing this list let me enjoy envisioning Ben and I together on his birthday.
Happy Birthday my Ben!
Twenty-One.. I Wish I May, I Wish I Might…..
- Hug him strong.
- Tell him I am proud of the man he has become
- Do a shot of Jack Daniels with him
- Eat crispy spicy beef and fried rice
- Share a pint
- Watch 3 episodes of Arthur
- Walk the 2 black dogs
- Listen to his plans to spend a semester farming in a foreign country
- Send him a pair of socks with boobies on them
- Learn about his most recent fraternity antics
- Hold his hand
- Laugh with him until I wet my pants
- Tell him the story about the day he was born and why his name is not Owen
- Make him a Jackie sandwich
- Tease him about how he always grunted when he ate as a toddler; loving his food so much
- See my father’s eyes when I look into his and know he has the same sense of loyalty
- Ask about his most recent girl – likely a steady!
- Make him chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
- Listen to the sound of his voice
- Get excited about his excellent bracket choices
- Whisper I love you in his ear
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