When my husband and I were sitting in the delivery room at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital on July 28th, 1994, I remember asking Kevin, “Are we ready for this?”. I guess it wasn’t really the time to be considering whether or not we were prepared, but the question begged to be asked.
Now, this day, July 29th, 2012, I am still not sure I can answer that question. The only thing I am sure of is how blessed Kevin and I have been to have a son like our “Ben”.
He came into the world in the wee hours of the morning after a very long and difficult struggle. Had it been days of old, the doctor warned, you would have both been goners. As comforting as he thought those words may have been – I was not so reassured. The impression I have always been left with, though, is how lucky Ben and I have bee along the way.
Ben was named with the hope that he would grow into a “gentle giant”. Kevin and I knew he’d likely be tall – but the gentle part we knew was more of a gamble. I don’t know that a name makes a man – but Ben has made the name his own. And gentle he is.
Nanna and Poppa loved Ben’s visits. She, of course, would appeal to Ben’s hearty appetite, and Poppa would appeal to Ben’s intellect. Ben was a loyal grand-child right until the end. He visited them faithfully every week as a regular participant of the Wednesday night dinners and then, as Poppa aged, Ben would take a week-end care-giving shift .. until it became too difficult as a “grand-child”. I am confident that Ben would have always been able to do what needed to be done in terms of first-aid or emergency care, but I always preferred that Ben remain a grand-child rather than a caregiver.
Ben is kind. He is one of the youngest “Elder” (kind of an ironic title) at our church and was a favorite partner of the Minister’s wife with whom she liked to deliver the church newsletter door-to-door.
Ben is SO good with older people and not afraid of the sick or the elderly or those less “able” than others. He is a faithful member of the Jesus Walk crew – helping sing songs, lead in worship, dance, tell jokes.. whatever needs to be done – with handi”capable” participants. I hear, “Ben, Ben, Ben” when we walk into the building. I am asked, “Is Ben coming tonight? Is Ben coming tomorrow? You get the picture.
I admire my son. He is strong, talented, and an overall good person. Truthfully, he is any parents dream. Yes, I may be a little biased, but what the heck… I am one of his biggest cheer-leaders and fans.
Recently, our community suffered a grave loss. A young lady of 17 was killed tragically while working at a camp for the summer. She had been a class-mate of Ben’s and had traveled with him and several others on a unique educational program last year. The loss of their daughter, has left the parents with a hole in the family that will never be filled. This loss reminds us, once again, about how appreciative we must be of one another always.
I sometimes can get lost in my own grief for Dad – and Mom – and forget the lessons that he taught me not even a month ago – the lessons of appreciation.
And so, this post, is dedicated to “Ben”. Thank-you for being such a wonderful son. I am honoured to be your Mom and hope that your Dad and I were, after-all, “ready for you”.
I wish you a wonderful day, Ben, that leads into a continued wonderful and gentle life.
Happy birthday big guy!