Chapter 62 – The Dedication

03-04-18_8-53-15 PMToday was the park dedication and Ben was trying to get both himself and Cole ready and not forget anything. Cole wanted none of it.  “Hey kid. At least you don’t have to wear a tie!” he said to the fussy little boy.

“Down Daddy!” he cried.

Ben put him down after he got his shoes on him. As he finished getting himself ready, he thought about the past 3 weeks since his dad had swooped in and saved the day. That’s what it had felt like anyway.  With just a couple of phone calls it was planned and done and Ben’s grow room was no more.

menBen had no idea how much stress he had been carrying around worrying about the plants and having to take Cole with him on those awful deliveries. The relief was immeasurable.

He wished he had known two years ago that his dad could have helped him. His mom said Dad’s bar was 100% legitimate, but he wasn’t so sure that was true. It had been entirely too easy for him to ‘take care of business,’ like he did this every day.  He didn’t want to know.

03-04-18_8-59-00 PMAfter Ben got ready he sat down and Cole, true to form, climbed up in his lap.  Ben’s smile came easy. “So now you like me, huh?” he said to Cole.

“Tell me stowy Daddy,” he said.

Ben pulled him into his lap. “We don’t have much time. We have to pick up Pia. I’ll tell you a secret but you can’t tell anyone. Pia is going to start living with us pretty soon. Would you like that?”

“Where’s Pia?”

03-04-18_9-44-06 PM.pngBen laughed. He didn’t figure he understood what he meant. But it was okay. “Go get your book and I will read it,” he said and helped him climb down.

While he waited on Cole to bring a book, he thought about Sofia.  After he had put on his ‘big boy pants’ and told her that Nick knew about Jesse, she called her brother. They had come to terms with everything. She said he had been sweet and supportive and not judgmental.

mem3They cried together and then laughed.  Jointly, they decided not to tell her parents what happened. There was no need as it would only upset them – and she was fine. Better than fine.

mem2She did call her folks and told them she and Jesse broke up and that she was now dating Ben. She let them know that things between them were serious.  Thankfully, her parents didn’t know about Ben’s reputation and were thrilled she was dating him. They knew him and his family well, having been friends with Leroy and Kaitlin before they moved to Willow Creek.

Ben was both excited and nervous about the dedication  First, he was excited because Lillie May was coming. Nick and Rachael has graciously offered to pick her up and take her back and he was looking forward to seeing them.

picture1.pngBen had taken Sofia to visit Miss Lillie a few more times. When Ben told her they were dating, she hugged them both and promptly had one of the nurses take a new picture for her wall.

03-05-18_7-43-05 PMSecond, he was nervous because he planned to propose properly to Sofia and give her the  engagement ring he had bought. He opened the black velvet box that represented his future and thought about Grace again. The rings they had exchanged belonged to Grace’s parents. Those were now in a safe deposit box for Cole.

03-05-18_7-47-55 PMThe one he bought for Sofia was a simple solitaire diamond. He couldn’t wait to surprise her with it and see it on her finger.

03-05-18_8-09-52 PMHow fitting that he would honor Grace today.  He would say one final goodbye. Then he would formally propose to the woman that had captured his and his son’s heart.

His mom made them dinner and was setting it up in the clubhouse. They would go there after the reception so it would be a surprise. He just had to be sure he didn’t lose the ring in the mean time.

03-05-18_8-18-07 PMBen wiped the tear that had snuck out the corner of his eye and picked up the little black box from the counter and put it in his pocket.  Then he reached down and picked up Cole. “Come on Buddy.  We have to go get Pia. We are going to tell everyone in Willow Creek what an awesome mother you had. She loved you so much. We were both lucky to have had her in our lives, if only for a short while.”

”Get Pia?”  parroted Cole.

Ben smiled. “Yeah, get Pia” he said and hugged his his son again before they left.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

03-05-18_8-46-25 PMBen and Sofia were putting the final touches on everything when he looked up and saw Nick and Rachael coming down the walk pushing Lillie May in her wheel chair. Casey and Emma had come with them.  They were all happily chatting and taking in their new surroundings. The warm feeling of love that rose in his chest upon seeing his friends surprised him. He had missed them more than he had realized.

03-05-18_10-08-56 PMWhen Cole saw his great-grandmother, he abandoned the toy he was playing with and ran to her as fast as his little legs could carry him.  Kaitlin, who was quasi in charge of Cole for the evening, had to stop him from climbing in her lap.

03-05-18_9-18-46 PMSimilarly, when Sofia saw Nick she flung herself into his arms. Then they spent a few minutes together talking privately before Rachael got her own hug. Sofia and Rachael had become friends over the course of the past three years that she and Nick had been dating.

03-05-18_9-48-26 PMBen went straight to Emma. He loved Emma. She was one of the best friends he had outside of Nick. He hugged her and thanked her for coming. She got emotional knowing they were going to dedicate the park to Grace.

03-05-18_9-15-08 PM.pngAfter everyone spent a few minutes getting reacquainted, they heard Leroy calling on the bullhorn that the dedication ceremony was about to begin.

03-05-18_10-24-15 PMNick pushed Lillie May, the guest of honor, next to the podium.  Once everyone was seated Leroy began and gave a short speech talking about Grace Ramsay and who she was and why they were naming the park after her.  Lillie May was crying. She wasn’t the only one, there wasn’t a dry eye in the park.

03-05-18_10-20-41 PM“Are you okay Ben?” whispered Sofia as they watched.

He quickly wiped his eyes and gave her a little smile. “Yeah. I love Miss Lillie,” he said softly.

Sofia looked away. “Grace too,” she mumbled under her breath.

03-05-18_10-28-21 PM.pngBen heard her and put his arm around her pulling her tight. “Stop it Sofia, I love you,” he whispered. Please not this again, he thought. Not tonight.

The crowd started clapping making him jump.  It was almost time and his heart was going into overtime. He caught his mother’s eye and she winked and gave him a private thumbs up.

03-07-18_7-37-26 PM.pngEveryone went and grabbed food and sat down to eat or simply enjoy the park’s amenities. Ben grabbed Sofia’s hand. When they walked past the food, she asked him where they were going.

03-07-18_6-53-10 PM.png“It’s a surprise. I have something to show you in the clubhouse,” he said.  He had seen Nick watching them leave. He told Nick what he was going to do so he wouldn’t wonder where they were.  They all planned to meet up at the local bar later to celebrate. He was really glad Nick had come around. It would have been so much harder if he hadn’t.

Ben could have kissed his mother. She had outdone herself. When they got to the private room, everything was ready. The table was set with a single rose, two glasses of chilled champagne and their roasted chicken still steaming. She brought in flowers and had soft music playing through the speakers.

03-07-18_7-53-41 PMSofia gasped. “Oh Ben. This is for us? What about everyone else?”

03-07-18_7-56-20 PM.png“Yes, this is for us. This was our project Pia. We should have a special, private celebration. Please let’s sit down and enjoy.”

03-07-18_8-04-50 PM.pngAs they sat down to eat, Ben couldn’t help but admire the beautiful woman sitting across the table from him.  Last time they had sat in this room, he thought his world was falling apart when she told him to get rid of the plants. He was glad he was going to take that bitter memory away and replace it with one he hoped they would always remember.

After they ate, Ben reached over and took Sofia’s hand.  “I love you. You look absolutely beautiful tonight.”

“I love you too. Are you happy?” she asked.

“Very,” he said.

03-07-18_8-08-29 PMSofia sighed and took a drink. Ben took the opportunity to pull the ring out of his pocket and sit it on the table.

03-07-18_8-28-57 PM.pngHe pushed the little black box towards her. “Sofia, the only thing that will make me happier, is for you to be my wife.  I love you. Cole and I, we need you in our lives. You make everything better. Please, marry me – us.”

03-07-18_8-21-36 PM.pngSofia was smiling, obviously surprised by the ring sitting on the table between them. “I said yes before. And I will say it again Ben. I love you too. Both of you. So yes, I will marry you.” She started to reach for the black box.

“Wait….” said Ben and snatched the box off the table.

“You are taking it back?” she said horrified.

“I want to do this the right way.” He got up and motioned for her to join him.

03-07-18_8-34-29 PMSofia smirked up at him. “What are you doing?”

03-07-18_8-37-04 PMBen took her hands. “Sweetheart, I am trying to get this perfect.”

03-07-18_8-41-32 PMHe knelt down on one knee. He heard Sofia stifle a snicker. He didn’t care.  “Sofia, darling, I love you.”

03-07-18_8-43-25 PMHe took the ring out of the box and presented it to her, looking up at her like a little blue-eyed puppy dog in love. “Will you marry me?”

03-07-18_8-48-17 PMSofia laughed. “Ben you look so cute on the floor. Baby, for the third time, yes. Yes, I will marry you. I will be the best wife and mother I can be. Now, pleeeaaase.  Let me have that ring!”  He handed it to her. As she slipped it on her finger she whispered, “It’s beautiful.”

03-07-18_8-50-53 PM“I love it Ben. It’s perfect. Just like we are together.”

“I have tiramisu at my house…” he said, with that same grin still on his face.

Sofia burst out laughing.  “I love you so much!” she said.


Go to Chapter 63>>>>>>

Go Back to Chapter 61

64 thoughts on “Chapter 62 – The Dedication

  1. Pingback: Chapter 61 – Big Boy Pants | New Beginnings

  2. Yessss! I love this chapter and I’m glad everything is working out for everyone. It was nice to see Nick, Rachel and Emma again. I love how Ben kept trying to get it right and I hope Sofia finally recognizes he loves her and not Grace’s ghost.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ~ This was both bitter sweet & happy,loved seeing everyone again(the gangs all here!LOL)
    ~ Very well done a good-by & a hello to the past & present♥♥♥
    ~ Will we see Lillie May at the wedding,she may not be around much longer! 😉
    ~ Looking forward to more tears I guess, but they are happy ones! Love it!♥♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you…A goodbye to the past and embracing the future. I do miss the old gang so much. We will see a little more of the, in the next chapter.

      And yes, Lillie May will indeed make it the wedding. ❤️ And your right, sadly she only a few years left. 😢 I think she was as big of an influence on Ben as anyone. She will be missed. And yes, happy tears in the next few chapters and then moving on to Cole. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s lovely. Ah, you made me realize how much I miss Emma. I remember hoping she would be the one for Ben. Well, good that she’s happy with Casey. It was great to see everyone again. And Ben in love looks even more handsome, such an adorable blue-eyed puppy ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s nice to see Ben so much on love. ❤️ Who could resist his big blue puppy dog eyes and the promise of more tiramisu! 😂. If Ben hadn’t been so broken he may well have ended up with Emma. I love her to pieces and miss the gang so much. They will always be close. Casey is a sweet and devoted to Emma. We will see a little more of them in the next Chapter. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A proposal like that (accepted not once or twice, but three times at that) should always conclude in a session of tiramisu goodness! 😉 ❤
    It was so great so see Emma and the rest of the gang, I've missed them! Lilie May too, I loved seeing her so happy at last ❤ ❤
    I agree with Jowita, Ben looked incredibly hot in this chapter 😍
    I hope Sofia's self conciousness won't carry on, it could prove dangerous for their relationship.. plus, honey, you're jealous of a ghost! Pull yourself together!
    I can't wait for their wedding and a bunch of nooboos of course (although Cole's blue angel eyes will always be my No.1)!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tiramisu goodness….mmm mmm! ❤️

      I missed the old gang too! We will see a little more of them in the next two chapters.

      Ben rocks that tie. So perfect for a proposal when they are both all dressed se baby blues. ❤️❤️❤️ I will miss his mug when we move to Cole.

      I think, hope, he put Sofia’s fears to rest when he proposed not once but two more times right after the dedication ceremony. Poor Ben, wanted it to be perfect and made it silly but so very sweet. ❤️❤️❤️

      FYI…Sofia is gorgeous in her dress….❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Aww…so,many special moments! Loved that fam pic, too! The dedication was beautiful as was the proposal. Cole is such a cutie!

    Now onto that fab wedding and the start of gen 2!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A wonderful chapter, it is bitter sweet knowing this Generation is coming to a close, I have followed Ben from a poor angry kid to all his tears a troubles as he he has become a young man. I hope we will see him and Sophia a bit in the next generation.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hope Ben’s life from now own is much better than how it has been in the past years…thought I do think his father’s…”way” of dealing with that drugs will come bit the family in the end….Like someone else say, the better to this wedding quick, cuz Lillie mayyyybe not be around for much longer ( unfortunatly).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Chapter 63 – Reconnecting | New Beginnings

  10. So many feels! ❤ I loved the contrast of the beautiful tribute to Grace and the beautiful proposal to Sofia… This chapter truly felt like the start of a a *cough* new beginning (I am so sorry. I couldn't resist 😂)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a disappointment is Nick and Sofias decision to keep the secret from her parents. Probably due to the distance, their parents are not going to sense anything wrong but when they are together, mothers always know and feel when things are wrong….
    Beautiful picture perfect proposal 3 times. LOL.
    So they are going to get married, will they live happily ever after? Am reading on. Thanks for the great pictures with your story. It takes alot of screenshots to get it just perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes….it does take a few screenshots…I am very glad you are enjoying them… I wish they would have told her parents too. It has to be hard though.


      • Sorry for my lame comments last night. I was slipping into a food induced coma LOL. I had other thoughts but lacked the energy to type them up. I’m very curious about this Sofia-Grace thing. Does she seriously expect him to completely stop loving her? They were MARRIED! Grace is Cole’s mother! I know she’s insecure about being compared to Grace and even being sloppy seconds so to speak, but I draw the line at her being snarky at him still loving her. What does she think he’s going to do? Run back to Grace? LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think she’s letting insecurities get the best of her and feels she’s being compared to Grace and can never be as ‘perfect’ as she was. No running back to Grace… nope…not gonna happen. 😏 And no apologies for not making a comment!


          • What else does Ben have to do? He already convinced her once that he found her utterly attractive. And, he told her he compared Grace to her. What more can he do? Grace isn’t alive!! It’s not like he’ll promise to never see her again or whatever. And, it’s not like Grace’s memory has ever held him back from loving Sofia even though they haven’t been together long. I know insecurities make you think irrationally, and I get it…but I don’t get it lol.

            Liked by 1 person

  12. YES Ben got that EXACT puppy look 😂 Absolutely.
    And can we pls stop for a second to appreciate how neither Nick or Ben’s parents have told Pia and Nicks’ parents about Ben’s history with women? They have been keeping their mouths shut for I-don’t-know-how-many years! How loyal are they and how did Ben never notice?! Dude really has been paranoid from the experience with his dad

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This was a fun chapter. No drama. And yes, his ‘history’ managed to remain a. In-event. But that’s a big part of why Nick wasn’t happy about the relationship in the beginning.


  14. Awww. Such a sweet chapter. I’m so glad the dedication went off without a hitch and that Lillie May was well enough to attend. It was also wonderful to see all the friends together again. I sure missed everyone and hope they can get together more often.

    The proposal was very sweet. ❤️ Ben was so cute trying to get it just perfect. I was laughing along with Sofia. Such a nut. 😃 I just hope she finally realizes that Ben loves her and she doesn’t have to be afraid of Grace’s ghost. She needs to realize that yes, he did love Grace but she’s gone and it’s Sofia in his life now and is the one Ben loves. I really hope she can gain that confidence to fully accept that Grace was a part of Ben’s life and that’s not going to change, but that she doesn’t have to worry.

    Liked by 1 person

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