The BB Initiative
BENITA "BB" DIAMOND
Feb 27, 2006 - Jan 10, 2019
Message from Dad
BB & Dad at the Hospital ICU
I cannot believe that we lost her after only 12 years on this earth. It is much too short a time, but they have been the most precious. We treasured every moment.
Benita Jun Diamond was born on the 27th of February 2006, after a very long and anxious eight months pregnancy. The pregnancy was difficult. This was an incredibly bittersweet time. We found out at 5 months that Benita had gastroschisis which is a herniated abdominal wall.
You were born, you were so tiny — I couldn’t believe my eyes. When Benita was five days, she had to undergo surgery. We worried for her all the time, but then a miracle. Benita completely healed from her surgery and the surgeon gave her a clean bill of health. Despite all these difficulties, I wouldn’t have changed anything. I would go through those 34 weeks again and again for my little girl. Benita’s birth was the most beautiful event of my life.
After a couple of months in the hospital we could take her home. Cameron and Alena were excited about their new sister that was “spending time growing bigger so that she could come and play.” From the time she was a little girl, Benita brought joy and laughter into our lives and the lives of others. I called her my “BB baby Boo Boo Baby”. I hope she knows I looked after her as best as I could. Well, I tried to. I just wanted her to be happy and healthy and loved and cherished.
We added to our family, another child named Leon. Our other children will be the caretakers of Benita’s story. Her birthday will be celebrated every year. We will honor her at Christmas. I speak to her like she is here. Leon and I say goodnight to her every night and we tell her we love her. I open the curtains in her room because she needs fresh air and sunlight. I kiss her blankets and her clothes that she wore. I worry that she is warm and safe and protected, because that’s what fathers do...worry. Despite the pain and heartache that we feel, I feel lucky. Benita chose to come to us. She will always be part of our family. I am privileged to be Benita’s father.
She was born to ME. The number of lives that she has touched is remarkable. Benita, at 12 years old, has taught me more than I have learned in 49 years. She has shown me more about life and love than I ever knew. She had a purpose, I am sure, and she will be preserved as a perfect, innocent heart forever.
She adored school and made lots of friends. She loved her teachers. We enrolled her in dance school and piano lessons and she flourished. I will never forget the look on her face after her first dance class—a look of enthusiasm and pure excitement that only a child can give. I was so excited for her. One of Benita’s greatest pleasures was dancing. The moment she heard music she would be up, dancing.
It is with so much sadness that I say farewell to our child, Benita Jun Diamond.
She was a lovely and vibrant daughter who has been taken away from us much too early. But the memory of BB will live on in us forever. We were so proud of her and know that she is in peace.
THE WAY I FEEL
They say there is a reason,
They say that time will heal,
But neither time nor reason,
Will change the way I feel,
No-one knows the heartache,
That lies behind my smile,
No-one knows how many times,
I have broken down and cried,
I want to tell you something,
So there won’t be any doubt,
You’re so wonderful to think of,
But so hard to be without.