I have no claim on your grief as I hadn't known Ben for years and years. But I do have a few small moments to share of his impact - and visiting this site and looking back at the incredible journey he took since those early years in Durham fills me with hope and some solace. I hope you find the same. Here's what I know, looking in...he was so loved, even down to the dear person who took the time to build this site in honor of him, a simple, but meaningful act. I see so much happiness, laughter, connection, adventure, and exploration. It's clear he lived a good life - with purpose and intention - which is more than most, and all we really seek, isn't it?
A friend of ours shared these photos from our middle school days at Brogden Middle School. They offer such a fantastic glimpse into what it was like to grow up in Durham - so far from where he landed. I remember how smart he was, how much we laughed, how he teased me, maybe even annoyed me, and vice versa. When we left middle school, went to separate high schools and I needed a date for my 9th grade formal, he was there for me, reliable and supportive. That's me below with the red hair and glasses. Simple memories from a more simple time of Swatch watches, Jams shorts, and Salt-n-Pepa, but know he mattered, his impact was felt.