I’m not even quite sure how to start this post. Truth is I think I’m still in the denial stage. What come’s after denial? Acceptance? Yup, that’s going to be the toughest stage of all. I’m not sure I’ll ever really accept that this was Benjy’s fate.
I’m just going to have to come out and say it. Benjy is gone. He is no longer with us. It’s with great sadness that I inform you that we left him on the aeroplane on our way to Mauritius. I wish i could go back in time and make sure I was there to do our regular headcount, but we had been separated on the plane and in the chaos we must have left him there, under a seat or under a pillow or somewhere.
Some of you may be asking “Who the heck was Benjy?” and for many of you you already know. He was Brody’s sleep toy (jelly cat)/friend/confidant/co-adventurerer for almost 5 years. 5 years to the day in fact as it’s Brody’s 5th birthday tomorrow! For five years Benjy brought indescribable joy to this little boy’s life and went everywhere with him.
From the moment he came home from the hospital, Benjy was there in his cot, snuggled up next to his sweet little face. It was a connection from the very early stages of life, where Benjy played such a vital role in putting Brody to sleep, to the more independent and head-strong stage we currently find ourselves in.
By the time Brody was 1 years old he wouldn’t go anywhere without him and they were bonded for life. If Brody had to eat breakfast, there Benjy would be at his highchair (often forced to eat porridge with him), If Brody went outside to play, his trusty side-kick would remain at his side and even at bath time, Benjy was forced to sit on the window ledge or on top of the toilet so as not to miss a moment of friendly bath banter. Yes some days he even made it into the bath. He went everywhere with us and made up part our head count every time we left a place to come home.
By the time he was two their bond had gotten so strong that he would cry uncontrollably if Benjy was forgotten at home or god-forbid, was torn from his white-knocked claws to be given a good wash. There he would sit for ages, watching the soapy water churn his beloved bunny around around, waiting for his friend to come out after the cycle was complete.
Of course this was bound to happen at certain points in time, being a soft toy belonging to a little boy : after jumping in muddy puddles after the winter rain, after many a night of vomiting and Benjy being caught in the line of fire, after feeding him human food or after using him as rugby ball in the kitchen and landing himself in a pot of stew (Yup that happened!!) . But we always loved cleaning him off and after some TLC he always came out the wash looking whiter, fluffier and smelling a lot better.
He accompanied us on outings to the aquarium, the shops, the gym, the park, friends houses, restaurants and even holidays across the western Cape.
There’s no denying that he became a friend to all of us.
We called the airline the second we realised he was missing and went to the assistance desk at the airport on our way home but Benjy could not be found. Brody was devastated and it was heartbreaking watching his face scrunch up in pain. All he kept saying to me was “I don’t want another Benjy, I will never want another Benjy, I just want him.”
Even though his more mature 5-year old self could make sense of what was happening and that there was nothing we could do, it was no less heartbreaking seeing my little boy mourn the loss of his beloved friend. A major source of comfort and joy to him for as long as he has lived. His best friend.
All we keep telling him us that Benjy loves him but wanted to go on an adventure. His dad tells him he wanted to be a pilot and travel the world and that maybe one day they will meet up in places like Italy and America!
So if that’s true Benj, then please know we love you and miss you. Thank you for all the years of fun and and all the joy and love you brought to our little boy’s heart. You were such a loyal friend and we will miss your snuggles and seeing you under Brody’s arm wherever he went. Fly high and don’t forget, you were a Geary first!
We will always remember you little fur ball xxxooo