Updated: Jul 25, 2021
There’s no deeper connection in the world than a child and their parents. So deep that even before my mind realized what month it was, my heart and soul felt this overwhelming heaviness. The first week of July brought such pain, but such beautiful signs as well. A reminder that our beautiful boy is just beyond the clouds and connected to us always.
Before I go into all the beautiful signs Finn has sent, I’d like to provide an update on our sweet boy’s heart. About 6 months ago for several nights, I struggled to sleep. All I could think about was his heart, wondering if it still beats for his recipient. Immediately after Finn went to Heaven, I sent letters to all recipients, all of which responded (Kidneys and liver) except for his precious heart recipient. I couldn’t shake the feeling and reached out to the organ donation organization asking if there was anyway we could find out if his heart is still beating. I received the following response a few days later:
“I have good news to share with you about Finn’s heart recipient.
She is doing very well and is a happy baby girl with no issues.”
As I read this response again today, tears stream from my eyes. It’s the most painfully beautiful feeling to know that your baby boy is responsible for saving another’s life. That his strong heart that God formed inside of me survives in another’s body. I am so proud of him, but I wish with all I have in me that he were still here and that his heart still beat for him. I pray that little girl lives a long and beautiful life and that one day, we might hear from her. We aren’t quite ready and I’m sure they aren’t either, so all in God’s perfect timing.
Signs from Heaven
1. As most of you know, we moved from our home with Finn. Something we weren’t sure we’d ever have the strength to do, so before the idea even entered our minds, I reached out to the builder (Stylecraft) and asked if we could fund the installation of a bench in Finn’s honor along the path we used to walk with him. Immediately, they responded with an overwhelming yes, and said they would take care of it with no financial assistance from us. Then, COVID hit, and everything was delayed. We then decided to move, and the development of all the houses in the community were complete and the HOA was handed over to the homeowners in the community, so we felt it was likely no longer going to happen; and we were ok and accepting of that. Then, on my Facebook book page, I received a message a few days into July with a picture of the bench. We had no idea it was being installed and are overwhelmed by the generosity Stylecraft has shown us. We went to visit the bench on a Thursday night. It’s beautiful and perfect and everything we had hoped for. While there, I asked Finn for a sign. Before we could receive one, we left to go meet our new niece at the hospital. The very next day the neighborhood community Facebook posted a picture of a rainbow from the night before (right after we left) over that exact spot. The sweetest hello from the sweetest boy. Here are a few pictures of us visiting Finn’s bench.
2. Our beautiful niece was born July 8, 2021 – welcome to the world Marlowe Bryn. When we went to visit her at the hospital, they were in room 2112. The numbers we connect with Finn are 22 (born August 22nd) and 11 (11 months old). So this room number felt like a huge sign from our Finn – and we know he is watching over his beautiful little cousin.
3. I rarely ask Finn for specific signs anymore for fear of disappointment, but one night in July, I asked him to send 11 red birds during our morning walk. And, he did. In one spot there were 6 – we have gone back to that spot many mornings since and not seen any. He sent them just as confirmation to my request. I love you, bubz.
4. Lala and Pops invited us to the beach, and I was determined to take sunrise or sunset pictures of our family. On our last day Finley woke at 6am, and we all got ready (so thankful for a husband who understands my need for pictures and goes with it). With tripod and camera in hand, we walked outside only to discover it was raining. We sat on the porch, as I feared the perfectly timed sunrise and “golden hour” photo opportunity was slipping away. After 15min the rain stopped, and we went down to the beach. At the end of the tripod photoshoot, the sky opened up beautifully and allowed for the perfect “golden hour” photos that look like a small glimpse into Heaven. A time we would have missed if we didn't have to wait on the rain to stop. And then a beautiful rainbow appeared. I snapped the picture below of Finn’s photo with the rainbow, only to later post on Facebook and have people call my attention to the face (very obviously to me Finn’s face) in the clouds. A hello that is so undeniably heaven sent. We love you so much, Finn Benton.
5. When we got back home from the beach on Monday, June 19th, the Crepe Myrtle trees I’ve been waiting to bloom, were full bloomed – on the week of Finn’s 2 year angelversary.
6. This Tuesday Finley and I picked up our usual routine of walking, and a neighbor a few houses down who we see often and chat with, came down from her porch to greet us. This week, of all weeks, she decides to ask if I have other children. I told her about Finn and what this week was through tears. Please know, if you ask me something about Finn and I cry, that’s ok – I want the opportunity to speak about him and will do so through tears and maybe one day smiles.
7. This past Tuesday while Austin was still off work, we decided to try a local juice shop. We sat at the table and I noticed on the table was a vine growing from a bottle that was labeled “sunshine”. We call Finn our sunshine; our only sunshine.
8. For me, despite what the records show as Finn’s last day, I’ll always struggle most with July 23rd. The last day Finn was awake and in my eyes, alive, before going unconscious in my arms, never to wake again. So on the 2 year anniversary my mom took off work and in order to distract from the pain, we took Finley to the zoo. Before even getting on the highway, we were stopped at a red light behind a car with Finn’s initials on the license plate. And of course, Finn delivered a red bird at the zoo.
I want to close with the sincerest of thank yous. Up until this week, 2 years ago, the worst moment of my life was when I had to wake Austin and deliver the news his grandfather passed. Seeing someone you love in pain and being completely helpless is pure agony. Yet, so many of you have been there for us, sitting with us in pain and shouldering some of that pain for us. We appreciate you. We love you. And we thank you for the continued support, whether that’s through prayer, kind words, following our story, or the many other acts of kindness our family has been on the receiving end of. There’s no doubt in my mind that we would not be where we are without yall‘s support. I didn’t think we’d survive 2 days, let alone 2 years, yet here we are surviving, and most days, surviving well.
There is not a day that is pain free, but my quest to discover if joy and pain can truly co-exist has closed with an overwhelming, yes.
Finn Benton, I will never forget your wide mouth smile, the way you‘d bounced holding on to your crib when I came to get you each morning, your laughter when I’d “eat” your feet, the way you jumped in anticipation for dad’s countdown to throwing you in the air, the permanent smile on your face that was mirrored in our’s, the thickness of your hair and your perfect comb over, the way you’d look back to make sure we were watching you, and so much more. You filled my heart to the brim, baby boy. I love you. I miss you. I will see you again.