Monday, February 28, 2011

30 Day Challenge--Day 10: A Memory from 10 years ago

I'm just not sure how I'm going to top Day 9. I even took a day off, hoping for some inspiration.

I'm really glad for today's topic, because 10 years ago was a bittersweet time for me. I read through my journal (I wrote a total of 3 entries in 2001--pretty typical, unfortunately). 10 years ago, I was still adjusting to our move across the country. I had 2 small children, and almost exactly a decade ago, we found out our next baby was going to be severely handicapped. The doctor's exact words were "And not in the cute, down-syndrome kind of way." Our baby had a hole in his brain called a dandywalker that would require shunts for drainage. I wrote "It's kind of like walking into your worst nightmare, and slowly figuring out it's not really a nightmare at all."

We were still adjusting to this shocking news when he died. We named him Benjamin. It was, quite possibly, the toughest time in my life so far, and yet my family has never felt so literally carried in our Heavenly Father's hands. I'm incredibly grateful for the knowledge that he'll be part of our family forever.

Here is the one journal entry from 2001 that doesn't deal directly with Benjamin, although you'll still feel reverberations:
Have you ever tried to be depressed with a four year old, a three year old, and a golden retriever puppy? I can't even curl into the fetal position or the dog will eat my hair, D will super-slam me and J will tickle me. I'm potty-training D, and so he was going around in one of my t-shirts and he crawled on the kitchen counter and peed everywhere. J just handed me $1.25 and said, "Here Mom. I'll give you sixty dollars and seventy two cents if you'll read us Christmas stories." I said, "You need to bribe your own mom into reading you stories?" and she said, "Of course." How can I be in a bad mood when my life is such a sitcom?
 I don't have any pictures of Benjamin to share, but here's a picture of Molly, my amazing dog who died a couple of months ago.


  1. Ten years ago seems like such a long time ago, and yet when you bring up memories it seems like just a few months ago. I hope that Benjamin and Molly have met and are having fun like kids and dogs do. You have an incredible spirit Melanie - I think it's what has brought you through these tough times. Thank you for sharing these memories with us :)

  2. Thanks Laurie. I have such great memories of you from those days. I can't wait til you come visit!

  3. I am sooooooo happy you are doing this blogging challenge. I love reading these things. I remember this time in your life and talking about it with Melissa. Man, I'm even more impressed with you than I was before..