To say September and October have been full-filling months is an understatement, but we have embarked into another month. This month is generally focused on words like thankful, grateful, and blessed. It’s been super fun honoring people and businesses along the run. So, I will continue this thread in the blog today.
This week is my former husband, Ben Dillon’s, birthday. He would have been 48 years old on this Friday, November 5th. I would love for this week to be a walk down memory lane. My challenge is for you, my menders, to post one of your favorite pics and a story along with it. Comment on this blog, as a guest or member, and I will have these memories as a keepsake and I can read these to the kids whenever it feels right.
Let’s start with the word thankful. I am thankful to you, Ben, for giving me the honor of becoming a mother. This is a gift that keeps on giving. Even more enjoyable than becoming a mother was watching you become a father. Your fatherly role, I believe, was your truest essence. It humbled all who watched you celebrate and love them so deeply.
Here is a collage of photos to show his childlike fatherly approach. He was hands on. He was always near. He loved to show off his kids and for some that brought a tear. For, they may not have had a father like that, but it gave them hope to see that such a man existed. Being a father was his greatest joy. For he loved his father since he was a little boy and wanted the chance to become what he experienced first-hand. Seeing his son for the first time marked his life. Seeing his daughter was pure delight.
Next up is grateful. I am grateful for Ben’s contribution to the education system. You see, the Rock Church School has been in existence for 43 years and counting. Ben was an Alpha and Omega student, which means he completed his schooling there from kindergarten to his senior year. The second generation to complete this was Jack Dillon, his nephew, last year. Ben was there 13 years, went away to college, and then came back and completed 20 years of service. He completed his twentieth year and then crossed over into eternity the following month. Wild!! The students continue to tell stories about his humor, mentoring, and skills to the ACE curriculum in helping them finish their assigned goals for the day. He stood in so many different roles for these kids. He felt like a friend, father, uncle, teacher, and pastor just to name a few. The legacy continues through these students. Some are teachers today because of his impact. It was an eternal work and for that I am eternally grateful. Another joy he got to experience for a short time was seeing his own children coming through those school doors hand in hand with him.
Lastly, let’s talk about being blessed beyond measure. Ben’s life was a life of service. No matter who called, he was hot to trot in helping his fellow brother. To say Ben was reliable is an understatement. It was an honor to be his wife. I never got mad when he served others. But to be honest, I did challenge him at times that those people would not come to his rescue if he needed it. You see, I didn’t have an eternal perspective at that time. He did! How have I been blessed beyond measure? Beause for the last four plus years, I have been reaping the rewards of Ben’s kindness with a full blown grin, for those moments of serving has come full circle by those people serving my family. It finally made sense. I eventually saw a small bit into his choice to be obedient to that still small inner voice. Ben remembered every conversation, and you felt seen and heard. He asked good questions and was a good listener. He is still deeply missed today, for his presence has not been matched. I have said it many times, one of the ways we can move forward out of this epic loss is to be a Ben-like for someone else. What you miss, Be It! We even had bracelets made up that said, “Live Like Law,” and a banner that said, “Always Serving #34,” his basketball number. There is so much more I could say, but I think I’m going to leave it here.
Now it’s your turn to share your stories that bring a full blow grin to your heart and mind. This is part of walking with the Divine, looking inward so we can declare outward. Share your pics. Share your silly stories. Share your “I wish he was here to see this” moment. Share your favorites. It’s good for the soul, for this month is all about gathering to feast as family. So, let’s feast on memories that I believe are like food for the soul.
Happy Birthday Ben!
Final thoughts: One New Year’s Eve, Amber, Stone, Stella, and I wrote on some paper lanterns and sent them off into the sky as an activation into the new year. Stella wrote this: “It was good with you, and it’s been good without you.” That’s an eternal perspective sent from the heart of a child. My hope and prayer is that you can adopt this same mindset when life’s trials find you.
I read this in a book called “Champagne of the Soul” (Rediscovering God’s Gift of Joy):
“Happy people have just as much pain as anyone else, in some cases more. It could even be argued that the happy feel pain more acutely than the unhappy, whose feelings are relatively numb. The real difference in happy people is that they’re not trapped in their pain. Rather than settling inside a happy soul, pain moves through it as through a channel, and that channel is joy. Joy keeps pain moving. Joy knows it’s on the winning side.”
Amen and Amen.
Until next time,
Connect to the Mender.
Be a Sender.