In Memory of Benjamin Wheeler
Dear David and Francine,
I saw your video on Katie Couric and I was moved by your strength. Of course my heart aches for you and the loss of your dear son, Ben, but I can’t help but feel empowered by you at the same time. You said that you wanted us, as parents, to imagine what you went through, are going through, and will go through. I can imagine it. I don’t want to. I hate it. But I will, for you and Ben and the others.
I said those same words one time to a colleague whose stepson had just died of a brain tumor. “I can’t imagine what you are going through.” A few months later my own daughter, 3 years old at the time, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I vowed that day to never utter those words again and I haven’t since. But until I saw you on Katie Couric saying that you wanted us to imagine what happened as if it happened to us, I never thought about those words being powerful in another way...a positive way.
I don’t know you and never met Ben but I can picture him clearly after you shared his nickname, Crash. I’m sure it is quiet now in your house if he and his brother were the equivalent to 4 kids. But, what fun memories you must have. Try to enjoy the quiet and think about him. I know you can still smile when you think about him and you should. He plowed through life full force living each day to his fullest and even on those days when you think you can’t, do it for him and for your other son. Do it for each other. Take each day as it comes. Even if he can’t be with you physically, he will always be with you in your minds and hearts and that is a gift that can never be taken from you.
My thoughts are with you. You are not alone.