Brotherhood

9CFB3497-DA6E-488F-84D4-B36CBA495600These boys are the friends Ben left behind. Each one of them represents a period in Ben’s life. These are the young men that carried Ben to his rest. Several of them carried Zach as well.

When the media tells you how divided we are, think of this picture. One will be naming his soon to be born son after Ben. Three (so far) have Ben’s name tattooed on their arms. Their devotion to Ben is strong! I love them all the more for it!

These are small town millennials Their lives are interwoven. They are my sons! I know they would be there for me in an instant if I called! I hope they know I would do the same for everyone of them!

When you pray, pray for them. They have lost 3 members of their crew in less than a year. 2 to suicide and 1 in an oilfield accident. They have also lost Ashton, she was a piece of Ben and they loved her as well.

3 Little Ducks

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In March, 2017 one of Ben’s best friends shot himself.

Zach was a bright-eyed kid with an infectious smile.  He and Ben became close in 7th grade.  They both had a love for hunting and fishing.  They would spend their weekends together doing one or the other.

Then, just like that, Zach was gone.  He left behind a girlfriend and a son.

Ben had trouble wrapping his mind around it.  We all did.

During the week between first losing Ben and then Ashton, she spent her days at my house.  It was her way of staying close to Ben.

We were all pretty much in a trance that week.  Losing Ben was (and is still) so unbelievable.  I would talk to the girls (Samantha and Ashton) and I told them to be watching for ducks.  I recalled for them a conversation Ben and I had a couple of months earlier:

I had been watching ‘Long Island Medium.’

Ben:  You know this is bullshit, right?  How could she possibly know that stuff?

Me:  Well, I’ll tell you what.  When I die (I was supposed to go first) you go see her and I will tell her to draw a duck!

I had always called Ben and Samantha my little ducklings because I felt like a momma duck when they were following me.  

I just knew that somehow Ben would send a duck because of this conversation.

Ashton would say that she was watching for signs but nothing was happening.  I would tell her to be patient, that it would come.  I knew Ashton was brokenhearted and I really wanted Ben to send her a sign.  I even told Samantha that I was thinking about getting a duck and somehow putting it in Ashton’s path.  But, I didn’t get that chance.  Just like Zach and Ben, she was gone, too!

Ben is buried out in the country and Ashton is buried in a cemetery out past that.  After leaving Ashton’s funeral, we were getting close to the cemetery where Ben is buried and my sister pointed out a huge flock of birds flying over.  I said, “Oh my God!  Those are ducks Donna!”  I knew that they were ducks because of the “V” formation.  They were flying over Ben’s grave.  Hundreds of them.  I sped up trying to catch them.  The big flock had flown on but then three ducks came flying low over the car.

I know that it was Zach showing Ben and Ashton the way.

But, wait!  It doesn’t end there.

The very next time that I logged onto facebook someone that I didn’t know had tagged Ashton in a photo of ducks flying over her funeral.  The ducks were aligned in the shape of an “A!”

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I know that Ashton got up there and she told Ben his mom was waiting on ducks!  And boy did they come through! Thank you Ashton!

(I received permission from Claudia Mendoza who originally posted the “A” story.  She will be hearing this story for the first time when she reads this.)

 

 

Mother’s Day

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It’s Mother’s Day and I hate it! It’s a day that just magnifies that Ben is gone! People calling just to see if I’m alright. No! I’m not alright! I want to cry, but whats the point? I’ve done that and he is still dead!

They call wives with deceased husbands widows. Children who have lost parents are orphans. But, the most powerful bond is a mother to her child and there is no name for that.

My amazing Samantha is trying to overcompensate because she knows this will be a hard day. The truth is, there is nothing that can be done to make it better. But, I love her all the more for attempting.

I spent my Mother’s Day at the cemetery.  It shouldn’t be this way.

But, I am one of the lucky ones because I have family and friends that would drop what they are doing in a moment’s notice to come to my side. I mourn my loss but I am extremely grateful for the people who surround me.

 

The First Sign

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This is my son Ben and his beautiful girlfriend Ashton.  We lost him on Thanksgiving 2017 to suicide.  A week later, Ashton took her own life as well.  To say it was the most painful time in my life is an extreme understatement.

Ben suffered from Major Depression and Bipolar Disorder.  Ashton suffered from a broken heart and bullying.  Several kids blamed her for Ben’s death.  Those kids did not know what Ben had dealt with for most of his young life.

In the days and months since I have had many signs that Ben is with me. The first was the night after his passing.

Ben has had a Walker Coon Hound for about 8 years. While she is Ben’s dog, guess who took care of her most of the time?  Yep, good Ole Mom!  When it gets dark and all the animals start coming out of the woods behind our house she goes nuts baying at them.  So, each night I bring her inside so that she doesn’t keep the neighbors up all night.  I’ll usually take her out once or twice before I go to bed.  It’s normally a simple procedure.   Since she has an 11ft leash, I can stand on the porch and she can wander around until she finds the right spot to go potty.  Then we go straight back in and into her kennel she goes.

Since life goes on whether I like it or not she still had to be taken care of.  I brought her in as usual.  A few minutes after being in her kennel she started making a sound I had never heard before.  It sounded like whining and groaning at the same time.  I decided to take her out and see if she needed to potty.  But the minute I got the leash on, she started dragging me toward the door and down the steps we go!  She had her ears perked up and she was listening to something.  She was scanning trying to find it.  Then suddenly she put her head down and started sniffing.  She started pulling me and then her head would fly up and her ears would perk.  She just kept listening and scanning again.  I have 3 acres and we walked this whole place doing that procedure over and over again. She never found what she was looking for or what she was hearing.  After searching the front porch she gave up and went back into her kennel.

I 100% believe Ben was calling her name.  When we came back in she laid down in her kennel and cried!  She knew he was gone now.  She had never done that before and she has never done it since.

I know this was long but it is just the first of the many signs I have had. I will tell you others at another time. If you get this far God bless your heart for doing so! ❤️ 13094111_10208607232072536_4177980844889983265_n