Today is Wednesday. Wednesday comes around once a week and we repeat our routines, meetings, and tasks like any other day. But this Wednesday, December 7, has special significance to me. Forty-seven years ago, in 1975, I gave birth to my son. Benjamin Grant Davis, 20 inches long, 6 pounds 2 ounces. It was a day of many feelings…joy, wonder, love, excitement, fear. On that day I became a mother. I had no idea what I was doing, and no idea of what was to come.
On December 7, 1941, Japan decimated Pearl Harbor in an attack that changed the world. As Ben grew up, we wondered at the significance of his day of birth because he was fascinated by war. His dad was a Conscientious Objector, and we were hippies who grew up in the 1960s and 70s. But there it was, hundreds of little green army men, books about the Civil War, GI Joe action figures and endless games of Risk, with Ben wearing a beret, or sometimes his grandfather’s Navy hat. His ultimate goal was to be of service to his country and become president of the United States.
Ben worked hard and lived his dreams, becoming an officer in the United States Army, stationed in Germany. He married and had two young boys of his own. Then the illness struck, a glioblastoma brain tumor that appeared soon after chemical warfare training in Poland. What happens to time when dreams are destroyed? What day it is no longer matters. Only tomorrow.
Ben’s birthday is still one of mixed emotions…love, anger, pain, sorrow, and longing. A day to celebrate, and a day to deeply feel his loss. Time stops for the dead; time ticks on for the living. Ben died eighteen years ago on July 25, 2004. Every second that goes by takes him further away from me.