A visit from Ben

 

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A couple of nights ago my nieces, Faith, Kasey and I were talking about Ben. We had been out to the cemetery because the girls wanted to see the lights at night. When we came through the door I pointed to a picture that Samantha and I had taken with Ben at my cousins wedding. He was an usher so he had to wear a suit. But he also had to wear a blue bow tie!! I was not a fan of that picture (or the suit). I thought he was too handsome to be wearing a bow tie.

Anyway, I was telling the girls how Ben always makes the picture crooked as I’m straightening it for hundredth time. I reach over and straighten another one that was crooked as well. As soon as I sit down Kasey says “Ben, tilt any picture in the room.” I didn’t really think anything about it.

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An hour or so later, the girls are sitting on the sofa watching YouTube videos and I’m in my chair watching the news. All of a sudden my daughter Samantha’s dog, Miley, jumps up and starts growling and barking! The hair on her back is standing up (Miley doesn’t live here, she is just visiting). She is barking at one of the pictures on the wall. A picture of Samantha and Ben.

I tell the girls she is barking at Ben. It’s the only thing that makes sense because the other 3 dogs weren’t making a sound. They didn’t even react. They always react! When one dog barks they all bark! EVERYTIME!

About 10 minutes after Miley settles down, Faith says, “Aunt Sherry the picture is crooked again!” Then, “So is that picture! And that picture!” Every picture in the room was crooked!! He always lets me know he is still here.

Thanks son.

The Ugly Truth

C29F0DC4-D4BF-4984-A429-74A16FE4BD0BRecently I heard someone say that the truth needs to be told about the aftermath of suicide, and I agree! So, here goes.
I knew something was wrong.  This is a small town and news travels fast.  I was already hearing something had happened but no one would tell me what.
I called my best friend and told her I needed her to get over here now! It was Thanksgiving Day but like the friend she is, she dropped what she was doing and flew over!!

First there’s the call. Mine was from a county judge.
The phone rings, and he says, “This is so and so, the Palo Pinto county judge. Is Benjamin Davis your son?”

Now my heart is racing and I’m just holding my breath. He keeps talking. Blah, blah, blah.

I see Krissie pull up and I scream at the man, “JUST SAY IT!!!”

He says, “Ma’am your son is dead.”

I throw the phone at Krissie and just started pacing back and forth. Crying, and saying NO! NO! NO!All I wanna do is reach inside and pull all of my guts out! That’s how it feels when they tell you your son is dead !!
I have to call my family. I can’t keep it together as I tell each one Ben hung himself and he is dead !! Each time the words come out of my mouth, I start sobbing harder than the time before. But it had to be me that told them.

As the day goes on and information starts coming in, we figure out he was out there all night!! My baby boy out there all night by himself in the cold!! Can you see the picture in your mind? Ben hanging there dead!  Look!! You have to see it to know the pain! It hurts so bad!!! I can’t stop it!! Still.

That night when I got to bed all I could think about was Ben and the last minutes of his life. When he put that rope around his neck did he know he would literally be breaking the hearts of his mom, sister, family and friends? No, I don’t believe he did. Did he pray before? My God I hope so!! I will never know. Is he in hell? They say you go to hell if you kill yourself. Did he struggle and try to get out of it? How long did it take him to die as he was hanging there? There is nothing romantic about suicide! It is a vicious animal that eats on the people left behind!!!

I don’t remember a lot during that time, but I do remember going and picking out his casket. I just kept saying, “It isn’t supposed to be this way!” I looked at picture after picture of caskets! A casket to carry my son and lay him in the cold ground! I looked at the prices and I just kept thinking that money could have been used to get him a car. But it wasn’t a car.  It was a casket!

As we walked in to the visitation, they started the video they had made, the first notes of ”Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” came on. Samantha, possibly the strongest person I have ever known, turned and threw her arms around my neck, sobbing so hard her body was shaking! This is what Ben did to his sister, the person he had worshipped all his life!
Ben’s funeral was closed casket because Samantha and I did not want to see his dead body just laying there. When the service was over, I walked up and kissed the top of the casket. It’s the closest I will ever be to kissing my baby boy again!

Now there is a big beautiful headstone with his pictures on it. I can look at it and I can talk to it. But my son is laying underneath it, rotting in the ground! That’s the truth, that’s the ugly truth!

If you are thinking about suicide this is an extremely small part of the pain and devastation you are leaving behind.
This was not told lightly. A few events in the last several days led me to telling the truth. If you are making bad decisions, do not use Ben as your excuse. Seek the help he wouldn’t! Ben is not here! Take care of your families, if you know Ben at all, you know this is what he would tell you to do!!! Will you do it ?

 

 

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.