I am a Sweetheart to One and a Mommy to Four Loveable Babes, one of which is smiling down on us from Heaven. I am learning to dance in the rain. Come with me on my journey as I make the most out of Life's mud puddles.

Put on your rain boots. Great adventure lies ahead.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


It has been said that the most important word in the English language is the word Remember. Because if we all Remembered, a lot more marriages would stay together, more parents would spend quality time with their children, humans would treat one other with more dignity and mankind in general would reflect on the Hand of God in their lives.

O, what a world that would be.

The word Remember will forever be different to me. Bennett's entire existence is held together by our memories. The sweet smell of the back of his neck, the softness of his velvety ivory skin, how his petite little body fit so perfectly in my arms, his magical, infectious giggle, the way his smile could light up the room, his "keeses" attacks on my face and neck, the way he'd blow bubbles on my not-so-tight tummy (loved that!), the way his little body would scoot across the floor as he swept the floor for his Mommy and the way he would wave his little hand while saying "nigh nigh" to me as I tucked him in . . . ahhhh, it's the stuff dreams are made of.

Particularly Mine.

So we've tried to create family traditions that help our family REMEMBER.
  • After every family prayer, we immediately follow our "Amen" by blowing a kiss to Heaven. It's our little way of continually sending our love to our Sunshine Boy.
  • After Bennett's death, Ashton refused to sleep in the room they shared for a few months. When I had had enough, I prayed to the Lord for guidance in how to handle this fragile little boy. I was immediately prompted to sing this song to him every night before bed. It worked like magic and has become part of our nightly ritual. And - P.S. - he's been sleeping in his bed ever since. Just another Tender Mercy.
  • We have been blessed to have two very special friends offer to take some of Bennett clothes and make Healing Quilts for our family. Each quilt is individual and oh-so-different. But each is PERFECT. When one member of our family is feeling particularly tender, they are gifted a cuddle session or a night's sleep with one of the quilts. As we wrap them up in our arms, Bennett's memory and God's love, they are reminded that - no matter how tough this road is - we are in it together. And that - in the end - it's going to be okay. God's grace will make us whole.
  • More recently, the girls have really been aching for Bennett. I have turned - once again - to the power of music for healing. I have begun singing this song to them as they lay cuddled up in our Healing Quilts. It reminds us that God is in control of all things and that He has a specific timeline and plan for each of us. Including our little Bennett.
  • Whenever we visit Bennett's grave (which is quite often), we always write him a note or color a picture in a journal that was so lovingly left in a water tight container at his grave by a friend. This journal has become priceless. It documents the road to healing for our family. It is real, tender, tough and divine. We love it.
  • Another tradition we have when visiting Bennett's grave is to hold hands and circle round his memorial (ring around the rosies style) while singing His Song and our own version of You Are My Sunshine. These songs remind us of our Little Sunshine Boy. Oh, how we adore him.
  • For Bennett's birthday, we released yellow balloons laden with love notes to Heaven. For his "Angel Day" (the day of his passing), I think we'll send off Chinese Lanterns (like the ones seen in here) reminiscent of his Journey Toward Light. What an adventure he's on. What an adventure.
  • As I was looking through our Halloween pictures from last year, I saw the above pictures. As a last minute thrown together costume, Bennett was dressed as one of the army men from Toy Story. He was so dang cute.
    In this picture, I was reminded how much he LOVED the chocolate dipped pretzels we had at the extended family Halloween Party. So from now on, chocolate covered pretzels will be a regular at our Halloween Day celebrations. All in memory of our Bennett.
  • For Christmas, we will use Bennett's Christmas stocking as a Service Stocking. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will fill Bennett's stocking with pieces of paper documenting ways we have brought Joy into other's lives in remembrance of the Joy Bennett brought to us. And then, on Christmas morning when we may be missing him extra much, we can go through his Christmas stocking and feel all the Joy that was brought about out of our Love and Remembrance of Bennett. I think it will be very, very tender.
  • We will also create a Bennett Christmas tree in our home every holiday season. On it will hang pictures of Bennett with items that remind us of his sweet little life. And perhaps we'll include miracles that have occurred in our hearts and others since his death.
    Hmmm . . .
  • Another seemingly small tradition we have is that - when asked how many children we have - we ALWAYS include Bennett. This has been happening quite a bit since our recent move. We are in an area that did not know our boy and - therefore - only sees us as a family of five. THAT we are NOT. Sometimes it's hard retelling our story time and time again, but it's important for us to have our new neighborhood and congregation know of our Bennett. He IS one of us and will always be considered as an integral member of our Eternal Family unit.
  • Most importantly, we continually REMEMBER the covenants - or two-way promises - that we made with God in His Holy House that make it possible for our family to be together. Forever. And when our hearts are aching and we are feeling his loss most poignantly, we cling to one another, remembering a Loving Heavenly Father's Reassurances and Love. And that helps us keep putting one foot in front of another.
These traditions have helped our family Remember. We may add traditions. We may redefine the traditions we've created. And that's okay. The point? We will do the things that feel right for our family, promote healing and that help us remember the Joy, Sunshine and Happiness that our Little Man brings to us.

And now, O man, remember, and perish not. (Mosiah 4:30).


  1. You don't know me, and I don't even remember how I came across your blog. I was somehow drawn to it. This year I am going to send you messages of joy and service that my family will do in honor of your little man, during the Christmas Season.

  2. Ah, Mandy...I just love you. You will never believe this but the very song that ALWAYS, without fail, calms my little baby, regardless how upset, (and sometimes it's very dramatically upset) is "You are my Sunshine." I've tested many other songs and it's only this song so needless to say, we sing it A LOT in our home. As we do, I will think of your sweet little sunshine boy. Who knows, maybe it's more than coincidence? Heaven only knows.


  3. Oh those pictures made me smile and giggle to myself...what a cute pair :) That little Bennett was the sweetest Toy Story army man I'd ever seen! And it made me SO happy to see that he liked those "witch fingers"!! (white chocolate covered pretzel rods...I brought them to the halloween bash:)

    And Mand those are all such awesome, sweet, tender, fun, and meaningful traditions your little fam does, and will do, to keep the memory of Bennett alive. I especially love the kiss to heaven after prayers, and your Service Stocking :)

  4. Your posts always speak directly to my heart. One day we really need to meet. You've helped me so much and I'm ahead of you in this trial time wise. I'm always excited to see when you've posted something new and I'm usually crying by the time I'm done reading your posts. But really the tears are joyful in the fact that someone truly knows how I feel and can put into such beautiful words. I love hearing of all your traditions. I'm always trying to think of new ways to incorporate Gabie into our daily lives.
    Thank You!

  5. I've only visited your blog a handful of times, but I felt prompted to click on it after receiving your email tonight. What a shining example this post is of one who is showing great faith in the promise of eternal families. Your simple, yet very poignant traditions and of course your testimony have helped to remind me what truly matters in life. Thank you.


Thank you for being a part of my journey. I appreciate your supportive and healing comments. Here's to a Promise of Sunshine!