Another cycle around the sun – Happy Birthday, Ben.

A small slice of your life.

A small slice of your life.

Dear Benjamin,

It’s your birthday today!

April 10th will always be a very special day for me, for it marks the date that a very special person came into this world: you. You would have been 44 years old today, an age that is considered “middle” aged by most peoples’ standards, but not by your own life experience. I will always believe that your time here on earth was too short, that you were taken away far too early, and while that is not something that I wish to celebrate, what I do want to celebrate is the fact that you did exist here on this earth, and that you did make a mark on this planet in your nearly 42 years here. People appreciated you and loved you, and I know you made a difference in many peoples’ lives. I know that now because since you’ve been gone, so many of your old friends have reached out to me to convey to me the special place that you held in their life – and for that, I am grateful.

What I know is that you would want that. You would want to know that your existence made a difference. You always wanted to be acknowledged for your achievements, and I can understand that if you didn’t have at least that, now that you’re gone, that you would have no “legacy” to leave behind. We all wish to know that we’ve made an imprint on this world, and a positive one at that.

You did accomplish so much in your short life, even though you were sick during half of it, so do be proud of that. I know you continually judged your worth by the occupations that you had, and there were definitely many of those! Of the top of my head, I can say that at certain times in your life, you were: a ski patroller, a paramedic, a butcher, an Air Force officer, a military doctor’s assistant, a medic, a police officer, an autopsy assistant, a hospital lab tech, a security guard, and a security consultant. There could be more! (but that’s all I can think of for now)

During the time I knew you, you felt defeated because you could no longer push on at these “jobs” that made you feel important and useful in life. But I always tried to tell you that who you are as a person is not defined by the work that you get paid to do for a living. Who you are is defined by your character and your values, and what you stand for in life. I always saw so much potential in you to live out your true self to the fullest. It saddens me that there always seemed to be so many obstacles getting in the way for you. I tried to help you get past them, but it was just so overwhelming for one sick person and one healthy person to overcome. I do believe, though, that I did help at least somewhat.

For the past 2 years, I often think back to your life experiences, as I shared them with you. I would rather concentrate on the good than the bad, and this is why I tried to make many good memories for us in spite of all the hardships. It is more fruitful for one’s psyche to contemplate on the positive, but I didn’t do it just for myself. I was always thinking of the “memories” that you would be left with once you left from this earth, and I don’t know how that works at all, but I think that you must have some kind of memory now of what your Earth-bound life was like, and I truly hope that you are at peace with this. I want you to be happy, as always. I still think of your well-being, even though I know I can no longer carry responsibility for it.

You are so special and you will live on in me forever. Today is a day to be happy that you were born. You were born for a reason; you made an impact on me, and many others. I honestly can’t imagine a life in which I never knew you. Happy Birthday, Ben!


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