Tonight on my way home from work I talked to one of my very favorite people…my mom! She is great in so many ways that I cannot begin to name them. Love you mom! Anyhow, she told me that the girls scouts were having “thinking day” on Sunday and that she was going to do a craft with them. Thinking day. Huh. I think that’s funny. But also, weirdly perfect, because that has been my day. My brain has been very full of thinking about Bennie. Now, I think about him everyday, for certain. But today, I thought about him a LOT. He filled my brain up so much that I had to spend part of my day organizing pictures of him just so that my eyes could be filled with him, just like my head. I supposed there are reasons. First, we formalized our Benton’s Hope foundation today. That felt good. It felt powerful. It felt strong. It also felt a little sad. And a little melancholy. But mostly good. OK. I can handle mostly good. In doing that, in signing those papers, the thing that has been in our heads is now real, tangible, happening. As Sean looked excitedly in my eyes and said in the office where we were signing, “It’s starting!”. It was the most sparkle I’ve seen in those eyes since September. THAT makes it good, no matter what else happens. I love that sparkle. I have missed it. It’s good to see it again.
I am pushing my way through to my own sparkle. It’s taking me a little longer, I think. I have many really good, big, wonderful things to be happy about right now. I am blessed by them. I want so badly to embrace them and fill my heart up with them and smile a toothy grin and laugh. I really do want that…I miss that, like I miss the sparkle. That free, unadulterated, arms in the air kind of joy. I guess my grief gets in the way, stopping me from feeling it because I feel guilty for being TOO happy, TOO glad…like I shouldn’t because how can I be without Bennie? Now, I know in my head that I need to let that go…to understand that BECAUSE of Bennie I should feel that joy. He taught it to me. But somehow, I can’t quite do it. Not quite. I will get there sometime. For those who know me, they know I am impatient…I want things to happen when I want them to happen and in the order I want them to happen…I am my father’s daughter in that way, there is no use denying it. So, when they don’t fall in line, I get frustrated. And twitchy. And mad. I know this about myself. It is probably one of my weaker traits. But, oh well, there it is so I embrace it and know that sometimes I just have to be that way. OK. Today, in my thinking day, I thought, “Hey, why should I have to be so patient? Huh? Why should I have to wait and wade through all this grief stuff? Why can’t I just decide to be happy and be happy, already? I think I should be able to do that. I do!” And then, the truth kicked in and I thought, “Well, maybe not. Maybe you do have to work through it. Maybe you do have to figure out some forgiveness and some pain before that pure joy can come back.” Now, I don’t LIKE this. Not at all. Nope. It makes me scrunch up my face, just like my dad…and just like Bennie. We all have that face…even him, so little and sweet. I kind of love that, actually. That we share that mad face. It’s good. It’s a connection. I didn’t see it on him often. But when I did, boy I knew we were in for it and had just better do something to make him stop the scrunching. So, I guess I will think about him some more and think about my frustrations and think about my joy and know that we’re in it together, he and I. I knew it, all along. We are a good team, that little red head and I…even through the tough stuff.