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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Heaven Changes Everything: The Homecoming

Ben is in heaven.
 
He took his last breath here and first one in heaven last night around 8:05pm. May 5th, 2009 was his Birth Day. May 13th, 2014 was his Heaven Day.
 
I was on the back deck with Jack and Meg after movie night. The kids were in their pajamas, their hair still wet from their baths. It was a beautiful, peaceful night. The sky was a deep blue and the deck was slightly wet from the rain earlier. I sat in the rocking chair and the kids just stood outside and breathed in the fresh air. It felt good to have gotten to a point where Ben was comfortable. We had a rough night the night before, with him grabbing for us and wanting to be held the entire night. He seemed anxious, unsettled, and in pain. He didn't eat anything, drank little, and his catheter collected smaller and smaller volumes of urine. The nurses came that morning and prescribed some stronger medication to keep him comfortable. After being up all night, he slept soundly all day, waking up only for a few minutes with me around 5pm, to be moved onto his back and hold my hands. I felt pretty good about where we were. Chances were good that we would all sleep well tonight, I thought.
 
Andy ran to the back and whispered, "Min, I think Ben just passed."
 
What? But this is too soon! We weren't expecting this until the weekend, perhaps. Not now. We're not ready! We never prepped Jack!
 
Andy said that he went to give Ben his medication and his jaw was clenched, which was kinda unusual. He called his name, shook him, and he took a breath. Seconds - those long, drawn-out seconds - passed before he took another. That's when he ran and got me. The kids were amused with worms on the deck and so I ran to Ben's side. I kneeled on the floor next to him and felt his warm chest. He took another breath. We waited. And waited. For what felt like an eternity. He didn't take another. I suddenly forgot how to take a pulse. I felt his wrist, his neck, his chest. And convinced myself that I wasn't doing it correctly. I should feel a pulse. We put our heads against his bare chest and waited. Nothing. Then we saw bubbles foaming from his nose.
 
Oh, my word. He's gone. Our baby boy. He's gone.
 
We just looked at each other in a stunned silence. We didn't know what to do first. Do we call the doctor? Call our families? What do we tell Jack? We still have to put the kids to bed! We can't let Jack sleep downstairs tonight with Ben and Daddy (like he's been doing for the past few nights,) especially if there'll be people coming over to assist with Ben.
 
Okay, let's get the kids to sleep. Then we can react.
 
Thankfully, the kids went down really quick. Jack said he wanted to sleep in our bed and so we gladly appeased. I don't know how God gave me the strength to get those "Jesus Loves Me" last night. But He did. And I felt confident with each word. Oh, how He loves these kids. When I came downstairs, Andy and I collapsed in each other's arms.
 
As drawn-out as your child's illness may have been, nothing - absolutely nothing - can prepare you for that moment when your realize they're gone.
 
Members of both sides of our families came over to comfort and grieve with us. Hospice nurses came to empty our huge supply of medication, and the funeral home came an hour later to take Ben's body to prepare it for burial.
 
It would have been a lot more emotional if it hadn't been for the knowledge that Ben wasn't in that body anymore. It was just an empty shell. The real Ben was already running around in heaven, enjoying the presence of our Creator.
 
As I went to sleep, I felt a tightness in my chest that was difficult to shake. Although there was a good possibility it was the five-year-old's feet kicking me in my own bed. As much of a comfort it was to know that Ben was comfortable in his forever home. Healthy. Full of life. And in Jesus' presence. I knew that there would always be a part of me that would miss him terribly.


 
My heart is full of emotions. Sadness. Hope. Grief. Gratitude. And many of them, at the same time.
 
We had been praying for mercy. And God delivered. He took Ben home without too much suffering. His pain had worsened over the past two/three days. We expected a few more. We hadn't even needed to access his medaport to administer his drugs that way. Up until the past few hours, Ben administered his own medicine. God was very merciful in not making him suffer in pain any longer.
 
But this is our son. Our five-year-old. An identical twin. He was such an essential part of our family. Compliant, easy-going, self-sacrificing. He was the mediator between Jack and Megan. the one who waited for me to walk with me when he walked anywhere. The one who stood on his head while he watched television and insisted that he was working in the backyard and not playing. The one who was most excited about his new baby sister that was growing in my belly. "Mom," he'd tell me, holding up two fingers on each hand, "you're going to have two boys and two girls." It made me cry every time he said that. Because I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to have all four kids together at the same time. And that makes me sad. He will be soooo missed.
 
And then there's the fact that we can talk so confidently about heaven, the fact that we know our Living God cares for Ben more than we do, the fact that we were 100% confident of Ben's place in eternity... we have hope. This life is just our temporary home. Ben would be welcomed by Jesus, given wings, and live in a beautiful place where it never gets dark, people don't get sick, and animals get along. He would fit right in. Because of that hope, we have comfort.
 
Even with all of these emotions swirling around us, we were still very anxious about Jack. How would he react to Ben not being physically present when he woke up? How would he respond to the news of passing's homecoming? We felt very anxious. During movie night, Jack looked over at his brother across the room, sleeping soundly (and yet heavy breathing) in the hospital bed and said, "Mom, Ben sleeps a lot. But he can't die. He's my favorite brother!"
 
We've talked about Ben being sick. We've talked about dying and heaven. But we had never put the two of them together.
 
The plan had been for me to talk with Jack after preschool today. Ben had reached a point where he was basically unresponsive and so it was safer to talk with Jack about the possibility that Ben's body wasn't going to get any stronger. We thought we had a few more days. Jack has a tendency to say things "like it is," and before now, we had been worried that his comments to Ben would necessitate a strong response from his sensitive and sick brother. In the past, he'd say something like, "It's a good thing one of us isn't sick so I can reach the top shelf," and Ben would respond, "I'm not sick! I just get headaches." We weren't as worried about Ben being affected by Jack's comments now.
 
But we never got to have that talk. It all happened so fast.
 
Instead, we decided to simply take our cues from Jack. My kids watched a whole movie before I asked, "Jack, do you notice that someone is missing this morning?"
 
"Yeah. Where's Ben?" he asked as he realized that the hospital bed in our living room was now empty.
 
I lost it. "Ben's in heaven with Jesus."
 
"Sad tears or happy tears?" he asked innocently.
 
"Both. Sad because I'm going to really miss him. We really loved having him be part of our family here on earth. But happy because I know he's with Jesus and he'll be waiting for us to see him again someday." I told him that the bump in his head had kept getting bigger. And it had been pushing on the important areas of his brain that help his body do things. "That's why he couldn't walk anymore. And then why he had a hard time talking. And then it became too big where his body was too weak to work properly anymore." He just soaked it in as his eyes raced back and forth, searching for answers from my face. "But he's running all around heaven now! He got a new body, one where the legs work and he doesn't get any more headaches!" I could see my pensive son processing all of this information. Andy came in from washing the dishes and he looked at him as if to say, "Dad, did you know this?" I'm sure he could tell from Andy's tears that he did.
 
Jack repeated a lot of what I said. He understood it all. Then added, "I feel like I'm a little sad." We reassured him that was okay. We felt sad, too. "And I feel like crying a little." He went over to his dad with open arms and cried into his shoulder, wiping his eyes every few seconds. Andy was crying and squeezing him tight. I almost wish I had a camera to capture that beautiful moment forever. But I won't ever be able to erase that special moment from my mind.
 
He truly did love his brother. His twin. His roommate. His first friend.
 
When he emerged, he said, "So does this mean he has wings now?" Even Jack knew how much Ben wanted to fly.
 
"Yes! And he's with all sorts of animals, animals who all get along. I bet he's petting a lion! And I'm sure he's caught at least five snakes by now!" These possibilities were exciting, even for him. "And because I have Jesus in my heart, I will join him in heaven someday!" We pointed to each of us, pointing out the fact that Jesus was in our hearts and so our future was guaranteed as well. Megan picked up her shirt and said, "Ben 'n Jesus! In my heart!"
 
Yeah, it was pretty much the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. My heart swelled with love and gratitude for the innocence of these precious gifts we had been given. God has really been so good to us.
 
"Does Papa know?" Jack asked. He did. My dad was the first one I called last night and the first to arrive at our house.
 
"Why don't you call him?" I suggested. Jack went through each of my family members, calling them one by one, to tell them about his brother.
 
Each of the conversations started out in a similar way. "Hi Papa? This is Jack. I'm sorry to tell you this, but Ben is in heaven now." The exchanges were sad, beautiful, and reassuring. "Yeah, I'm sad, too. But happy at the same time."
 
It was very comforting to hear him deliver the news (though it was not the first time they had heard it,) and have some authority over the information.
 
Andy spent all afternoon with the kids outside as I gathered clothes and pictures for the meeting at the funeral home. Being outside with the kids was something he hadn't been able to do in months for longer than two-minute stretches. Andy texted me a picture of Jack with the snake he caught in our backyard. And let me tell you, it was a huge one. The biggest we've seen on our property. And my firstborn was elated! When Andy and I left for our meeting, my parents came over to watch the kids. And Jack found a huge frog! It was the jackpot of wildlife for him today. Truly, the epitome of my sons' existence.
 
Isn't it just like God, to give us these gifts just when we need them most? Especially for a five-year-old who just lost his adventurous and wildlife-loving brother? When I was putting on his pajamas tonight, I said, "Jack, isn't it amazing that you found a huge snake AND a huge frog all in one day? I think God gave you those gifts today just to show you how excited He is to have Ben home with Him in heaven!"
 
He smiled, his eyes sparkled, and said, "Yes! I think you're right!"
 
I can't say that we enjoyed finalizing the details of the next few days' burial plans. No one should have to do that for their young son. But it was not nearly as painful as you'd expect it to be. Choosing a casket, flowers, and an itinerary isn't as difficult when you know it's just a formality. An opportunity for everyone who was touched by Ben to say our last goodbyes. An official end to the tragedy we've been grieving over the past three and a half months. But Ben himself won't be in that casket. It's just his old body. An empty shell. The real Ben is jumping around the gates of heaven, standing on his head, and bringing countless animals to Jesus' feet. What a comfort it is to walk this road having those guarantees. It doesn't erase the pain, but it certainly makes it easier to carry.
 
You see, heaven makes all the difference. Because God conquered death, He paved the way for us to be with Him forever. In eternity. Because we serve a Living God who loves us even more than we can imagine, we can have confidence in His ability to care for our loved ones after they take their last breath. Because of heaven, I know that I will be reunited with my Benjamin again someday. And so will Jack. And the rest of us that love Jesus.
 
Photo taken March 28th
 
I'm really going to miss this little boy. He was a gift. But I echo the words as my younger sister Marissa wrote on her blog tonight:
 
"We mourn his loss on this end. Deeply. We always will. I don’t know that I’ll ever see our family as complete without him.

We might have lost him; but he’s not lost.

God has him.
God has us.

He’s just holding us on different ends of eternity."
 
Amen, sister.
 
See you on the other side, Buddy. Our lives are better because you were born. You accomplished more ministry in your 1,833 days of life than most people do with ten times that amount of time on earth. May you enjoy the jeweled crown you so appropriately deserved. Be sure to find the best spots to find frogs so you can fill in your brother when he joins you someday.
 
Everyone is welcome to join us for a service to celebrate Ben's life at The Chapel at 500 Crosspoint Parkway in Getzville, NY on Saturday, May 17th, at 11am. Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

556 comments:

  1. Your strength is amazing. As a believer, I know it comes from God, and that He gives exactly what's needed. Strength. Snakes. Frogs.

    Know that you are loved, and lifted up. Your whole precious family.

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  2. Ben is OUR miracle. God bless you little lady and your family. Thank you for opening your heart and allowing God to use your family to bring so many to Him. XOXO

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  3. My heart aches and rejoices with you Mindy. - Dana Hensley

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  4. I just heard of Ben's story a few days ago and have been frequently praying for you all. Hoping that healing would be the miracle God would give you, but knowing that isn't always the miracle He has in mind. Above all, praying for peace for you and your family... and praying you can touch Heaven like we did when we lost one of our twins. I'm so sorry for your loss and so incredibly thankful for the promise of Heaven. Brokenhearted for you tonight, yet feeling joy thinking of your sweet boy experiencing the boundless love and peace that only Heaven knows. http://blog.aftertherainn.com

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  5. Hi Mindy. I felt of jolt of shock as I read the first few words of your post tonight. Goodbye to your beautiful Ben. I'm so sorry for your loss and pain, and so in awe of your grace and gratitude. You and your family are amazing and inspirational to so very many people. I will send my prayers to you and Andy tonight and to your beautiful smiling little angel up in heaven.

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  6. From the loving arms of his mother and father to the loving arms of the Lord... I am so glad you were both with Ben in his final moments on Earth. There are no words I or anyone can say that will take away your pain and grief, but know that thousands of people are supporting you and lifting you up at this time. And every time Jack finds a snake or a frog, know that his brother is laughing down at him with delight from Heaven. Ben is in your heart and will never leave it.

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  7. My thoughts are with u.... U write so beautifully.... I can only hope to be as strong as u have been!!!!

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  8. gone from this earth but forever in your heart. I am so sorry for your loss. May God hold and comfort you.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your story, the strength of your faith is amazing. I'm crying tears of sadness for your family right now. But I can't wait to meet Ben in heaven. And you, sister. God be with and comfort the Sauers, give them your peace that passes all understanding. Thank you for Ben's life and witness of your grace.

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  10. I just wanna say how my heart breaks for your loss, but how happy i am that your sweet boy is healthy and happy with god. I pray for peace for your family and that some day the sadness with lessen each time you have a happy memory pop into your head. Thank you for sharing him with us.

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  11. Mindy, what a beautiful way to share the Gospel. I'm so happy for Ben, and so heartbroken for your loss. Praying for you all.

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  12. The most beautiful tribute I've ever read. He was one lucky boy to have you as a mama. Thank you for this!!!

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  13. My condolences. I am happy and sad. I grieve with you. Ben is in great hands. Sometimes I wish we could just skip this part of life and go to heaven. My love and prayers for you all. How can we love someone we have never met? Only God's love can do this. I can honestly tell you I am sending strong love and hugs to you, your wonderful husband and all your family. Selah.

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. Though I never met Ben, I will miss him. Your strength and hope is amazing and I pray that it will continue. God bless you all.

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  15. You just lost your son and still had the strength to update the entire ‪#‎Blue4Ben‬ family. You are a million times stronger than I'll ever be. Praying for all of you too find solace, but especially for Jack. He now has to cope with the loss of his identical twin, an irreplaceable bond. My heart is filled with sadness as I have been following Ben's journey, but also at peace knowing he's know longer in pain. My heart aches for the ones left behind, for Ben has been taken home. <3

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  16. god bless u the ost amazing women and family i will probably have the pleasure of knowing .. and lil dimpled ben i will miss u i will think of you often u r in my heart i hope u catch alot of snakes and big frogs and fly around with your new wings.. oxoxoxo

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  17. Your strength and beliefs inspire me at a time when I am doubting my own beliefs. I pray that your family finds strength and support with each other and that God and Ben continue to give you signs that they're there.

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  18. Mindy, someone posted your link on my blog and I am so saddened that this is the first post that I read. You see, I lost a son to brain cancer as well, and I came here to support you on your journey. My mama heart is absolutely breaking right now for you. I want to hug and hold you tight. Your words are beautiful and your faith is inspiring. I hope my Joey is greeting your Ben and they are looking for those frogs together (Joey liked frogs, too). I will check back and offer more hugs, love, and prayers. Tonight my prayer will be for strength for your family in these difficult days ahead. Much love.

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  19. May God continue to bless you all, RIP little man

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  20. I am in tears right now and in awe ofvthe strength you have. Ben has touched do many lives. When I told my twins of Ben's. My son cried too. He is my sensitive boy....his twin sister holds everything in. I can't imagine not having one of my twins here with me. My heart aches for you and your family. Thank
    You for letting us into your lives through your posts you have blessed all of us with your strength. Myself, my twins and my youngest will all be wearing blue for Ben tomorrow. I hope that you continue to share with us!

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  21. So much love to you ♡ You and your family will forever be in my heart.

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  22. Hugs and prayers! Your sister in Christ

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  23. There are no words just my love ...I'm in tears ... God Bless you and thank you for allowing us into Ben's life. You could have kept him to yourself but you shared him with us. You blessed us...the world. God is with you.

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  24. We are weeping with you today. Your open-ness is so appreciated and your testimony is a blessing. Thank God for Heaven and the steadfast hope that we have in Him! I am excited to think that one day we too will have the joy of meeting Ben (and all his frogs) in Heaven :-) Keeping you in prayer xo

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  25. Your strength that I have watched from afar on this blog, and Facebook through these last few months would really confuse me if I didn't know it was from God. Still, you and your family amaze me. I am so very sorry for your loss of Ben here on earth, but I praise God that you seem to have peace. May you always feel that peace, even in the hardest of moments. With love, Nan Dineen.

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  26. Man o man I cant wait to meet Ben one day in heaven!! Thank you so much for sharing him with us. Each of you taught me personally something during the short while I 'knew' you here on your blog. I thank you!

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  27. Mindy--I wish I was as articulate as you are in my writing abilities. But, I am not. In the simplest form, please know your son has touched my life so personally--and my children's. I will never forget your son, your courage and most importantly, your faith. You have taught us all so much--and you and your son have made us all better people. Mindy, god bless you and your family. And Ben, we love you....

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  28. My heartfelt condolences and prayers of peace for your entire family, especially Jack, and Megan.

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  29. Mindy, as I sit here reading today's blog, my heart aches for you all! As you said, Ben is in his glory with Jesus...you are all in my deepest thoughts and prayers... Thank you for sharing Ben's journey with us all! May God give you all the comfort & peace you need in the coming days... Fly high with the angels Ben!

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  30. No words can describe how much my heart aches for your loss. All I can say is that you can rest assure that sweet little Ben will forever be a blessing to thousands of lives that needed to read his story. You Mindy are a blessing and so is your family. May God give you the strength you will need in the following days, weeks, months, years. God is by your side and He is carrying you through this.
    Oh precious Ben, my heart rejoices for you today for I know my Lord Jesus has you in His arms. I'm thankful for your brother Jack and his great faith... you will be missed by thousands and thousands. You've touched so many lives and your family has been a blessing to many... I'm one of them. Your life fulfilled God's purpose and I'm a stronger believer because of your testimony. See you soon buddy.
    Will continue to pray for your family Mindy. God bless you and your beautiful family.

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  31. I found your blog through a link someone shared on Facebook. I am praying for your family. This post was so beautifully written. God bless you. I am so sorry for your loss here on earth.

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  32. Your faith is truly a beautiful thing. May God bless you & hold you. You will all be in my thoughts & prayers for a long time to come. Fly high, Ben. No more pain. <3

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  33. I found your blog today...I have been crying ever since. God bless you and your family! RIP Ben

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  34. My family and I we pray for you and family... your little angel is heaven now and it's in God's hand's ...Big hug !

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  35. God chose Ben and you! I'm feel so deeply for your loss. But I am so thankful for Ben's time here and for your awesome testimony and faith. You are an inspiration. We will be in prayer for your family's healing and comfort,

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  36. Wow, Mindy! You are so strong! I can't even imagine. I believe and have since you started this blog about Ben, that people are going to come to know the Lord because of the strength you have from Him. You are going to minister to those who have gone through the same things. God bless you!

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  37. Thank you for sharing your son with us, Mindy. Thank you for being real, and genuine, and at times raw. Thank you for glorifying the Father, even when it hurt. I am heartbroken for your loss. I wish God had chosen to heal Ben on this side of Heaven. I'm grateful that you are his mother, that he was able to spend his 1,833 days with your family. I am certain it made all the difference. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You will continue to remain in my prayers.

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  38. <3 Thank You, Lord Jesus for your promise of eternal life for those who put their hope in You. May many come to know and trust You through this story. And thank you, Mindy, for letting us in. Letting us hope with you. Cry with you. Question with you. Trust with you. Pray with you. Grieve with you. As a sister-in-Chist, you have greatly strengthened my faith thru reading your blog. Thank you.

    All of Western New York and beyond goes to sleep tonight with heavy (but hopeful) hearts and tear-stained cheeks. May God continue to use your story to bring others to Him.

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  39. I am so sorry for the loss of Ben. Know that I am praying for you and your family during this difficult time.

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  40. I was really angry with God a few days ago, the more I heard about Ben's condition deteriorating. I just hate seeing innocent children in pain. I've always had a soft spot for kids, my wife would probably say it's because I behave like one. I really thought that anger would multiply if you gave us this news. However, I find myself extremely sad, that you lost your child, but strangely comforted at the same time. Knowing he is running free, catching worms and snakes, and getting to do little boy things again. I can only pray that my son buries me one day, but at least I know if he goes before me he will have a new friend to play with. Thank you for sharing that amazing young boy with us, I don't think I'll ever forget that smile.

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  41. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. For opening up to us, giving us the privilege to carry grief with you. What a beautiful writer you are. And it is a gift to grieve with you. Praying so much for you all in the days ahead, Mindy. With so much love and thanks to our God for His great mercy to us all...May many find Him because of your sweet Ben, and in time, may God show how He redeems even this for His glory...xoxo

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  42. Lifting you all up in prayer, while sobbing with you.

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  43. I've tried to start this so many times as I sit here with tears in my eyes for you all. I know all too well the pain and emotions you are all feeling at once. You are an amazingly strong woman Mindy. Ben taught us all so much in just a few short months than most people do in a few years. I hope you find comfort in knowing he is at peace and that he is always with you, he'll give you signs so you know. Make sure you look for them when you need it most. You have been such an inspiration during a difficult time for me. I will forever cherish my Heaven is For Real book with his tiny handprint inside of it. Sending you all love, hugs, and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you move through the grieving process.

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  44. Oh my Mindy. I cant stop the tears or the pain in my heart. This is an absolutely beautiful tribute to your absolutely beautiful precious boy. I am so truly sorry for the gut wretching pain you are experiencing. You are beyond incredible and strong and one could only hope to be the mother and wonderful person that you are. My heart just aches for you & Andy, the kids and the rest of your family. Ben was truly blessed to be a part of your family! I am praying continously for your entire sweet family.

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  45. Mindy,
    Thank you oh so much for sharing your life with us, Ben is smiling down on Jack, Megan, you and Andy. He is in a better place and that little boy and your families humbleness has touched me in a way you wouldn't believe. Praying for comfort in this houe

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  46. We are all still praying for you! My condolences just aren't enough... I cannot possibly imagine the strength it would take for me to live the rest of my life without one of my precious babies. I know that is where God comes in... I pray that you all find enough strength to get you through the darkest of times until you begin to see the light again. I am crying for you. You have touched so many lives, though. I'll bet there won't be room in the church this Saturday, let alone for miles around! Sweet, precious Ben...we love you...

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  47. May God's peace and presence continue to be with you all. Your story went far and wide on fb and though I don't know you, I (along with so many others) have prayed for your family in this dark time and will continue to pray for you in the days ahead.

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  48. Praying for peace and rest for all of you this week, and for the coming months and years ahead --- may God be so very present now and always with each member of your family as you wait to join your Ben. "And lo, I am with you always....even until the end of the age."

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  49. your son sounds like a special little boy. Many prayers sent your way

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  50. ♥ THANK YOU eternal Father for your graces. This beautiful little boy and his amazing family have been an inspiration to countless people. I ask that You show Ben the best frog ponds in Heaven.....and bestow continued graces on his family until they are all united in your kingdom. Amen ♥ +

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  51. Mindy, I sit here typing through tears. I wanted a miracle for you. I believe you got one, although it wasn't the one I wanted. I have been using your son's face as my avatar on facebook to spread awareness for brain cancer sorry for not asking first- but I know my Dennis has introduced himself and they are enjoying each other's company now, running around with the wildlife, and having a good old time. I'm sorry your son has left this mortal realm, but so very thankful he is laughing with Jesus and no longer in pain. Thank you for sharing this journey with the world of readers.

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  52. I am so very sorry for your loss.
    I admire your strength and your passion and even though I do not know you I feel you have given me courage. Thank you for your openness an honesty and for sharing your precious family. Love and hugs to all of you.

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  53. Mindy, Your words were spoken beautiful even though your words were about the passing of Ben. Ben fought such an ugly disease no child should ever have to fight. Be at peace that Ben is now running and playing in heaven with other children that have gone before him and that he is no longer suffering and free of pain.
    I think we as a community feel like we lost a family member yesterday too. Your family opened their lives up with the journey that Ben took. I hope that by doing this it has helped make this journey easier to handle. My Prayers and Thoughts to your Family

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  54. This morning when I first learned that Ben was in heaven, for some reason I was filled with incredible joy for him. I could almost see his dazzling smile and feel his indescribable joy.
    Mindy, thank you for sharing Ben with us as well as your faith. You have an amazing family.I will never forget Ben. God's peace to you all.

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  55. Dear Mindy and family, we are so grateful for you. Thank you for touching our hearts and making us better people/parents/friends. You and your family have moved mountains through your simple act of sharing your faith and love. You have forever impacted my life and I love you! I am writing to you from my heart, but I can barely see the screen because my tears are making my sight cloudy. I hope to someday thank you personally for making me a better mami and stronger believer. You have our support and prayers. Respectfully always, Maria and Ari from Renovation Church

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  56. Oh Mindy, I'm so sorry to hear that you lost dear, dear Ben but I'm so thankful that he is with our Lord and Savior and that you will see him again one day. You guys have been in my prayers the past several days and will continue to be lifted up as you go through the hard task of the funeral and the days following.

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  57. First time commenting, but praying for your family for several months now. I am so sorry on your family's loss with sweet Ben, but you are right, he is rejoicing with Jesus and one day you will see him again. Again, I am so sorry.

    betty

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  58. Mindy, I am here alone in my living room, at almost 12:30 a.m. and crying so hard I am sobbing. Thank you a thousand times for sharing your precious Ben with so many of us. I try hard to feel the presence of God; it hasn't always come as easily for me. But you are right about Ben's ministry. I will hold him in my heart with many of the other loved ones I've lost. When I am struggling to feel the presence of our Lord, I will remember you and Ben and Jack and Andy and Megan. I will be there to celebrate his life with you on Saturday.

    My deepest sympathies and sincere thanks. God bless all of you.

    Rosemarie Becker
    Rochester, New York

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  59. Continued prayers for your family...

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  60. Tears stream down my face for the loss of your son. My heart remains hopeful with your amazing words of faith.

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  61. Tears just continue to run down my cheeks. My heart hurts so bad for you and especially Jack! But I worship the same God as you and know that that little boy is now completely whole. Your faith amazes me! May you continue to see God in the days head as you find a new normal!

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  62. May your Ben watch over you and your family always ...God always takes the good ones. May u continue to keep your strength in knowing that he is in paradise now with our loving God , the Creator of everything that is good , that is love . I am so sorry for your loss yesterday , I hope that time will help to heal the wounds but I know you'll always have the scar and that's ok . It means you have lived and you have survived even the worst that life here on earth has to offer . And you did it because of your love for Ben , your children, your husband and your never ending love for God. Never stop believing in miracles even if they are not the most obvious ones . Ben will always be with you , here on earth in your heart. No one can take that away from you and your family . And one day may he greet you with open arms right next to Jesus as you take your last breath into paradise many many years from now . Xo God Bless you and your family always ...and God Bless Ben : ) <3

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  63. Oh my gosh. I'm in tears here. You are so very strong. I don't know you. i didn't know Ben, and i don't know your family, but I'm a fellow New Yorker (living in Va). I don't know where I first saw your story, but i was hooked from the start. My heart is breaking for you. I have two sons, and would be so lost without either of them. I love your family, your faith, and your belief. i'm praying for you, and I'm crying for you. God bless you all

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  64. Our prayers & thoughts to your entire family, he was always an angel, just now he is God's angel. Forever in our hearts he will be.
    The Treen Family

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  65. Praying for strength and comfort for you and all those who have been touched by this sweet little boy.

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  66. I was just posting the following comment on your last post when I saw the new one. I cannot stop sobbing. Heaven has gained a beautiful and sweet and wonderful angel. I can only imagine what the pain must feel like. I will continue to pray for your family. God bless you!

    "This is touched my heart so very deeply. I've been struggling to say the least. Whenever I remember Ben, I always say a prayer. This must be so hard. My problems seem so petty when I think of everything you guys (and Ben!) are going through. His story, this story has been on my mind constantly, his life, even though I never knew him and just yesterday heard of him, has touched mine in an amazing way. I needed to hear this, to read this story of such a sweet little boy who had his whole life ahead of him. My heart aches more than I could ever imagine for someone who I have only met online just yesterday. I'm sobbing, praying, asking God for a miracle in his life. He's so young, so sweet. My heart aches so much. I'm so, so sorry you have to go through this, and he has to go through this. And I wish I could offer some sort of encouragement, but I have no idea what to say other than that God is good, He will use this for His glory no matter how it ends. I know Ben has already touched so many lives, including mine, and will continue to. I'm just so sad it has to be this way. God bless you and your family, and Ben. Oh, my heart aches."

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  67. God sent his special angel to be with the perfect Mom, Dad, brother, and sister for a little while; now he has called him home. No more pain or suffering for Ben, only joy. I pray that you and your family will have the peace that passes all understanding, and live with wonderful memories that strengthen you now and as your family continues to grow.

    Gina McKim, Wilmington, NC

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  68. Love to your family, Mindy. So shocked and yet comforted that Ben is peaceful and finally home with our Heavenly Father. I'm sure he burst through the pearly gates at the speed of light. Its a celebration there that he's home. And for those that he left behind, there is comfort in our faith and we have so much to look forward to one day when we meet our loved ones again. I never had the pleasure of meeting Ben here but when I get to Heaven I'm going to look him up. He's like an old friend. I've grown to love him and I'll never forget him.
    Thank you for sharing your life, for giving me the privilege of getting to know you all through your words and pictures. Sending you hugs and love!

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  69. So much comfort found in your words and in your strength - and we're the ones that are supposed to be comforting you! "Oh what a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grieves to bear." Thank you, Mindy, for nourishing our souls with the resilience of your faith.

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  70. Extra love and prayers for you all.

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  71. My heart goes out to your family. To loose someone in that way is hard enough, but to loose your child is pain I cant even imagine. Ive been keeping up with your blog and it amazes me at the strength you have. I hope your family can find peace in this sad time.

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  72. Mindy & Andy,

    We weep with you at the loss of your dear Ben and we rejoice with you that he is safe and secure in his heavenly fathers arms. May God be so near to you and your beautiful family during this difficult time. May you sense His presence always and may you be filled with peace, comfort and hope that transcends all human understanding.

    "The Lord is near to those who are broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

    Thank you for allowing us to walk this journey with you and thank you for demonstrating what authentic faith truly looks like.

    Blessings and hugs to your family.

    Love,
    The Benedict's

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  73. May you continue to be comforted and be filled with peace.

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  74. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family. My cousin passed away in January from stage IV glioblastoma, one month after finding her tumor. Since she lived out of town I was unable to go to her memorial service as I was 8 months pregnant. My aunt sent me a thank you card stating that she knew my cousin was up in heaven and that she was holding the hand of my unborn daughter until she was ready to come be with us here on earth. I would like to think that Ben is in heaven holding the hand of your unborn daughter telling her all about the great family she will have when she gets here. What a strong and amazing mom and dad she will have to take care of her and teach her. I hope you find peace and comfort knowing that you will all be together one day. Thank you for taking us on your journey. Take care.

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  75. Sending you all my strength and thoughts. What an amazing family you have. Thank you for your courage for sharing Ben with us, for sharing your emotion and experience.

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  76. Dear Sauer family- my thoughts are with you. What amazing strength and faith you have. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  77. Someday I will meet this little guy who blessed us all with his story. Asking Jesus to be near and dear to your whole family. How beautiful is the body of Christ where we can share each others pain and hope.

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  78. God bless you and your family in this difficult time. your faith is amazing...i wouldn't have understood the pain nearly as much if i hadn't almost lost my now 5 yr old last year. I couldn't imagine having any where close to the strength you do if that had happened. Ill be praying for you all, along with thousands of others. Rest in paradise beautiful Ben <3

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  79. May The Lord bless you and keep you;
    The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
    The Lord give you his favor and grant you peace.
    Amen

    As a mom to 6 yr old triplet daughters I want to thank you for sharing your unwavering faith in God and unconditional love for your Ben. My heart and prayers have been and will continue to be with you and your precious family.

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  80. Although we've never met, my heart breaks for you and your family. Ben has touched the lives of so many people, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this incredibly difficult time.

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  81. I'm so very sorry for your loss. We prayed for you and your family at our church service tonight. And what an awesome testimony you have - to go through such a loss and praise God here in the valley! "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5b. My heart is heavy with your tonight, but I rejoice with you that you have a hope and a promise. I can't wait to meet your Ben someday in heaven!

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  82. Dear Mindy,

    Continued prays for you and your beautiful family. Your faith, strength and love for God has been a testimony for so many people. Thank you for sharing Ben's story.

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  83. Sauer's,

    We've never met (we live in TN), but my wife and I lost our little guy Titus about 2 years ago. Ever since I read the Eleventh hour post I haven't been able to stop thinking about you guys. Reading your words reminds me of our bad day and breaks my heart. Our prayer for you guys is for peace and rest when things get quiet. The quiet times were always the worst. I pasted a link below of a recording of my Dad reading verses set to music, the verses are specifically targeted towards peace.

    http://wordsofencouragement.net/words-of-2/words-of-peace/

    Grace to you as you begin this side of your journey, peace to you when things are quiet and all the buzz goes away, rest to you when nothing makes sense anymore and holy protection over you from callused hearts and isolation.

    Love to you from afar,

    Michael and Emery Tarrant
    emerytarrant@gmail.com

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  84. HOW THE HOPE OF JESUS RINGS OUT FROM THIS POST!!..As I read and sobbed my way through..my tears of sadness turned to tears of hope..eternal hope. I AM BLOWN AWAY by the presence of God and how he poured out on you all today. I will pray you continue to k ow God's comfort and that you will continue to see His fingerprints on each detail of the following weeks

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  85. I am so sorry for your loss. I love the line about "He's holding us from different sides of eternity". Praying for God's comfort for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story and for sharing Jesus. What a testimony!

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  86. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us about your beautiful son Ben. This has truly touched by heart. I am in complete tears and can't even imagine what your going through. Your strength and faith are amazing! Ben was blessed to have a mother like you. May you all find peace and happiness. My prayers continue for you and your family.

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  87. So sorry for your loss. I am a mother too and cannot imagine what you are going through. There are no words.....but I hope you can take comfort in this message.

    http://youtu.be/P4-eWezTk0k

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  88. My heart goes out to you and your family. God is good...even through the tough times. We don't always understand the reason he has us walk these journeys but he does and he's with us all the way. Your little ones are so lucky to have such wonderful...loving parents as you. Your son is telling Jesus this as well...You and your family are in my thoughrs and prayers.

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  89. I've been reading your story all the way out in Minnesota for the past few months. You are a beautiful testimony to God's grace and mercy. I am a nurse and your words on death have forever impacted my practice as I care for the sick and dying. The children I care for are simply returning to their creator when they leave this earth. They belonged to him all along. Praying for you and your family. Ben will not be forgotten.

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  90. Your strength is amazing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  91. What an amazing Mother you are! You have endured the worst heartache a woman could ever imagine. Praying for you and your family. Ben is getting to enjoy unending fellowship with our Lord. He is GREATER than even the angels who wish they could have the relationship that us believers will have with Jesus in heaven. Praise God for hope, but I pray a peace that surpasses ALL understanding for those of you left to endure the pain!

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  92. God bless Ben. May fond memories help sustain you during this difficult time. After I read your blog tonight I tearfully held my 10 month old baby whom I thank God for. Thank you for sharing your faith and for helping to remind us the importance of faith and family. Ben's story has touched more people than you can imagine. Take care and God bless.

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  93. Your strength, reflections, and faith is something I can only aspire to. The resilience of your family leaves me in awe. My heart is heavy for your family and I shed many tears while reading this (both good and bad tears). You don't know me, but I am a former Buffalonian living in Arizona, who has followed your story. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  94. Heartfelt condolences. Love to you and your family.

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  95. My heart breaks for the loss this world is enduring without Ben in it, but rejoicing that one day your family will be reunited. And I'll get to one day meet Ben! Our family is lifting you all up in prayer. God bless you.

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  96. My Momma went home to heaven this past November 1st, I promise you she is showing him all things little boys love up there, frogs snakes and all. She was the best Nanaboo on the planet, and she is the best Nanaboo in Heaven. Thank you for your Strength and Grace to share Gods Love in your most trying time. Im praying for you all.
    Jamie

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  97. Saying that I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss doesn't even begin to express how truly sad I am for you and your family's loss. I wish that a wand could be waved to erase grief of this nature. Please know that I am praying for you all and wish you peace.

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  98. Wow! What a servant's heart you have to choose to lift up Christ during such a horrible tragedy. I commit to pray for your family- that God would continue to provide peace and comfort. I also pray that God would continue to minister through your family and through your son's life and many around the world will hear about the hope we have in Christ through you. God bless you and keep you.

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  99. Your Ben is a special gift. He has touched the hearts of so many. We can all be stronger, love more, and have a deeper faith in the lord in his honor. You are forever in my prayers.

    With love and gratitude,

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  100. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life with us. God has truly used you and Ben to reach many beyond your wildest imagination. As a fellow mom, I've struggled with the day in and day of out life with little ones especially in these past 2 days. Reading your experience tonight is a beautiful reminder of God's promise to us and His grace that guides us through each day. God bless you and your family as you navigate these next days and then transition (the word you hate!) into your new normal. God bless your sweet baby girl #2 too...may she remind you in a special way of your precious Ben (as if his twin Jack wasn't a reminder enough).
    Blessings from Texas!

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  101. So sorry for your loss, and so glad that you have the comforting perspective that life is eternal and God takes care of his children.It makes the impossible trials possible to get through. I hope you are continued to be comforted by his love!

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  102. So sorry for your lost, even though never met you but our paths cross at Children hospital. I was really hoping for a better outcome for ben. I couldn't imagine the pain your going though with the thought of losing anyone of my children. No parent should have to bury their child. RIP Ben you are now pain free and at peace. May God comfort you in this darkest hour.

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  103. I am so sorry that Ben has died. I am so incredibly sorry. As a pediatric oncology nurse though I echo your sentiments that praise our God who is a God of grace and mercy. I am so grateful Ben did not suffer and protracted death. I am so grateful there was peace. I am so grateful you and Andy with with him and Jack and Megan played on the backyard. There is something so beautiful about you going about your evening, readying the babes for sleep, while Ben rested in eternal glory.

    I will be praying for you over the next few days and beyond. I highly recommend Tear Soup by Pat Schweibert. She is hospice RN and this is a beautiful book on grief for children. Please know that there is hope in teh hard days that will come. That when it feels like the world just keeps moving while yours has stopped, that Ben is remembered. And when that baby girl wiggles her way into this life don't be surprised if you find a little "kiss" from Ben on her.

    May you know the peace that passes all understanding.

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  104. As a mom of twin boys, as well as a four year old, I've been so connected with your story and my heart is breaking with you. Thank you so much for sharing your heart so beautifully these last few months. My daughters and I prayed so hard for little Ben, and now we are mourning with you. Praying for the Lord's comfort and peace around you and your family in the next days, months, and years ahead.

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  105. As I sat and read this a few hours ago I was sitting on my front porch watching the lightening and I remembered being younger and afraid and my mom telling me that lightening and thunder were a good thing because it meant in heaven god and all the angels were celebrating another angels journey to heaven and whomever it was was getting their wings :) I thought of Ben at that exact moment and ya know Mindy I am very glad that I came across your sons story, your blogs, and your strength! Ben made a huge impact on an enormous amount of people and he will be remembered :) thank you again for opening your lives up to complete strangers and allowing us to get to know a little bit about your family. Praying for Jack, I cry for him and I have the picture in my head of that one part of "my girl" and my heart aches hoping that he too will be ok through all of this.. Bless you and Andy for all the hard nights and days you had, but above all I pray for strength for you and your family for the next few days <3

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  106. My heart goes out to you Mindy.. As I sit here reading your blog and crying.. I have to said I admire your strength and love for God.. I have a 13 yr old son who is austic and has down syndrome and if I could be half the mother you are I would consider myself very lucky., I will continue to pray for Ben and your family and I know Ben is making a lot of new friends up in heaven... One of them is my mom Ann Marie.. I have asked her to welcome Ben and help him find all the animals and to help him find some new friends.. God Bless... You all today and always...

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  107. Praying and crying right along with you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I also have a four year old boy (and a three year old and one year old). Can't imagine losing one of them and the impact it would have on our family especially the other boys. Praying especially for your little Jack and Megan. So thankful for your perspective and the incredible way the Lord has used your story, Ben's story, all around the world to impact people for Jesus. Praying for those who need to have security in their eternity to find it through your story and testimony. I also lost my mother to cancer when I was 14 and I remember how hard the last days were. But my father found Jesus through that experience and our family has never been the same. Praying many stories like that come from your tragedy. Because God uses everything for the good of those who are called according to His purposes! Love and blessings to you and your family!

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  108. Lots of prayers for Ben and your family. My heart goes out to you. Ben will always be with you in your hearts. Prayers for peace and comfort as you navigate the time to come.

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  109. You are beginning on a very difficult journey and my heart and compassion goes with you. Please know there is hope and I would love you to know how to walk that journey from my blog and losing our only son as well.
    http://shamanismandhealing.wordpress.com/about/

    Much love
    Karen

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  111. I am so thankful for the life you have given your family, so that they KNOW that Ben is with Jesus and they'll carry that assurance with them over the years, even as they grieve, as they wish Ben were there to see something they know he'd like, hear something that would have made him laugh. I am so heart-full with it. May the Lord continue to be your shelter, your rock, your joy and may that assurance comfort you during moments of expected pain over the times to come. Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your family with perfect strangers who have been honored to pray and cry, too.

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  112. Beautiful words about a beautiful little boy. God's blessings be upon all of you. Your strength is incredible.

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  113. I'm so sorry for your loss! You sound like you have such a strong faith. Praying for you and your family in this time. <3

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  114. Your strenght and courage blow me away... You are an amazing woman and mother.... Your sweet angel has touched my heart and I will continue to pray for all of you forever.... Rest in peace Ben.... Today I'll be wearing blue for you....

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  115. I am so sorry for your loss! My thoughts and prayers are with the Family at this time...RIP Babyboy

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  116. Today Ben feasts at the table of the All-Father, in that beautiful golden hall. May his memory be ever blessed.

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  117. Good morning from London. I have been following Ben's story, praying and crying along with you. I am so sad today to read your blog. Nothing can every prepare you for such a loss. Your uncontainable love for Ben and the Lord has touched so many lives. We will never understand why God allows such heartache and pain, but we have courage and strength because of His promises. Praying God's peace shower you and your precious family in the coming days.

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  118. Oh my gosh.. I only found your beautiful family maybe two days ago, if that. Hold right to your memories, all of us have been touched by your son and your family. May God bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand.

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  119. I am so sorry for your loss. God bless you and your family.

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  120. What a great Father that can give us such strength. My sorrow for your loss can't come close to the Joy that Ben is having fun in heaven. Thank you for sharing your journey, you have blessed us all. God has created a new thing in you, in Ben, in all of us!

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  121. WHEN GOD CALLS

    By Cindy O'Connor
    When God calls little children to dwell with him above,
    We mortals sometimes question.
    For no heartache compares with the death of one small child.
    Who does so much to make our world,
    seem wonderful and mild.
    Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to his fold,
    So he picks a rosebud before it can grow old.
    God knows how much we need them,
    and so he takes but a few,
    To make the Land of Heaven more beautiful to view.
    Believing this is difficult still somehow we must try.
    The saddest word mankind knows will always be"Goodbye".
    So when a little child departs,
    we who are left behind must realize God loves children,
    Angels are hard to find.

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  122. Thank you for so graciously and gracefully sharing Ben with all of us. In doing so, you have mended fences, given more hugs and kisses, opened up lines of communications, brought awareness, said more "I love you" s. I was brought to your story by Melissa, whos child is in preK with the boys. Since she told me, I have been sneaking peeks into your haven of comfort, faith and family. You folks are amazing, and will be rewarded for your love and stewardship of one of God's most precious creatures, your beautiful Ben. I don't know you and probably never will meet you, but understand that I love you and feel sadness and joy with you. Well done, good and faithful servant. May peace be yours;

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  123. Im sorry for your loss. Knowing that Jesus and Ben are together now will help you through this time. Rest assured Ben is catching those frogs and snakes and having pain free fun. Sincerely Lisa Barber

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  124. I'm so sorry for what Ben and your family has had to endure these last couple of months. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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  125. I am so saddened by Bens passing. I prayed fervently that he would have a miracle and fully recover. Now I pray for you Andy and the children. For strength, supernatural comfort, and the peace that surpasses all understanding.
    Thank you for this post, the promise of heaven is the only way I could imagine that you are able to handle this. People need to hear this. They need to know how important it is to except Christ into your life, so that you obtain that eternal promise. I'm certain Ben ' s home going celebration will be a reminder to all of what Christ has done for us.
    I'm so sorry for your loss, but rejoicing with you that Ben is now with his heavenly father. Reigning like a king. May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His mighty hand.

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  126. My prayers are with your family. Your family has truly blessed me and countless lives I'm sure. Thank you for inspiring me to keep looking heavenward! I lost my dad 4 years ago,just like you in looking forward to the reunion. Thankful to Jesus for the hope He brings! Our bible study group prayed for Ben and your family on Tuesday, will keep praying for comfort and peace for everyone! Much love - lei from NZ

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  127. Oh my goodness, I am crying so hard right now, sad tears and happy tears. I am not sure how you do it but courage, faith and love is what I see. Though I have never met you or Ben I feel so connected to yound your family. Thank you for opening up to the world and sharing you and. sweet Ben have made such an impact on others lives its just incredible. God Bless you all and may you be at peace knowing how free Ben is to fly. xoxo

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  128. Oh Mindy, your faith is so strong. Ben has touched so many lives . I see things in a new light now, and as sad as I am about Ben's passing I cannot help but be relieved that he will suffer no more. He runs free. God continue to bless this wonderful family. As Megan said "Ben n Jesus in my heart"

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  129. What a special little man he was....and what a courageous family you all are. God is so very lucky to have him :) May peace be with you all, each and every day ♡

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  130. First and foremost, I am not one who would venture into a blog to share my feelings, but it seems like a great time to start. I remember how I had questioned my learnings of the better heavenly life after as a young Christian raised gal. It wasn't until the passing of my full of faith Mother that I became for confident in those teachings. I remember thinking how there must be a place after this where we will be together again. Then the signs of comfort would come. The Cardinal at the feeder from my wonderful Mother in Law, usually when I was in need of her reassurance right then and there on a topic we had once discussed when we were graced with her presence.. The yellow rose that only ever had one flower in its entire twenty plus years in our yard. It was yellow, her favorite. It bloomed in November within weeks of the passing of my brother. It was a sign from my Mother let me know my oldest brother had arrived safely at her side. My brother Bills wife's middle name is Rose. It always just fits like the puzzle pieces. It is these passing memories that come at times when you need them most. It is the Trinity's way of keeping them all engaged in our life here. I weep tear for you but know that your strength and faith will pull you all through. Thank you for all your inspiration. It is a reminder that this is the practice field and the game really starts at the at the gates of heaven.

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  131. I don't know you, but I grieve with you. And as I grieve, it is you who provides me with comfort. A strange circle, to be sure. Thank you for sharing your son with the world along with his story and your limitless supply of hope. Thank you for giving us hope, Mindy.

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  132. Mindy, your words are so touching and beautiful! Your Ben has taught me so much about our God. As saddened as I am about Ben's passing I rejoice in the fact that the Lord has him now, and he is a new creation, in a new heavenly body. Thank you for inspiring me and reminding me to keep looking up to heaven, the ultimate goal. How awesome is our God that he would die for all of us. Continued prayers for your family. <3 May God bless you all.

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  133. Mindy, you and your family have touched more lives than you will ever know on this side of eternity. Your faith, your love, your openness has touched me in ways I cannot describe. I have shared your posts on FB and my friends and I have been praying for you all these last few months. Thank you for sharing your heart, more importantly, Jesus, the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. The One who holds your beautiful little boy. We will never understand on this earth - His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55), but, He loves. He has a plan. In this time of grief, I will continue praying that He will give you his peace that only He can give, His comfort that only He can give. Please keep writing and touching our lives. Love in Christ.

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  134. Woah. "happy tears or sad tears". There is so much truth and beauty in every moment. And love. Love, love, love - thank you for sharing yours.

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  135. I have tears falling on my cheeks as I write this. How you write Ben's story is so incredibly perfect. I am rejoicing with you that Ben is healed and is perfect in Heaven now. I am crying with you for the pain of missing him on this side is intense, to say the least. Please know that a mom is praying for you in MN.

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  136. Hello Mindy, I am Erica (Wells) Graves and I attended Houghton College 2002-2006. We had some classes together. I am praying for your family and for your strength. God is a very present help in the time of trouble. I pray that in this tough time that God will give you peace. One thing we can be sure of is that Ben is now resting in Jesus having all good days with no pain. Peace and blessings! Love Erica (Wells) Graves

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  137. We don't know each other but our journey's are very similar. Our son Matthew won his journey 3 years ago from an 18 month battle with a brain tumor. You mimic many of my own words, our boys WON! They haven't lost anything, they gained everything. Prayers for you and your family in these coming days, I know they are hard but God is so faithful. He does carry you. And for the last 162 weeks that he has been gone, I have reminded myself at the end of the day I am one more day closer to seeing him again. What a reunion it will be. Peace to you and your family!

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  138. Beautiful Ben, my heart aches with sadness but at the same time it feels at peace knowing that you can rest now. Oh beautiful boy, I prayed for you. I prayed that you would heal and that your family could hold onto you for longer. You fought so hard, but you were just too special to stay. You were being called home to be given your wings. Your family have been so strong, but they will need you to watch over them now until you meet again. Run and play with the animals and soar high in the beautiful sky, precious angel. With love from Australia.

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  139. Mindy, thank you so much for sharing this difficult journey. I have been praying for you and your family and for sweet Ben. I am so sorry that Ben didn't get the miracle we were all praying for on this side of heaven. He has touched so many lives. I am relieved he is no longer in pain and is now with Jesus in his loving arms catching frogs and snakes! Our heavenly Father is a loving God and you in all your pain and sadness help people see that! I have been inspired to draw nearer to the Lord through your blog as i go through my difficulties and not to become angry or bitter. I am fostering two sweet babies and it has been hard but through you and the words the Lord has given you, I have hope. You help people see life from God's perspective and i will continue to pray for you and your family to have peace in the coming months and years as you grow and hold onto the memories of your sweet son! God Bless you!

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  140. Prayers for you and your family. This is beautifully written.

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  141. Mindy, thank you for letting us all join in your faith and prayer for your sweet little boy. Your willingness to share your family's journey has touched more lives and inspired more peoples faith than you will ever know. Sweet Ben touched more people in his short time here on earth than most people touch in an entire lifetime. What a blessed little boy he was. I will continue to pray for healing and for celebration as your second daughter's arrival approaches.

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  142. You are in my thoughts and prayers. What a beautiful, peaceful passing. May the peace of Christ Jesus be with you during this difficult time and always.

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  143. Dear Mindy, This entire community has fallen in love with you and your family. Ben has literally captivated everyone's heart and you are truly an inspiration to all of us!.May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family!.

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  144. Praying for your family! I have no proper words to express how you've touched our lives by allowing us to be a part of Ben's journey to heaven. Ben will NOT ever be forgotten and I look forward to meeting him in heaven one day too! Your family is embeded in my heart forever too and thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving Jesus the way you do...you, Ben and your family are living testimonies! Sending you hugs from our family!

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  145. Hi Mindy: I too am the mother of identical twin sons, Sam and Joe. Sam died of leukemia in October of 2013. We kept a page for him on Facebook and still update it from time to time: facebook.com/wesupportsam. When things have settled down for you, I hope we can connect (you can message me through that page; I don't want to put my email out on the internet). My prayers are with you. - Abbey

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  146. God's mercy prevails. Mercy is the ability to see through and beyond that which appears, to that which is eternal and never changes. God's love prevails. Peace, blessings and prayers to everyone during this time of great transition.

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  147. Dear MIndy, the older I get, the more I look forward to my heaven day, to see everyone I loved and went ahead of me...and though I never met Ben on earth, I hope he will be one of them. Peace, God's deepest peace and comfort to you.

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  148. I have been and will continue praying that God wraps His arms around you and your family.

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  149. I so admire your strength and faith in our Lord. I sit here with tears streaming down my face waiting for my own 5 year old to wake up. I am praying to comfort for you all, thank you for your wonderful testimony through all of this.

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  150. We'll never meet, but I have been following your story. I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious Ben. Keeping you and your family in my heart as you navigate the tough days ahead. Sending love and bearing witness to your grief. I'm so sorry.

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  151. There's a party going on in heaven today. Ben Sauer has come home to the One who loves him most!!

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  152. You been asked to fulfill a very high calling; and you’ve done it with so much grace and beauty. So many have seen the face of God through your family. You have given the Gospel to so many who may not have truly understood it before now. We rejoice and mourn with you. Ben is safe and experiencing love like he never has before now. You will miss him terribly, but the Lord of all will never leave you. Prayers continue on your behalf. We are so very sorry for your loss.

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  153. Thank you for sharing your story of Ben with all of us! I can't imagine the pain of sorrow of not being with him now, but as you pointed out there is a day of reunion. Oh, that it would come soon! Maranatha! Praying for you all.

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  154. You are an inspiration. I cannot tell you how your story and your beautifully written words have inspired me, moved me, and made me so very grateful for life, family, and love. I have followed your story with such awe and so much empathy for the challenges your family has faced. You have incredibly strength and such a beautiful outlook. Your children are so blessed. I weep for your loss. I cannot imagine the grief. All the best to you and your beautiful family. My deepest sympathies for the loss of your wonderful son, Ben.

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  155. Sending love to you and your precious little boy. Love from Oklahoma.

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  156. Thank you for sharing your story with us. My tears for you are uncontrollable right now. I hugged my 4 year old last night and my heart just ached for you. My mom passed away when I was 23. I've had 3 children since that she never got to meet down here but they have the best angel they could possibly have. Your beautiful Ben will be you and your children. You will feel him and know he is there. Each day is a day closer to heaven but the road to get there will have its ups and downs. I pray for peace and comfort for your family and you will always be in my prayers. Your son has touched my heart forever and I can't wait to tell him thank you when I get to heaven. Love always Julie

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  157. Mindy - you are an incredible, person, mother and teacher. Thank you so much for sharing with us. My prayers are with you and your entire family.

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  158. I only recently started readingj your story. Losing a child has always been mommy greatest fear. And I wondered why our Lord would put this burden on you, one of his soldiers. After today, I realized that you were chosen by GOD as not many people could lose a child, in such a short amount of time, and continue to praise God and administer the Bible. You have brought a peace to me that I could never re-pay. I thank you. May God continue to bless you and your family. I am sending you a virtual hug for strength. Blessings.

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  159. May God bless you and your family. Your love and assurance in Christ is one of the most beautiful things this world has ever seen. We pray for comfort through your sorrow. You are an amazing mama.

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  160. You are a great and inspirational woman! Your testimony will touch the world..we mourn and celebrate your loss with the guarantee the Lord is holding him and Ben is now perfect in heaven xo

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  161. Also - somehow this came up as being published through my daughter, Claire's account, but it is me, Abbey, her mom.

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  162. You are truly amazing. I am heartbroken. sobbed as I read your blog this morning. Love and prayers with you and your family.

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  164. When one member of the Body suffers we all suffer. Praying for you and yours that you will find Jesus to be all you need.. Ben has gone to heaven. One day all who know Jesus as Savior will never be apart. What a day that will be!

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  165. Mindy, your words are so inspiring to me and the strength, faith and dedication you have for our Creator is so inspirational. You have helped me want a deeper devotion to our Creator and helped me see how important it is to share this with my baby girl. Your whole family is so strong and so faithful. Thank you so much for sharing Ben's story with us. I will never meet you or your family but you have touched mine greatly. I am sending you lots of prayers for God to wrap his loving arms around you and your family and give you strength and comfort. Heaven gained the most beautiful angel in Ben.. Spread your wings sweet Ben and fly high!! God bless you all.

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  166. Ben RIP you and your family have been an inspiration. You remind of Job that despite the hard time you allowed and acknowledged God to be God. Your faith never waivered. I am really challenged. May God continue to be with you. You are blessing to the world. Ben left a reminder to us that God is who he says he is and in all there is love and peace and that comes with it. I see the peace and love in your family. I salute you!

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  167. I am deeply sad for your loss. Ben touched so many but heaven is a happier place with him running around in a healthy body. You write beautifully and sharing your family's journey with the world is commendable.

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  168. My tears just won't stop . . . My little boy is just a few weeks older than your precious Ben, and this story just reaches into my heart. God's grace shows through your blogging so much. Your acceptance--your rejoicing over the gifts of yesterday, and your thankfulness God's mercy--is just rich with the life of Christ shining through you! Thank you for letting God speak to us through you, and for letting a whole world peek into your deepest suffering so that they could see Christ. May heaven be filled someday with those who have accepted our Savior through your testimony! I pray for you.

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  169. Mindy, your faith and your family's story has inspired me. You have reminded me of how precious Jesus' love is for his children. I have followed your journey every step of the way, and I have prayed for you ceaselessly.
    I pray now that God would be your comforter and your rock more than ever. I pray for your sweet children as they grow into godly men and women who will forever remember the legacy that your Ben has left for them.
    I can't wait to meet Ben someday in heaven to tell him how his life has changed mine forever.
    I am so sorry for your pain and that your family has had to endure such heartache. I am praying for you still, and I will always hold your family in my heart.

    Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

    <3 Kinsley Smith

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  170. I have been following Ben's story for weeks now and praying for a miracle. Now I know His answer. Rev 21:4
    God will lead you through the pain of parting and I continue to pray for you and your family.

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  171. I will be keeping your family in my prayers as you adjust to life without Ben. Won't it be wonderful to see him again one day. May you continue to be strengthened by those around you and ultimately our LORD.

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  172. What a beautiful tribute to your son! Your faith is truly inspiring. You will be celebrating his life on the same day my twin daughters turn 4. I will be thinking of you on that day and the days to come, and I will be praying for peace and comfort for you and your family.

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  173. Praying for your family during this difficult time.
    The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

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  174. Ive been praying for your family and I can't imagine how this is to go through but you are an incredible woman and your family is so lucky to have you. This post was just beautiful I would only hope to have the strength and faith in our Lord that you emulate through this incredibly difficult time, what a beautiful tribute to sweet Ben!

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  175. I join the countless anonymous others who have shed many tears for you over this journey. You have showed me such much beauty in the art of motherhood and faith. Thank you for sharing this agonizing journey with us, I give thanks to God for the gift of Ben and his family who has taught me so much.

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  176. Mindy, thank you for sharing your moving journey with the whole world. Your beautiful heart and family will be in mine as I pray over the coming days and weeks. What a beautiful testimony you have and what a generous soul to see that the gift that Ben is and share him with the world. I love your vision of a little boy's Heaven. So rich and real. Know the Spirit will be leading you each as you journey through these days, trying to find a new normal after the initial grief, and welcoming your new little one in the fall. May His Strength hold you as one in Him always!!!

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  177. Mrs. Sauer, my name is Emily LeMaster. I was your student at CMS a few years back. I remember when you were pregnant with Jack and Ben, and you telling me what their names were. I am so blessed to have met you - your class was a refuge for me as a troubled student so long ago. I am so, so saddened to hear of your loss. I never met Ben in his lifetime, but it is clear from your loving words that he was an amazing boy. I wish you had more time to spend with your little boy. I know your pain will never quite go away, and is so acute right now, but please know that Ben was so blessed to have you as a mother, and I trust that your love made his years good ones. May his bright soul rest in peace. Much love to you and your family - you'll be kept in our thoughts and prayers.

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  178. Mindy, I'm so sorry for your pain. I have prayed for your family every single day since I heard about Ben and will continue to do so. I have never cried so much for someone I didn't even know. Thank you for sharing Ben's story with us. You have a real gift for writing. Somehow, you are able to put words to your sorrow. I'm sure you have given a voice to other parents who have had similar experiences. I think you could write a book someday!

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  179. I am sorry for your loss. I recently witnessed glioblastoma's awful work on my friend Gary Shope, he passed away May 7th last week, he was 56. I can not imagine such a sweet innocent child having to endure what I have seen. My heart goes out to you. Hugs. Gary was a lover of the outdoors and the children all love him too, he always made them smile and laugh. I like to imagine he is also in Heaven exploring the wonders, maybe even explaining to Ben about the animals they encounter with that special humor only Gary has. Gary is greatly missed by many and your story inspires me to believe he is frolicking in the gardens of Heaven now with great company.

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  180. Prayers are with you from Rochester Epic Church Mindy. God id good...I am happy you really know that. <3

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  181. Don't know you guys personally but I am a believer and I cried when I read your post (mutual friend shared on FB). I'm so sorry for your loss, but I love that Ben is in heaven having a blast until you get to see him again. Love and prayers for you and your fam.

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  182. Mindy and family you are so strong. You have inspired so many people near and far. I have never been big on religion, however after reading your story and seeing how you are able to continue to hold your heads up and face death with courage, I hopefully will be able to let God back into my life and hopefully one day meet Ben. Thank you for allowing the world to be a part of this journey. I hope you find peace and I will send continued prayers.

    All my love and prayers from West Virginia

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  183. Words can not express how sorry I am for the loss of your beautiful boy. Sometimes we don't understand why such bad things happen but I do believe God has a plan for all of us. Ben is in no more pain and I pray God eases you and your families pain.

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  184. Thank you for sharing your Beautiful Ben with us Mindy! May God Bless you and your family always!

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  185. Sending you all love and prayers from Nebraska. You and Ben have touched my heart, and helped my faith to grow. I know it probably wasn't always easy to share this journey with us, but please know that in doing so, you brought about great things for Jesus. I will be lifting you up in prayer.

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  186. I am so sorry for your pain. I was reading about you and Ben, wishing him health, and hoping for a miracle.
    You are so right about God, and how he takes care of your family, and that he helps to get through bad things. Thank you for writing about all this, it made me see my life differently, appreciate things, that I have in my life, and thank God helping me, and my family. I will put a candle for Ben in church.

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  187. Mindy, your faith is such a testimony, and if it brings just one person to Christ... oh what a gift. Ben has indeed ministered to more people than some adults will in a lifetime. I am so thankful for his life and I know he's moved on to a much better place. My prayer is for strength and comfort and His peace to surround you as you start a new chapter without your little boy. In all things we give Him thanks, for he has plans of good not of evil for us. Rest in perfect peace Little Ben, I hope you know how much you are loved all over.

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  188. May Our Lord Wrap his Loving Arms Around Your Family and Hold You Close in this time of need.
    God Bless You.
    Renee - Proud Mommy of Abbey
    06-14-94 ~ 12-02-06

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  189. Rest in Peace little Angel! My deepest sympathies to you all, as a mother of 2 little kids my heart aches for you. May God bless you all

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  190. Sending many prayers of comfort and peace as you mourn and celebrate. Thank you for opening up your lives with us. May God continue to pour much grace and strength into your lives.

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  191. May God hold you and your family and heal your broken hearts. A friend of mine told me that she became a member of a club of broken hearts that she never asked to belong to but it has been an amazing ministry for her as she speaks and holds and prays with other families going thru similar experiences. This is not our home, Jesus wants us to long for heaven and point others the way. Thank you for being there and being God's and blogging about it. Our whole church in Cortland, NY has been praying for your family for some time. Many of us will continue. We look forward to meeting ALL of your family, probably in heaven. Hugs and may you feel His everlasting arms around you as you experience who and what the Comforter is all about. Jean and her church family.

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  192. Blue angel wings for Ben!!! How cool is that?
    Sending you hugs from my heart!
    May peace be with you....

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  193. Mindy, I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Having gone through a similar experience, I know some of the roughest days are still ahead. My family will be praying for yours, that God would grant you abundant grace, and surround you with a heaping amount of encouragement.

    May God greatly bless you.

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  194. Mindy, I am in awe of you! Thank you Jesus for your grace and mercy and for this sweet boy that changed so many of our lives. Ben is such a blessing! Have an amazing time in heaven little guy :).

    We are praying for your family!

    Jen, Will, Jada, and Isabella

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  195. Wow! Amazingly written, Mom! ♥ I love your sister's saying of "He’s just holding us on different ends of eternity". AMEN! I was thinking of Ben last night--his meeting up with the great characters from Bible stories--Jonah's experience in the whale, David wrestling a lion, Paul's encounter with a snake, Moses' seeing the Red Sea part and walking safely through, and soooooo many more. I'm excited for Ben to hear them first hand! I love that picture of the rainbow over your town in the morning, too! God is certainly alive and blessing us amidst the sorrow. Thank you for your awesome testimony to Jesus!! Praying that many ask Jesus into their hearts as your precious children (and mine) have done!

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