Trashy Tuesday Trash
Every year I post this post as a tribute to my friend Ben. Please take a moment to read on. I hope this post inspires you to see all the redeeming value in every single human we encounter in our lives. We all have beauty inside of us. -Karen
I am 2/3 finished with a video and a post about how to do a Picture Gallery Wall using DIY Paints and how to use Free and cheap thrift store frames.
I had planned, but my plans changed.
Ben was an avid backpacker and skilled outdoorsman. Ben did not return to meet his Grandfather at the appointed time of pickup after Ben had been on a back packing trip for a few days. Many hours went by, then a night. The next morning (Monday morning) a search party was organized and by almost sun down. Still no sign. Searching further into some of the lesser trails, Ben’s body was spotted at the bottom of a ravine.
Ben had fallen and succumbed to his injuries. Fire fighters fighting a nearby forest fire loaned one of their helicopters to help recover Ben’s body.
For the last 2 days, I spent day and evening with my friends helping plan the logistics of transporting Ben’s body, the medical examiner, several different funeral homes, the city of Morgan, Utah’s cemetery plot department, among one million other things.
Ben will be buried in Utah where my friends have family and they have a family plot. That’s the short part of the story.
Mr. Red and Ben worked together for a Petting Zoo and Mobile Pony ride farm. Mr. Red is 4.5 years younger than Ben, but Mr. Red loved Ben and is grieving. Mr. Red is a lot like Ben. Both are extremely intelligent. Both boys have a clever sense of humor. Both boys have HUGE hearts. And both boys deal and continue to deal with severe ADHD and the dark side of ADHD, anger or for Mr. Red, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). If you have one of these children in your home, then you know exactly what life can be like for us sometimes. It is hard. Sometimes heartbreakingly hard.
Ben was beyond intelligent, could have gone to a very good university, but instead, Ben left home after he graduated from High School and lived (next to a Dumpster), where I found him, no joke, one day while looking for furniture.
It was sad. So, so, so, so sad. Ben came home with me that day just for a little while. Took a shower, had a nice meal, then wanted to go back to his Dumpster. He did ask me to fix his Birkenstocks for him, so with Wood Glue and lots of clamps, I managed to get shoe to meet sole again. (Wood Glue works wonders).
Now let’s talk about Mr. Red. School here started over a month ago for our kids. Mr. Red is now a Sophomore in High School. Every day has been an uphill battle. There have been melt downs, crying fits, yelling (more than I would like to admit on my usually self controlled self, tons from Mr. Red). And failing school. Mr. Red has a lot of advocates, he has amazing teachers who work with him, an awesome counselor who keeps track of him and a major network of support around him. My job from 3:00 on is basically redirecting and staying on top of Mr. Red. It’s exhausting. Mr. Red has practically no phone privileges and those change from day to day. No other electronic privileges. Yep, motivation doesn’t work and neither does deprivation.
Very loving parents who tried EVERYTHING they could to help. Siblings who loved him and did their best to help. He had other families that loved him so much, he went to live with one of them for a time. We offered Ben to come live with us for a time, but Ben struggled and it was hard for him to meet the rules of our home.
For the last 2 days and nights, I have spent my time helping my friends with arrangements of their son’s body, the transport from St. George to medical examiner to Funeral Home. Calls to the Cemetery, many more calls back and forth with two different funeral homes. If you have ever had to suddenly plan a funeral, especially for a tragedy. It is hard. Very, very hard. I am grateful I had this job though because it kept me from melting into a puddle of tears.
Here’s more of the story. I know other Bens and other Mr. Red’s. My brother was Ben and a Mr. Red combined. Without so much the anger. My brother was amazing, but he struggled so much of his life to make his life “work”. My brother’s story did not end well either. Substance abuse and ultimately a suicide. I know another Ben. We love this child, he looks a little bit like my Mr. Red. Same personality traits, and he struggles as an adult.
Why am I sharing all of this? Because over the years I have come to understand many of us have Ben’s and Mr. Red’s in our lives.
Going forward. We don’t know what the future will bring. There will be much grieving and tears for Ben, for years to come. Losing a child, even a grown child is the hardest form of grief to cope with.
Going forward for me and my family. Each day is a new gift. We feel like even small changes in the right direction are victories. We have prayer, faith and a lot of support on our side. I pray Mr. Red will not face the same challenges that Ben and other Ben’s we know have faced. I hope we have been able to learn from some of the parenting experiences of those who have gone before us with children with this personality type.
Ben’s family has a deep faith. The other Ben I know? His family has a very deep faith too. We believe families are forever. We believe they will hold their son again and perhaps there are challenges Ben could not overcome here on this earth and will be able to with the Savior by his side. We believe we progress eternally. We believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that it has the power to heal all, redeem all and comfort all sorrows and pains. We believe we are here to serve one another. I believe this is a time where I can serve my friends.
Thank you to my loyal readers who have been here year in and year out. Thank you to my new subscribers who read this post. Thank you to those who just popped in for the day.
PS – 2019 Updates. The Needhams are thriving. Their family and children have continued to grow and are becoming amazing Young Adults. They amaze me every day.
Mr. Red. He has graduated HS, is working full time and (mostly) making good decisions. We have had some serious struggles, some of the same Ben had. We have an eternal perspective. Mr. Red, like Ben has loving siblings showing him a better path, two parents who love him deeply and want him to have his best life. We have learned much about ourselves, and much about patience.
We all have junk we have to deal with. Some people come preprogrammed with a lot of more challenges. Some people need a lot more time for their junk to be refined. I do know this, when we are loving, Christ like and patient, amazing transformations can and do take place.
Just like I believe that there are many things we can do with broken furniture before we give up on it, there are incredible opportunities for us to see others in a better light all around us, every day.
I promise next week there will be Dumpster Diving treasures, Junk Makeovers and more Trash, the good kind.