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!”
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.)