Sunday, September 23, 2007


As I was driving the other day, I remembered how Ben would call out the make and model of the cars we saw. Tony had taught him all the different cars as they would walk across the parking lots. This was a new game for me because he was my first boy and I grew up in a house full of girls. He would ask me the name if he did not recognize the emblem on the car. He liked Ford Mustangs the most and we bought him a remote control Mustang for his birthday. If you have a memory of Ben doing things only boys would do, please share it with us!


nancyloru said...

Dear Jenny, Tony, Sophie, Olivia, Anna, and Jack,

More time. I wish we had more time with Ben so we could have more memories to share with you, too. I wish I could remember all the funny things you would tell us about him (and the girls). He was such a singular character! The things you would tell me that he would do and say just always amazed me. I remember one time when you stayed at our house when you were up in the winter. I’m trying to remember when it was and how old Ben was, but my memory fails me. Pre-Anna, I’m fairly certain, though. It was really way too cold to play outside. But what fun it was to have all the kids in the house, but especially for Dominic and Benjamin. The two connected immediately, despite the long gap since their last meeting, and it was Spiderman and Buzz Lightyear from then on. We will miss him so much! But Dominic will miss him especially. Benjamin was more than just a cousin: first, he wasn’t a girl! Mostly, he was a friend and cohort, a big brother and mentor, as well as possible co-conspirator. Theirs was to be a great relationship. But one thing I remember especially was that Jenny told us how Benjamin had tried to fit himself down a central air vent. I was having a hard time imagining it until just a bit later there he was, in the kitchen, lifting the grate out of the floor. He was only trying to retrieve something, but the image was complete!

You guys stayed at our house other times besides that memory. The visits were short, though. The kids were pretty much self-sufficient and played so well together that we didn’t get to spend much one-on-one time with them. We got to have that grown-up time talking in the kitchen. Not missed at the time, but now sorely missed.

The only other memory I can offer now is not even really mine: I spoke with Tony by cell before he left for Iraq this last time. Tony called while the girls were having riding lessons. While we were chatting Ben disappeared. Tony called for him, told me to hold on while he found his son, and then yelled for Ben to “get off the tractor (or farm equipment), Son! You’re not supposed to be up there!” Ben did not get down right away. He was trying to figure it out. Do you remember that day, Tony? I think if you remember Ben and he makes you smile, then that’s how he wants you to be. Happy.

We love you! Nancy, John and kids xo

Paul said...

Well one of my memories of Ben happened in a very "boy" atmosphere: Comerica Park in Detroit. It was Ben's first baseball game and he was having a blast. As we walked around the ballpark and stopped to pose with the Tiger I remember how excited Ben was. I think he reminded me and many others that "This is my first baseball game!" I dont remember the score of the game but I do remember all the time I spent with Ben, whether it was walking around or when he was sitting next to me at the game. What a truly amazing boy he was.

midhafamily said...

The "boy" thing I remeber most about Ben was just that- the fact that he was a BOY! We were a family full of women (one Mom, four daughters, and two granddaughters) with our poor Dad being the only male until Benny came along. I got to go with Jenny and Tony to the ulrasound when Jenny was pregnant with Ben. I remeber how surprised we were to see that tiny baby on the ultrasound screen, laying spread eagle in front of us and very obviously a boy! I asked the ultrasound tech "Can we have a picture or something because we need proof. No one will believe that Jenny is actually having a boy!" Oh, and what a special, wonderful, precious boy we got! I used to ask Ben "How did we get so lucky to get a boy like you?" and I meant it. Ben was such a sweet, loving soul and we were all so blessed to have him for the time that we did. He made such an impact on people in his short life.
Benny, I miss you so much and I think of you and pray for you (and all of us) daily. I am so proud to have been your aunt. I want you to know that my love for you goes on and on. Always.

Aunt Suzy

Mary McReed said...

I have a Ben story that is the complete opposite of something only a boy would do, but I think it speaks so highly of what kind of kid he was. This summer at the beach I was out with some of the little ones. We decided to make a mermaid out of sand and decorate her tail with shells. Raleigh, Anna and Ben would comb the beach looking for the perfect shell. I though it so sweet that Ben would play with the girls this way and not be too macho for such girly things as mermaid decorating. He even came up with the idea to make jewelry for her out of shells as well. The girls loved the idea and off they went to find mermaid jewelry. He was always up for playing with his cousins whatever the game. I am so sad that Raleigh and Owen have lost such a terrific playmate and friend. I can only hope they can hang on to some of these memories too.