You can read the following public information to see where our story began: "Petition Seeks Federal Help to Prevent Heat Deaths," published at newstimes.com (Danbury, CT), on July 23, 2014, "A Grieving Mother's Mission to Stop Hot Car Deaths," Kelly Wallace, CNN.com, and "Family Trauma From Toddler's Death Will Be Lasting," published at newstimes.com (Danbury, CT), on July 12, 2014 (a thoughtful article discussing the grieving process).
This website is a medium for Ben's voice and an outlet for me to allow his gifts to live on by raising public awareness of this grave danger and trying to find effective solutions to this problem, thereby ensuring other families do not have to needlessly feel this same pain.
I want to thank all parties involved for respecting my family's privacy and grief, while continuing day-to-day objectives in a reasonable and thoughtful manner.
I also want to say a thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of those in our community (including our local state representatives, John Frey, and State Senator, Toni Boucher) and nation-wide who have supported and reached out to us. Those cards from strangers in other states or anonymous gifts from other grieving parents -- those in our food train. I remember the week after Ben's passing, weeping when I opened a tin of huge salmon filets. Why? In that moment, I felt the love and time that went into it. And, thank you to our employers and close network of friends who have become our family. You have been and are still holding us up.
Last, but certainly not least, a blessed thank you to Janette Fennell and Amber Rollins at KidsAndCars.org for helping me navigate these waters of grief to somehow find understanding and reach a a place of peace one day.
Ben's Celebration Service
A Mother's Words of Remembrance [check back at later date]
Over the Rainbow, sung at Ben's Celebration Service (Jesse Lee Memorial Church) by Robin Idestrom and accompanied on guitar by Tom Andrei
Oh my Ben....my sweet Benjabear. I love you and miss you with all my heart and soul. I wasn't ready to tell you goodbye...we had so many things to do, to see. You were my little boy; you had a special place in my heart. I've realized through this experience that a mom can never know the day she may lose her most valuable gift. And, I'm so thankful for the time I spent with you. People try to comfort me by telling me the you were so special that God needed you to be with Him in Heaven...maybe you were already half angelic and had a limited time here with us; a specific purpose. And maybe you knew this and made the most of each day you had, living each day with pure joy. Your smile! Oh my goodness, your smile. It showed us everything you needed us to know. You smiled all day; laughed every day. And, your slate blue eyes. I could see Heaven through them. You opened your heart and soul to life -- experiencing the joys of pure existence to their fullest. Hours throwing balls, laughing, picking them up and over and over again. You were so sweet, so calm and tender...you touched everything with tenderness, like placing a blessing on all you touched. You lived to teach us adults how to live. That time is precious. To smile; laugh; love. The Gift of Ben.
A friend consoled me the other night by telling me of a certain religious belief that the physical pain I feel in my chest when I look at your face in pictures or videos is the rip in my soul that you made when you left your mommy because you couldn't stand the thought of one minute without me....but you have a part of me with you forever, with our God, and when I come to meet you in Heaven one day I will receive this piece back to become whole again.
I carry your heart with me(I carry it in my heart), my dear Ben, until we meet again.
My family - Me (Lindsey), my husband, Kyle, and our two beautiful girls. I met my husband at college in the summer of 1998 and it was love at first sight. We were married in 2002 and 12 years later here we are. We both grew up in the South, moving to Connecticut in the fall of 2009 for my new job. To allow one of us to spend needed time with with our two girls, he gave up his job as an electrical engineer to be our stay-at-home dad (we called him "Mr. Mom") for four years, while I pursued my career as a healthcare attorney at a law firm in NYC. After a few years of commuting and working long hours, I began feeling like I "needed" more family time, and right after I got pregnant with Ben a wonderful job fell in my lap that was much closer to home and would allow me to attain a better work-life balance. So I quit my job in NYC and Kyle went back to work, also close to home. We had the perfect life: love, happiness, time, jobs, family. We still do - just different.
My oldest daughter is 8 years old. She's a wonderful human being (kind, empathetic, funny, loving) and, on the side, she's got a passion for soccer. She was Ben's best friend...she got his first smile out of him. I was so jealous!
My youngest daughter is 6 years old. She's our intense, keep us on our toes, never a dull moment child - her mind works a mile a minute! She loves to run, just like her mom. Ben loved to crawl over her lap and just laugh, over and over.
My children are my trinity. My oldest daughter is my heart, my youngest is my soul. And Ben is my joy. And, Kyle, he has always been my rock.