Christopher Benito was born August 9, 1979. He was a breech birth and had to be delivered by C-Section. I had regular deliveries before, but the pain of a C-Section was really bad! I remember my doctor saying the words "It's a boy" and I relaxed a bit. My baby was now born and I had a beautiful son...
The concerned look on the doctors face, turned my comfort to tension. There was something wrong. Where was the lustful cries that babies are all supposed to have? Why was my little boy not moving on the examining table? Was that a look of pity I saw on the nurses face?
In the recovery room, I tried not to think the worst, but our human minds have a way of doing that anyway. Then, the news came... my son was born with congenital brain damage and would not live through the night. Here I was in the worst pain I had ever felt in my life, physically, and I had to deal with the excruciating emotional pain of my son dying. No, I had to pray... believe in miracles. My son couldn't die. God wouldn't allow that!
The first time I held Christopher in my arms, I was a little taken back by the lack of muscle use he had. His muscles were all drawn up tightly. I tried to straighten his little hand, but I couldn't and was afraid I would break it. His eyes never opened to look at me, but I opened the eyelids a bit and looked at his gorgeous, dark-brown eyes. His hair was so black and silky soft. I had to keep touching it. I wanted to remember its softness on my fingertips. The nurses wouldn't allow him to be fed. They said he couldn't suck! One time when he was in my room, I gently inserted my finger into his mouth. I could have sworn he tried to suck for a brief second. "God, except for the brain inside my sons head, he is perfect. Surely, he wasn't going to really die."
I had my pastor come in and pray for Chris. I tried so hard to have the kind of faith that God says will move mountains. I had to have that for Christopher to live, right? "IF we have faith the size of a mustard seed?" Surely, God would see mine the size of a mustard seed?
Two days later, on August 11, 1979 my son, Christopher made the journey to be with God, to be held in the arms of Jesus for eternity. Someone came and asked me if I wanted to go see him before they took him to the downstairs part of the hospital, but I couldn't do it. As alive as Chris was, I wanted to remember him that way. I sometimes wish I would have gone to him, cut a piece of that downy soft hair... to feel its softness so that I wouldn't have to let go of my son. I didn't understand this. How could I ever understand this?
I was given morphine to dull the pain in my body, but I was glad it also dulled the terrible breaking feeling in my heart. I was in the hospital for a week and then drove myself home... empty handed... I think one of the most painful times was when a car of some friends I knew, drove by and yelled "Congratulations" They didn't know. They had seen the birth announcement in the paper, but didn't know that Christopher had passed away.
Christopher's funeral was the following Monday. I sat by the graveside looking at the small, white casket... numb and not fully realizing my son was in there. I honestly don't know how I got through the day! Even the doctor and peditrician came to the small graveside gathering. Chris has touched hearts in the brief time he was on this earth.
I was able to buy him a small headstone that I go to visit every so often and... remember... tiny little hands... tiny little feet... that soft hair... I can still feel it! Chris is with the Father and I know someday I will see him again. I will get to hold him once again. I will get to feel his hair again and look into those wonderful brown eyes. In the meantime, he is with the best babysitter I could afford... He is with Jesus.