Monday, May 12, 2014

The Eleventh Hour

None of us truly know how much time we have left. None of us are promised tomorrow. But from the look of things, I'm not sure how many more tomorrows God has in store for Ben. From what we can tell, this is Ben's eleventh hour.
 
This past weekend brought a sharp turn for Ben. A bad one. His speech has been increasingly mumbled so we can barely understand what he says at all. When we do understand what he says, it's usually him asking for more medicine. The other day, he asked why his head is still hurting if he's taking all of his medicine.
 
He's been sleeping on/off for much of the day and then has kept Andy up for the past two nights as he wakes up every ten minutes to request he change positions, scratch an itch, or to hold the urinal so he can pee. Except when he does hold the urinal, nothing comes out. We bought adult diapers the other day and were grateful to have them for when his bladder did decide just to empty itself. He is not as anxious, but his eating has decreased dramatically. Yesterday, he only ate a few bites of a pancake. Today, he is taking in limited liquids. His tongue is dry, mostly patchy white with flush (from the steroids) and his lips have lost a lot of color. All of his skin - his face, his arms, his hands - look lighter. They lack that healthy glow. His eyes are closed more often than open and are acquiring a crust to the sides. When he does look at you, he looks cross-eyed, as if his vision is blurry. His chest is still relatively clear, although it sounds like TV static when he breathes. Many times, he'll wake up coughing or to take a huge breath, as if he had been without air for a few seconds.
 
And the majority of these changes have happened in just over thirty-six hours.
 
The Hospice nurse and oncologist just left a few minutes ago. They inserted a catheter to help keep his bladder empty and discussed plans to take Ben's hospital bed upstairs to our room. We are hoping he will be more comfortable with things more quiet and peaceful. Plus, it will shield some of the painful end-of-life images from Jack and Megan, who, up to this point, have been remarkably at peace with this transition.
 
When Andy lifted his limp body so the nurse could change his bedding, I saw the back of Ben's head for the first time in a while. There was a huge growth at the back left, where his tumor is. The size of a pear. So that's why he's been complaining of his head hurting. The tumor has literally been expanding and pushing against his skull. I can't even imagine what his tumor looks like on the inside and what it is doing to his organs.
 
We are thankful for the skin's elasticity, the fact that the wounds from his surgery have healed well, and that the neurologist used titanium plates to secure the skull together so no one is worried about it actually pushing through. But it was scary to see. The oncologist reiterated her opinion that the cancer has spread to his spine because of his increased discomfort (which has, recently, been better managed with narcotics.) He also has a huge painful bulge on his right hand, which she said was characteristic of Ben's drastic neurological changes.
 
Mother's Day, as you can imagine, was highly emotional. For all of us. I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to fully enjoy another one in the future. Not without all of my kids. Our family already understood we wouldn't be joining them for any celebrations, including my niece's dedication. I called my mom in the afternoon to take the other kids so they could hang out with their cousins. As helpful as it was for them to be out of the house, it made me so sad to be without them on Mother's Day. I took a shower when they left and sobbed uncontrollably.
 
Oh, dear Lord, please tell me this isn't really happening. I am definitely not strong enough for this. How can I watch my son die? Please, please, pleeeeeeeease!
 
Andy and I have mastered those silent, knowing looks from across the room. We use them to check in with each other when we have to be quiet. With one look, we ask, "Are you doing okay?" and then answer, "I'm alright. You?" Though we really know how the other is feeling. It's as if we are trying to be strong for the other. The strong hand that he places on my shoulder when I'm crying to myself has the same effect. I can feel from the vibrations of his arm that he is crying, too.
 
I felt like I was at my lowest point yesterday afternoon. I was gently scratching Ben's back when the kids were with my mom - making the house feel eerily quiet - and Andy was taking a much-deserved shower. As I thought about my little boy, the possibility of him being absent from our family, I knew that I would have to be strong. For Andy. For our kids. For our unborn baby. We will find our joy again. Someday. We will be comforted knowing that Ben will be in heaven, being comforted by our loving Heavenly Father. The God who knit him together in my womb. We will hurt for a while. But we will find our joy again.
 
As I could hear the shower water running, I could also hear something else. Took me a minute to identify it: it was Andy. And he was crying in the shower upstairs. Sobbing. Loud. My helpmate, who has cried with me nearly every day after learning Ben's diagnosis. My strong, loving, and passionate husband. I had never seen him cry until the day the ER doctor took us into that small room to deliver the news of a tumor. As much as we are doing this together, we have found that some of our biggest crying sessions happen separately. We all grieve differently, though experiencing the same grief. I don't know a woman in the world that could have held it together after hearing the sobs of her son's father. A dad who's losing his five-year-old to a horrible and debilitating cancer.
 
Lowest part of my day.
 
It's very difficult to celebrate God's goodness in giving you two healthy kids (and one on the way) when you grieve the seemingly inevitable loss of another. It's a constant conflict in my heart. One moment, I am grateful. To have been given the opportunity to parent some of the most beautiful and sweetest children I've ever seen. In the next moment, I am overcome with sadness at the thought of not being able to see one of them off to kindergarten.
 
I cried as I updated my mom friends at preschool this morning. Jack saw me in tears and asked, "Mom, are those sad tears or happy tears?" I smiled. Oh, how I love this boy.
 
"Sad tears, buddy." When we were in the car, I asked, "Jack, remember when I was crying sad tears before?" I was ready to begin another discussion about Ben. To tell him that I was sad Ben couldn't join us that morning, though we both knew he would have wanted to be there. And then see where he wanted to take it.
 
Jack answered with, "Yep, I remember." Then he looked down at his fingers folded and said, "Mom, look. I can do a trick with my hands!"
 
Okay, so I guess he's not that concerned right now.
 
Our goal now is to keep Ben comfortable. Be as normal as possible with our other two, taking advantage of the daily play dates at my parent's house, while letting them see what is going on. We will not shield them from everything, but invite them to join us as they show interest. Jack has been to four funerals in his five years on earth. And we've been fortunate that every single one was guaranteed heaven. We've always felt it was important for our kids to see the other side of death and not be afraid. To see a dead body in the casket, the body they wouldn't need anymore, and be able to celebrate the fact that they had received a new one on their entrance to heaven.
 
We could have never guessed that these would be valuable experiences to have for our children in losing a sibling.
 
The oncologist said we're looking at just a few days now.
 
Days.
 
But even the oncologist was surprised to admit she had been wrong in diagnosing Ben's original "2-3 weeks." That was February 14th and it's almost three months later. No one could have anticipated the power of prayer much less how strong our little fighter is. He got to learn of his new baby sister's existence and to celebrate his fifth birthday, all while relatively strong. His name doesn't' mean "mighty" for nothing, you know.
 
Ben is not very responsive. He mumbles a request and then falls asleep before we have an opportunity to deliver. We bring a straw to his lips and he doesn't drink. I feel like he's wavering in that space between sleep and consciousness. Any exhausted mother knows that place. That tired place where you're reading to your children at bedtime and you find yourself drifting off into a deep sleep. Your words are a mix of the written words on the page and those streaming from your subconscious. That's where I feel like Ben is right now. He doesn't seem really uncomfortable. The narcotics are keeping him quite comfy these days.

Ben asked me to hold his hand this morning. This was the best I could do.
 
Lord, comfort your beautiful son in these next few days. Give him peace. And alleviate his pain. Show him the way into heaven and promise me, You'll be the first to greet him. Wipe away his tears and let him know we won't be that far behind him. Tell him to look out for his big brother and baby sisters while they navigate this life. Perhaps you can introduce him to his sibling we lost in-utero more than two years ago. I'm sure his relatives that are there waiting won't have a problem recognizing him for themselves. He's going to love all of the animals - frogs and snakes are his favorite - and he's going to be thrilled to have his own wings. I'm sure he'd love playing with David's slingshot, too!

And God, grant us peace, as well. Those who are left behind. As we come to grips with our new future without Ben being close. As we find the grace you've given us and discover joy in the knowledge that You're carrying all of us in the palm of Your hand.
 
We are scared. We are hurt. We are sad. But we trust You. For You are Good.
 
Amen.

1,285 comments:

  1. Holding you and your family in my heart

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  2. Lifting you up!!! Trusting that He will be playing with my sweet Kai who passed away after a 15 day battle. Hugs Hugs Hugs. You are not alone as you grieve!

    www.in-due-time.com

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  4. Praying for strength and comfort for your precious family

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  5. Lord please be with these beautiful people as you take their baby home, Amen.

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  6. I hope and prayer that Ben is comfortable and feeling no pain. I prayer that with family by your side that you will be able to get though this. Hours that past will feel like eternity. I lost my Mom to cancer in January after only a month it was discovered. It was the hardest thing to go though. Always remember all of the good times you as a family you had. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family!!

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  7. Its quite beautiful your writing and your giving your family and children a lifelong diary to remember someone important to you all. You will grow as you are now and have been. You were humbled and will be again only this time the kick to the ground will be more than you think you can take. I have been there - in a madness for 2 yrs after. I not only came through that dark place but just when I didn't think I had the strength to fight or care anymore - I found peace. He gave me peace and one day he gave me eyes to see there was a world still waiting for me to come back. Without the Love Of God and my son I could not have written this to you. I am stronger, wiser, and yes you will always hurt but it will be different and it will make knock you to your knees with a rawness that makes you feel bare. When those times came I begged God to help me because I knew even now 10 yrs later as I write this to you its at times like yesterday. He made you a better person your Ben did. And many other things that you will learn the days to follow but God is Perfect and nothing he does is wrong and its always on His TIme and He is Never Late! You inspire all of us to be better people Ben was touching people because he was an Angel on Earth who now will have the most beautiful golden wings!! He will not forget your trials I promise! May God Hold you All Close please hold each other you will need each for the days to come.

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  8. Mindy my heart aches so bad for you. As I sit here rocking my beautiful precious 6 month old boy tears have flooded my eyes and I am squeezing him even tighter. I CANNOT begin to imagine how you live with the pain you must feel everyday. I'm so sorry your beautiful son is being called home so early. I'm so sorry. You're in my prayers and thoughts.

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  9. As a mom, my heart goes out to you. I cannot imagine. Please know i am praying for you and know that you are not alone on this journey. May God hold you up! God Bless!

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  10. Sobbing for you dear sister...and praying that your little boy is soon and swiftly carried to glory.

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    1. Yes our dear sister in Christ. may our blessed mother who knows your heartache intervene and hold your beloved son forever. as all of us Moms feel., we can only imagine. what it will be like to dance for Jesus Mercy Me

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  11. Mindy I am absolutely heartbroken. I have no words. You are an amazingly strong woman and I adore your family. I feel as though I know you all and Ben. I STILL believe that in this 11th hour his little body will be healed. I am so sorry you all have to go through this, but LOVE the promise of heaven for Ben as well. Perhaps the promises of Jesus are what keeps us going!. I will continue to pray for your family as you walk this road.

    Love, the Padgetts - in Texas

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  12. ...walking and praying with your family thru this, Mindy.

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  13. Praying for your hearts dear Mindy! This makes me long for heaven...

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  14. I just can never seem to find the right words. Please know our thoughts and prayers have been with you all along.

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  15. Had I not turned away from all including God at times the 2 yrs would have been much shorter - please don't close you away - I wanted to run where I do not know. But run I did . I am most honored to have read about Ben and your family and I hope and pray you will be blessed for the rest of your days….. May God have Mercy upon each of you and especially Ben an angel a child of God who made an impression on many for someone so very young…

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  16. My heart aches for you, as a mother, to witness such a loss......praying for you!!

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  17. Mindy, I'm in tears reading your words; feeling your words. We were in your shoes 2.5 years ago after a six-year battle with our daughter. She did beat cancer - not because of an earthly cute, but because she never let it define her or get her down. She is now whole and enjoying the fullness of life in the presence of Jesus.

    I ache for you and your family! I know the shower crying (still do it sometimes), the conversation starters with the younger sibling, trying to decide when to move your child into your bedroom, deciding if your other children should be there for the last breath. Fearing that last breath. Crying out for that last breath so the suffering of your child can end. Having that new baby! (Our Lauren is 4.5 months old now.)

    We are praying for you all. Lean on each other and the Lord. Let others do for you. Sniff Ben. Sniff him deeply. And hide something he wore recently in a zip lock so that someday when you need it badly, you can open a corner and sniff him again.

    Hold him when the drugs are strong enough that it doesn't cause him pain. Hold him when he's gone. I don't know what your hospice rules are, but we didn't have to call the nurse for a while. We waited until we'd held her and given her a sponge bath. And we requested that the funeral home guys let her Daddy carry her to their van.

    What an awesome, terrible privilege to walk your child to the throne of God. We love you and wish there was something we could do from Nebraska.

    Grace and Peace,

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    1. How wonderful of you, Jill to share your story and offer Mindy comfort. Not many of us can say we know how she feels, but you can and I'm sure that will be a comfort to her. God Bless you!

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    2. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. May you find peace and comfort in the coming days. God bless you all

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  18. You are in my thoughts and prayers may everyone find peace and comfort.

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  19. I have sobbed many tears too for Ben. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  20. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

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  21. I commend you on your strength and bravery in a time where those traits are the hardest to obtain. I sit here sobbing because my heart hurts for you and your family as well as Ben. Nobody should have to go through this, ever. Lord please continue to guide this family and if you do chose to take Ben home please shower him with your greatness. ❤

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  22. Prayers from my family to yours. May He surround you with peace even in the midst of the worst storm.

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  23. Oh Lord, help each one in this precious family feel your loving arms wrapped tightly around them, especially Ben. In Jesus' worthy name.

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  24. Lord, have mercy. Give Mindy and Andy huge amounts of strength to get through these next few days. Guide their every decision. Watch over Jack and Meagan. Thank you, Lord, that you hear our prayers.

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  25. May you be wrapped in His peace through this heart break. There are no words. XXxxx

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  26. I have never met your beautiful son Ben, but your posts make it easy to know and love him. I found out about his story through my friend Marie Werner. My heart aches for you, and I cry with you. I continue to pray for Ben and your family.

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  27. i just don't know what to say any more other than all my prayers are with ben and you and the rest of your family.
    i wish Ben could just get up and be all better :) i will just say my prayers for this loving little boy daily!! amen

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  28. Thank you for sharing your story. May you find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. We are all praying with and for you, your family and precious Ben. May God hold you all close and bring you peace in these coming days.

    Love, The Reeses in Florida

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  29. Mindy, with every post I read from you, I pray that God may grant me the words to give you comfort and peace, because your devotion through this unimaginable time is amazing. Ben has experienced so much love in his five years on earth, and he has touched thousands of people with his story and your family's faith and love. He is a remarkable little boy and something that magnitude cannot be simply snuffed out, even by death. I pray for you all during this difficult time, and I trust God will use Ben for His love unendingly.

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  30. No words - just an ache in our hearts as we carry you all in prayer.

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  31. Dear Lord Please keep Ben comfortable and free from pain as he makes this transition. Comfort his family and give them strength and guidance in the days to follow.

    Mindy: My heart breaks for you. A few weeks ago I had asked the Lord to take me and spare Ben. But He has other plans.I am so sorry that your family is going through this journey. God Bless you all. Love Betty.

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  32. I am so sorry, Mindy, and I am crying uncontrollably right now. God has blessed us with twelve grandchildren and tomorrow morning, our youngest is being induced to deliver her third baby (we don't know they sex). I should be happy and joyful about his or her coming into this world, and I am. But my heart has ached for your little boy and all of you since I read your first blog.

    You must know that thousands have been keeping him and all of you in their daily prayers and praying and hoping for a miracle. Well, maybe Ben is the miracle, as his story has touched so many hearts, and your words have inspired so many of us to a deeper faith.

    I wish all of you God's grace and peace, and I know your little angel will be okay. He's a sweet and brave little boy whom I shall never forget even though I did not have the opportunity to meet him. His little life has had a big impact on me.

    Love to all of you, Rosemarie DeSantis Becker

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  33. When my Mother was ready to enter the Kingdom of Heaven- we prayed for God to take her. But she had her own agenda. She wanted to see my niece make her First Holy Communion, spend one more Anniversary with my Dad and Mother's Day...all within 4 days...and then when her list was done- she let go and let God. Perhaps Ben has a similar list- to turn 5, to be there for one more Mother's Day.... and for you to tell him it's ok to go to Jesus. My heart aches horribly for you and your family. Lean on each other and lean on the Lord!

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  34. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus, lifes trials will seem so small when we see Christ, one glimpse of his dear face, all sorrow will erase, so bravely run the race, til we see Christ

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  35. Dear God, Please hold Ben and his family so ever close you today and all the days to come. I pray this...Amen

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  36. Mindy....this short article gives interesting insight into your tears.

    http://www.lifebuzz.com/tears/#!MORve

    May every tear shed, point you to the one who has created them and may they be a reminder that He is with you and has purpose and design in all things. You are loved.

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  37. Sobbing and praying...Knowing that He will be taking Ben's hand and leading him home...and knowing that the Lord left the Comforter behind...He will sustain and strengthen you on your road ahead...and it will be but a moment...and we will all be reunited together, forever, with no reason for tears.

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  38. We don't know your family personally, but have followed your posts and kept you in prayer for some time. Continuing to pray for you now -- that though your ship may be battered by this storm, the anchor holds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSAc5Z2lprk

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  39. Oh, Mindy; I don't know you, I don't know anyone who knows you. I just know that every day after work I check your blog for any news. Sometimes I feel like I'm invading your privacy or that I'm a stalker of your page. I'm being a silent observer. Every once in a while I'll write a little something, but not regularly. I don't know what to say to you. I cannot fathom how you are walking this road. My heart aches for youand your family. I will say that sometimes, hearing words from live people...words like "I'm sorry, what can we do..." is sometimes overwhelming...perhaps that is why you have this page...so that when you are ready, you can speak the words you need to speak and people will respond and offer condolences and advice, but you can choose when to hear those words...we are your extended support system by choice. I'm sure I speak for everyone who reads your posts when I say that when you need to vent, and don't feel you can do so out load, you can do it here and no one will judge you...we'll just be here. You've suffered as much as your beloved Ben, just in a different way. You have pain just as he does, but in your heart instead of in your body. A piece of you will die when Ben passes...it's reality. But you'll go on, just like he will go on (in a different way). God Bless You and know that people are out there who know Ben through you. You have made him real to all of us even though we've never met him, and you have shared him with us. I feel like if I hear the name Ben Sauer, I'll be able to say "Hey, I know him"...that's because of you. May you have the strength you've shown here during the next days. Thinking of you and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers

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  40. Heavenly Father - as Ben transitions from this life to his eternal rest in your glorious home, comfort him with peace and hold him gently in your arms. May his family continue to feel your presence each and every day, now, after Ben's passing and each day they live without their precious little boy.

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  41. My heart aches for you...I don't know how you even have the strength to write your blog and to share your heart with all of us strangers. Please know we care so very much.

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  42. praying for you all..Ben will be cancer free, pain free in the arms of Jesus soon...Trust Him, He'll carry you in this stormy time

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  43. Your family is a true inspiration for all of WNY. The strength that you possess is absolutely incredible. I hope that I never have to go through this with any of my family or friends. The sad thing is that I probably will but your courage has showed me the way. God. Faith. Love and Family. If there is anything that I can do to help you or your children in the future it would be my pleasure to do so. Ben is in my prayers today and throughout his journey. God bless
    Tony Mamaluke

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  45. I have no words that will make what you and your precious family are going through any easier, I just want you to know that I admire your faith, strength and courage through this chapter of your life. Please know that I too pray for Ben, may all of you be surrounded in healing light and love <3

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  46. Again.....I start to type, then delete, then type, then delete....because I don't know what to say. I only know what to do, and that is to pray.

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    1. Yes, this. Thank you for putting into words exactly what I didn't know I wanted to say. Praying for the Sauer family tonight.

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  47. Sydney walked up to me as I was reading and sobbing and said, "It's Ben, isn't it?" I told her that he wasn't doing good and it looked like he will be in Heaven soon. She said "then he can play and run and be happy again, Mom. And besides, Jesus could come back tomorrow anyway. And then we'll be there with Ben." Oh, the faith of a child. God bless you and keep you all close!

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  48. still praying for a miracle and for your entire family, God bless you all

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  49. oh i am so sorry sauer family and little ben whom i feel i know just dont seem fair i wish you could wake up and this would be a miracle but i also dont want you to endure any more pain god bless you ben i hope you fly high and free of pain with the angels and your family stays strong ..you have been givivng 5 years with such a wonderful family .. my thoughts and prayers go out to you all..oxoxox

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  50. To any of you who are praying for Ben via this blog who are Catholic (who might know this prayer), now is the time to say the Divine Mercy chaplet for Ben.
    "Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion --- inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Jesus, I trust in You. Amen"
    Praying for you. Do not expect yourself to accept this moment with tranquility. Throw yourself into the arms of God, and let Him carry you. Praying. Praying.

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  51. Thank you for celebrating Ben's journey of life with us. <3 My prayers continue and my heart is with you and Ben and the family.

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  52. I'm sooo sorry. I cant stop crying as i read this. I also cant find any other words to say but Im so sorry

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  53. My daughter, Georgia, is there waiting for him. She will show him around.

    I'm so very sorry.

    Love and hugs from Knoxville, TN
    Jill

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  54. I am amazed at your strength and grace during this time in your lives. Your family is lucky to have you to look to for guidance and strength. My prayers are going out to each and every one of you. May God wrap you all in his arms, and may Ben find peace and comfort in his final days.

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  55. Continuing in prayer for your family..words fall short at a time like this, but our amazing Lord does not. Much love to you all.

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  56. Dear Mindy,

    I have never met you nor your family but Ben's struggle deeply moves all all the way over to us in Rochester... please know you are prayed for and I pray that God wraps his arms around you and just pours his love over and over you all. Love, Jen

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  57. I just don't have adequate words. Please know that I am standing with you in prayer. I won't pretend to understand, but I will trust in His goodness. May he wrap his arms around your family and may you find the comfort only He can provide.

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  58. I really wish no one ever had to go through this with their child, EVER! I admire the strength you have to admit that you aren't strong enough for this and even though you feel you have to keep it together it's ok not to be strong. I'm so happy Bens journey has lasted this long and he was able to bless his siblings, you and Andy with his presence. Ben has truly made a huge impact on many peoples lives and he will always be remembered :) I will pray for your family tonight for peace.. Sending so much love and prayers your way for you and Andy to get through this, Ben not to be in pain, and for his siblings! I've said it before and I'll say it over and over again, thank you for sharing your sons journey with so many people, it has really touched so many hearts <3

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  59. My prayers are with you and your beloved family

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  60. Powerful testimony you have written:
    Good things come from God. And He never changes. He is still the same God as the man who walked on this earth more than two thousand years ago. The One who was born to a virgin, did countless miracles and healed countless diseases. The One who was fully human and yet fully deity. The God who is large enough to command the heavens but small enough to walk beside us every single day. This is the God of my family. And He will continue to be the same good God to future generations even after we're gone from this earth.

    Bad things exist because sin exists. And we all know to thank human nature, free will, (as well as Adam and Eve) for that lovely introduction into our world.

    I know that many people think of God as a nasty overlord, holding his evil remote and just waiting for an opportunity to 'trick' us into ruining ourselves. Or perhaps He just plows through however He wants, manipulating people and events, regardless of how it may affect us pee-ons. But don't worry, 'He won't give you anymore than you can handle!'

    Trust me, friends. That is not the God I know.

    My God is loving. Compassionate. Gentle. The kind of Father that cries when we cry. That feels hurt when we hurt. And continues to love us even when we don't acknowledge His existence, when we purposefully turn from His Word. He loves us regardless of what we've done or who we are. That's the God that I know. The God that loved me most when I am at my worst.

    God made us. And the Bible says that He made us in His image. And He loves us deeply. Every single one of us. What great artist wouldn't be proud of His work? God created the heavens, the earth - the entire universe - as well as everything in it. And the Bible tells us that He was very very pleased.

    "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."
    Genesis 1:31

    I can imagine His level of satisfaction looking at everything He created out of total darkness. Folding His arms and sighing, thinking how much He enjoyed what He had made. It doesn't make sense to me that that same God would be the cruel mastermind behind our demise.

    It's true. God won't allow us to walk down a road that He cannot supply enough grace to sustain us. But we would be very mistaken to think that He was the One that created the situation we had to walk through in the first place.

    May the Lord continue to hold you close.

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  61. Praying for you and your family.

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  62. I am crying tears for you, and hope that you can feel the love I am sending. May Jesus comfort you and your family in this time of sorrow.

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  63. Mindy my heart goes out to your family. May you continue to draw your strength from God. I will continue to pray for your family.

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  64. All I can say is, I'm sorry you are going through this. Ben has touched my life forever and I can't wait to see him in heaven someday! Love Julie

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  65. I know that The Lord has only the best for his children in His plan. Leaning on that, knowing Jesus has his arms open for Ben is the only peace for all right now. My heart goes out to your family ...praying for strength and that you feel the Lord's love through this....

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  66. You probably didn't know that when you started this blog, that you would be inspiring a whole community of people who have come to this gathering place to become better people. Because of you, in your words, your faith, your love...I take a longer breath, and want to be better. You and Andy are amazing, your strength is awe-inspiring, and your wisdom has come so quickly...before your years. We think of your family daily, and talk as if we "know" you all.Extra powerful prayers are being said tonight, in hopes that your family's strength perseveres through the hardest of times. Much Love...

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  67. Sending love, healing and peace to you all. Thank you for your honesty and the love that radiates from this post xo

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  68. There are no words of comfort any of us could offer. There really are no words. Only God Himself can comfort you in your time of need. What you're going through is every parent's worse nightmare. The fact that you've opened your heart to us through your blog is amazing. When Ben reaches for God's hand and finally crosses over, you will have an entire country, especially the community, grieving, weeping, right along with you.
    I'm so sorry you're going through this. My heart aches for you.

    God Bless You in your time of need,
    Shannon

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    1. Just had a thought.. unless your angry at God, which I certainly would be! My grandfather just passed away and I got so tired of hearing the condolences.. I don't know why, but after awhile they were irritating to me. And when I went into stores to get things done and all the clerks would say "have a nice day" I wanted to punch them all..

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  69. Praying for peace for you Mindy and Andy, and for comfort in knowing that Ben will pass from your arms into the loving arms of Jesus.

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  70. Mindy, I pray the Lord comforts you and lets His peace gird Ben, you and the entire family. We just buried my girlfriend's 7 year old daughter on Sunday, she was an only child. She had battled bone cancer for a year and lost the battle last Thursday. Her faith and strength, like yours, has been a testimony. I can't begin to imagine the pain of losing a child, but if I ever had to bear such cross I pray I can do it with the grace and strength you have shown. Ben may be in the twilight of his short life, but he's moving on to a better place where there'll be no more pain. Weeping may come for a night but joy will definitely come in the morning as surely as our God lives. We all will pray you through this, and how wonderful is it that you are expecting again? The circle of life is so evident in your circumstances. The baby will not replace little Ben, but may just be the light that breaks through this darkness.
    Loving you and your boy, and praying for you.

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  71. Mindy...my heart is breaking for you. When I lost my daughter I didn't think I would ever find joy again. I remember about a week after her funeral telling God "ok, I did the grieving thing Lord and you can bring her back now because if you think I can live the rest of my life without her you are wrong". He didn't bring her back, but he did take my hand and led me through my journey of grief. Yesterday I spent my 9th Mother's day without her, and it was a day filled with joy, love and laughter as I spent the day with my only other child, my son. I just want to give you hope that your joy CAN return, but it will take time. Time to grieve the loss of a child you love so deeply. Jesus and heaven make all the difference, because we know this separation is NOT forever. One day you will be with him once again and have eternity to make up for the years you missed here on earth. I am still praying for a miracle for Ben and will continue to do so. God is able if it is His will.

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  72. As a mother to 3 boys, there are no words. Your strength has been inspiring. My heart goes out to you and your family. Keeping in my prayers.

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  73. Your strength for your children is inspiring, and I pray for you all- that you will have love, light, and peace.

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  74. My prayers are with you and your family during this sad, difficult time. Thank you for sharing your story with us and for inspiring so many people to become better versions of ourselves. Please know my thoughts are with you and that I'm constantly praying for peace, comfort, and strength... for all of you, but especially for little Ben. You are such an amazing, inspiring family and Ben is so lucky to have been blessed with you as parents - just as you are lucky to have blessed with him. All my love. xoxo

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  75. I am so very sorry. Hoping for peace for each one of you.

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  76. This made me sob. I absolutely cannot imagine what you are going through. I do not know you and I'm normally not one to pray but I will be praying today for you, Ben and the rest of your family. You are incredibly brave and strong and inspiring. Huge hugs from one mom to another. I am praying for a miracle for Ben.

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  77. So very sorry for you and your family. I do think that moving his bed to your bedroom is a good idea. May God bless you and keep you strong in the coming days.

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  78. I am praying for you and your family and especially for sweet Ben so sorry for what you going through, what Ben is going through. May the God grant you a peace that surpasses all understanding.

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  79. There are no words.. Thinking of you and your family.

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  80. Lord take this childs tumors away and heal his body jesus, we pray for healing lord and we pray this in jesus name, thankyou lord for all of help and all the problems we all have, everyday lord we give it all to you.in jesus name amen.

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  81. My heart is breaking for your family. Praying for strength and comfort as you are going through this extremely hard time.

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  82. My heart is crying out for Ben and your family. I am blessed to be touched with your life and the story of Ben's struggle here on earth. Thank you for sharing your faith in God and your love and devotion to your children. I am trusting God to be"the God of all comfort" to all of you. To little Ben, thank you for sharing your life with us! May Jesus hold you closely!

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  83. Reading this just brought tears to my eyes..i just lost my 2yr old son Cayden to bacterial meningitis..may god be with you and your family..you are in our prayers

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    1. God bless you, and help you too. How hard.

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  84. I wish I could comfort you by saying something but sadly I don't think I can. One of a parent's worst nightmares. I'm so very sorry

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  85. I pray these lyrics from Michael W. Smith provide some comfort:

    No shadow comes without the light making a way

    No raging storm can ever defy one word of faith

    My heart remains sure in the wind, sure in the waves

    You are the anchor for my soul

    You won't let go

    You won't let go

    No matter what may come I know

    You won't let go

    No valley low, changes the truth

    So I'm not afraid

    You hold me close

    You lead me through and light up the way

    You are the anchor for my soul

    You won't let go

    You won't let go

    No matter what may come I know

    You won't let go

    You won't let go

    Neither life, neither death,

    The highest high, the deepest depth

    Nothing can

    Nothing can separate

    Neither tears, neither trials

    Certain as the sun will rise

    Nothing can

    Nothing can separate

    You are the anchor for my soul

    You won't let go

    You won't let go

    No matter what may come I know

    You won't let go

    My heart remains sure in the wind, sure in the waves, always

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  86. I'm not sure if Ben is baptized or not, I know you are Christian, and I know everyone does things different. I know some families wait till their children are old enough to decide for themselves; but in some cases parents may want to opt to baptize their children sooner in case of urgent need, like this, something to seriously consider. Ben has been in our prayers for the last several months, and will continue to be. He is a inspiration to all of us.

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  87. Can you imagine if this blog family joined hands? I think we would stretch on for many miles, through many towns, states and countries. Your family has touched our hearts deeply, Mindy. I've found a renewed outlook on the unwavering kindness of other's as I've followed your journey with Ben. I, myself have learned more about God from you and I'm a practicing Catholic. I am heartbroken that you have to go through losing a child. I'm a Mother. I know that deep love. Climb into bed with him and hold him tight, okay? Hugs sweetie...xo

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  88. as an mother of an angel i can only tell u keep his love and your love of god close. u all have my heart and prayers.

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  89. So many thoughts and prayers for you and your little Ben. So many prayers for Andy as he helps you through.

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  90. I am praying for you, for Ben and for your entire family. Your willingness to discuss something so painful and vulnerable in a public forum like this is nothing short of amazing and makes us feel like we know you and know Ben. Reading your words makes me feel like I am reading something that my mother would have written when my sister was battling a brain tumor before passing away in 1996. We know the trips to Roswell (and Children's and....) and we know the heartache and the way it changes you forever... and yet we never truly know how you and your family are feeling because each of us walks our own journey. You are blessed with an amazing community of people in WNY and across the country that are praying for you and supporting you. I pray for God's peace and supporting love now and in the future. Thank you for sharing your story with us. -Aryn Maynard

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  91. Mindy, We have never met, but I have been praying for you and your family for weeks. Ben's story is heartbreaking, but your faith and your writing has been beautiful. Ben will be at peace and without pain soon. You will be suffering a new pain, but I know God will give you the strength you need to move on. Your new baby will need to feel joy, and I know you and Andy will be there to give it. My prayer for all of you is for strength and peace.
    Jean Martin

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  92. For you are God alone and alone you are God! Oh my how your words of unwavering faith is so powerful and show who God is! This is definitely a faith walk, either you will lose it or strengthen it. You are showing strength even in your weakest moments. My prayers are with Ben and that his transition to heaven is pain free and comfort. His siblings that death can be beautiful when you realize this is not the final destination. And last but not least God continues his stregnth in both you and your husband. I know this road is not easy, I also had to watch my only child, my daughter transition to heaven. Thank you for sharing....God bless and sending lots of love and hugs.

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  93. Crying for you and your family as you are walking this unimaginable journey with your precious Ben. There really are no words, just prayers....and again, I am in awe of your faith and strength from God. I have always been a Christian and have been through terrible loss myself, but not a child, you are such an inspiration and you will never know the full impact that you are having on others. Praying for you as you go into this week, I know God is with you.

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  94. May all the prayers reach down and warm your heart while you endure this painful moment in your life. My heart ached for you while reading this and I cannot imagine how it hurts watching your baby go thru this. I believe that his soul will never leave yours. You gave birth to him nurtured him and he will always be at your side. He will no longer be in pain and will be among the angels while he waits for his family to join him. I wish you all the comfort and peace in the upcoming months. May the peace and blessings of God be bestowed upon you and your family.

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  95. May you feel comforted by God's ever present love. Praying for you all.

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  96. This is sad and very heartbreaking. I couldn't imagine the pain of watching your baby struggling and fighting for life. Every time my kids are outside home and out of my sight, I am worried. But praying unto God to keep them safe and watch them gives me some relief. I understand that how hard and difficult that you and your family are going through right now. I am sending a prayer that God may give you all the strength you need. We are praying for a miracle, and whatever He wills may He help you bear it lightly. Trust in the Lord, He has good reasons for everything.

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  97. Oh Mindy, there are no words for the depth of this #hardeucharisteo. Tears with you and heart breaking and lifting you and Andy up so much in prayer. SO. much.

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  98. Praying and thinking of you all at this difficult time. You are doing an amazing job and I cannot imagine being in the same situation with my twin sons. I cry reading your post. I know that Ben is in the best hands with his parents keeping him as comfortable as possible. I pray for you all, stay strong xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  99. No words can express my profound sadness for you and your family. Just know that throngs of people are praying for all of you. May God grant you peace.

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  100. Holding you and your family close in my heart, and in prayer.

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  101. God Bless you all, I cannot imagine the depth of your pain, I cry and am humbled by your strength. You may not feel strong, but your strength is amazing to all. Your children, including Ben are blessed to have you. God Bless, keeping you in my prayers.

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  102. Praying for you and your beautiful Ben. XO

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  103. this is truly humbling, may God's peace be with your family at this time. much love

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  104. Crying while reading this latest news, I pray for peace for you and your family. You are such a strong, loving, and patient woman. My little man just turned 5 last week and my heart positively aches for you! May God continue to hold you in his arms and give you strength. I pray that Ben's last days are peaceful, pain free, and that when he goes he leaves with a smile on his face knowing he was sooooo loved and so that you know he is with God and will never hurt again. ♥

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  105. Thank you for allowing all of us to enter your home, your life, your emotions, the transition of Ben's life here on earth into God's heavenly home where God will meet Ben at the gates of heaven and oh, "I can only imagine, what it will be like" when Ben's eyes will see Jesus and when the day comes that Ben will be waiting to take your hand and show you all the places he's been and the people he's met. This is not the end because you've reminded us all how precious life is here on earth and that the greatest miracle will be the beautiful life that is about to begin again with no more headaches & no more hurting for Ben. May the God of all grace wrap His everlasting arms around you in the days ahead as He carries you through this transition. You've had an amazing impact on my life with all of the blogs you've written - you have a gift and something tells me that God will use you in a very special way to honor the memory of Ben and share the love of Christ through your experiences of emotions the past 3 months. It may be the "Eleventh House" on this side of heaven but Ben's story is far from over.....

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  106. Prayers for you, your husband, and your sweet little boy. All of you are loved.

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  107. My heart breaks for you and your family and I cant even imagine what your going through. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and know theat Ben will be welcomed with open arms by our maker and he will be well taken care of..xoxoxo

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  108. Though I don't know you or your family, your blogs have touched my heart in a way most unexpected. Your strength is simply amazing, and I can see that your faith in God is so so strong. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family, and especially to Ben.

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  109. Prayers for all of you...may our dear Lord hold you in the palm of His hand...

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  110. I cried and held my 20 month old son while reading this today. He was concerned about why I was crying. Of course, he listens to me but doesnt understand what you and your family are going through. God is always with each of us, no matter what we are going through. My prayers for you and your family right now is for continued strength to get through the next few days, weeks, months, years. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a child, or in the eyes of your children, a brother. I only know that when my Dad passed when I was 15, felt like the worst time of my life, and took me many many years before I could open up and talk about him without crying every time. But I never stopped thinking about him, loving him, wondering what he would say about certain things. God came into my life while my Dad was in the hospital, and my new faith was tested a few weeks later when he passed away. I have become a stronger person, and my faith was strengthened during my grief with help from my youth group leaders and family. May God comfort you and your family, and allow Ben a peaceful passing.

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  111. I am continuing to hold Ben and your family close to my heart and in my continuing prayers. My heart aches for all that Ben and your beautiful family are going through.
    <3 xoxoxoxoxo

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  112. Lord Your strength is made Perfect in our weakness. We trust and depend on only You my Lord & Savior. My beginning and end, my true desire. Your will, will be done and we trust You & You alone. Guide the Doctors and command the tumor to leave Be n's body. In Jesus mighty and Holy name we ask and pray, Amen!

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  113. I'm sobbing in my bed reading your words and my heart is just breaking for you. I can't begin to imagine what you are experiencing. Please know that a woman and a mother in Denver, Colorado is holding you and your family in her heart tonight. May God be by your side now and always. xoxo

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  114. As a mother who lost my son to brain and spine cancer 2 years ago i feel your pain i dont know you or your family but happen upon this page thru face book i pray that yous will find the peace you need in the days to come and the strength to keep going sending love and support god bless

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  115. You are in our prayers. We are praying for His strength and comfort to be your family's portion in the moments ahead!

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  116. I am in awe of your families strength and your faith. My heart breaks for you all. My prayers are with you...

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  117. Thinking and praying for all of you! Holding you all close to my heart! May Gods peace be with you during this time. XO

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  118. god bless you and your family. my prayers are with you and your amazing family .

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  119. I don't pray as much as I probably should but i will send a prayer to God that he helps and guides you through this> Ben may not be able to tell you right now but no that he loves you and he will always be there for you no matter what. "God- I know I don't talk to you much and you know the reasons, but please help this family in their time of need and that you help Ben through this also by taking away the pain. May you watch over this family and give them the comfort that they will need." Please know that our family is thinking of you and hugging you tight right now.

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  120. In the same way, the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, since we do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words.... Romans 8:26 Weeping and praying for you from Charlotte.

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  121. Praying for your family during this difficult time. He will give you perfect peace.

    http://youtu.be/l6eDvl4Xbh8

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  122. Praying for Ben and your family. Comfort, peace, and love unlimited.

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  123. I could not read this without sobbing uncontrollably. I cannot imagine your pain and I am in awe of your faith!! I know that the Lord will greet Ben with open arms and welcome him into heaven where there is no more suffering! I pray that knowing this will ease your pain during this difficult time and that God wraps you and your family in his warmth bringing you the comfort of his everlasting love!

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  124. My heart is weeping with you. Oh Mindy.........

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  125. Lord, please, please, put your arms around Andy, Mindy, Jack and Meagan...even Baby girl Sauer. Receive Ben into your Kingdom. Thy will be done.

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  126. He's holding on because he doesn't want to leave you. I am so sorry for your loss. You need to all tell him that it is okay for him to go so that he can be at peace and let go. I have seen this time and again as family members succumb to death, they hold on to this life because they know the anguish of those they are leaving. Please tell him what you have told us about the beautiful world he is moving into and how you will always hold him in your hearts but he doesn't need to worry about leaving you.... I am so sorry.

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  127. Dear Sauer family,
    In 1975 my younger brother was born. At the age of 14 months he was taken into surgery for an exploratory surgery because of an undescended testricle. They found a tumor the size of a football. He had testicular cancer. After going through 21 months of treatment for bone cancer and finally lung cancer he was taken home. At the services someone provided my mother with the following poem. I still find comfort in reading the poem and hope your family will too. God bless Ben and I pray your family will find comfort in knowing he will be your special angel when he goes home.
    Heaven's Very Special Child

    (in Memory of Jeffrey Ratliff--a very special child)

    A meeting was held quite far from earth,
    It's time again for another birth.
    Said the Angels to the Lord above,
    This special child will need much love.

    His progress may seem very slow.
    Accomplishments he may not show.
    And he'll require extra care,
    From the folks he meets down there.

    He may not run or laugh or play,
    His thoughts may seem quite far away.
    In many ways he won't adapt,
    And he'll be known as handicapped.

    So let's be careful where he's sent.
    We want his life to be content.
    Please Lord find the right parents who,
    Will do a special job for You.

    They will not realize right away,
    The leading role they're about to play.
    But with this child sent from above,
    Comes stronger faith and richer love.

    And soon they'll know the privilege given
    In caring for this gift from Heaven.
    Their precious child so meek and mild,
    Is Heaven's Very Special Child.

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  128. God bless little Ben and this whole family through this tough time, and may your will be done

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  129. Mindy, our hearts across WNY are with you and our prayers. It is painful and hard to understand. Your writing is indeed beautiful and a real tribute to Ben and your whole family. Blessings to you and your husband during this very difficult time.

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  130. There are no words. We have been following your blog and your journey since creation. Your little Ben has been in our thoughts and our prayers everyday since. Your family is incredible and you are remarkable. Your story and your journey has given me much needed perspective and hope. Sending love and strength from Montreal during this difficult time. <3

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  131. I think God must be preparing a most magnificent special place for Ben, a big mansion just over the hilltop with plenty of room for a future glorious reunion together in Heaven with Jesus !
    Praying for strength and peace for you all.

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  132. I read your words and tears welt up in my eyes just know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers always. I'm so glad you have god to comfort you as much as possible. He carries your family everyday. God bless you all

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  133. Keep your family in our thoughts and prayers! Lord please wrap your arms around this loving family and ease their pain. Amen!

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  134. Lord please be with these beautiful people

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  135. Thank you Mindy for sharing your heart wrenching story. We praise God that you have had 5 wonderful years with your beloved Ben. I pray that you and your family will be given just enough strength to face each day (just like the manna).
    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
    Peace be with you and your family.

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  136. My dearest Mindy,
    In the very near future, Ben, Will be in the arms of Jesus!
    You will probably experience some new level of normals....
    You may feel so lonely in a room filled with people
    You may hear people talking or even laughter, but it may be jumbled and undefined
    You may feel so totally out of sorts with life's usually routine things!
    When my baby died I experienced these feelings!
    It seemed as though I would never again feel "normal"
    I felt so distant from any and most conversations, as thou I wasn't really there.
    I don't know if I am making any sense to you, but the reason I am sharing this with you, is because, I want you to know that these feelings were a part of my everyday life.
    I thank God that I loved and trusted God my whole life because it kept me driven...to be the best Mom I could, because I didn't want my baby to be sad for me!
    It took me a very long time to come to grips with her loss
    And finally
    I said, okay God, if I can't have her here on earth with me, I can't think of anyone better to care for my baby than HIM!
    I will pray and be there for you always Mindy!
    I am sure that our paths will cross someday, but for now, I pray for Peace to help you and Andy in your new normal life!
    God bless you all!
    Ben you have probably started your journey home!
    I love you Ben.

    With much love,
    Donna Stewart

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  137. I've been keeping your Ben, family, and especially you in my prayers. While reading your message and these notes of others thinking about Ben and praying for his comfort and ease of his pain, it dawns on me that for every person who has written you, there are thousands more who can't find words to express what we want to say to you to offer comfort or support. You have touched so many people. God Bless Ben and his family. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in you.

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  138. I have just stumbled upon this post after seeing it on The Kids Prayer Facebook page.
    I have not followed Ben's journey but I read this page with tears streaming down my face and then I prayed with tears streaming down my face.
    I asked god to give you strength but to be honest I am amazed by your strength already.
    I also prayed that Ben would feel peace and no fear.

    I know these words will do nothing to ease your pain but I hope at some point you will be able to look back on this with pride that you and your son have humbled and inspired so many people.
    I will continue to pray for you.

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  139. I'm feeling your pain for you right now. I too have a 5 year old. She is my miracle child who was not supposed to be conceived. I can't have anymore children of my own. I couldn't even imagine the pain we would be in if I had to watch her die in front of me.
    Your family is in our thoughts. Stay strong!!!

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  140. In tears fellow sister as I pray for your heart, your husband's, your children and for sweet Ben. Oh I ache for you. Praying as God carries you through this and for His peace that surpasses all understanding. Praying for strength that only He can give and joy only He can provide. Hugs.

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  141. As a mother who lost two sons just 11 months apart 2011 and 2012, my heart aches for you as you realize what lies ahead for you. Your words are so painful, so beautiful, so raw. The night my second son was killed, the first thing I saw in the moments after hearing the news was a picture of him with his older brother, arm in arm and as painful as that moment was, there was a wave of peace, knowing they were together in heaven. May God's love grant you peace.

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  142. May God send his angels down upon Ben and his family. May God ask his angels to wrap their arms around you all to protect you, to guide you and direct you and to help you through this difficult time. May the prayers and love from family, friends and even strangers give you comfort and strenght. My heart, love and prayers are with you.

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  143. I am with you at this hour. You are not alone. I will pray with you at this moment.

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  144. As a mother of twins, I have pondered how difficult this would be. It is devastating enough to lose a child but to have twin child remaining to help guide him through the loss. Then to be reminded every day that you look at the surviving twin that there is part of that miraculous package God blessed you with missing. I just can't imagine, Mindy.
    I have been praying for Ben and your family for months and I will continue to pray for what the future holds for all of you. You are not alone...We are a prayerful army at your back

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  145. OUR God is a GOD of the eleventh hour, he will never forsake or leave his children. PRAYERS FOR YOUR FAMILY-♡

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  146. My heart goes out to your entire family, our prayers and love go out to you all from over here in Melbourne Australia. Louisa

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  147. Prayers are with you and your family on this incredibly difficult journey. Remember that God never gives us more than we can handle.
    Love Joy. & Peace <3

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  148. My heart breaks for you and my prayers are with you.

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  149. God bless you with all the love and strength you need minute by minute. I pray for a miracle of healing for your beautiful baby. Christ is with him, holding him now.

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  150. Mindy, may He give you the strength to help you all find your new "normal" and know that many thoughts and prayers are with your family today and always.

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  151. Oh, dear Mindy. The picture of your clasped hands broke my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you today and every day that is to come. We have never met, but I am sending love your way.

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  152. Oh, how I weep for you, Andy, Jack, and Megan. I rejoice with Ben, though, that his suffering is minimal and because he may soon be in the arms of Almighty God. There's no better place to be.

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  153. My heart breaks for you and your family. When my grandmother was dying of cancer in 1998, a friend passed along a book for me to read. I would like to share this passage that I would read to my grandmother on her last days...
    "When we have passed the tests we were sent to Earth to learn, we are allowed to graduate. We are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our soul the way a cocoon encloses the future butterfly, and when the time is right we can let go of it. Then we will be free of pain, free of fears and free of worries..free as a beautiful butterfly returning home to God...which is a place where we are never alone, where we continue to grow and to sing and to dance, where we are with those we loved and where we are surrounded with more love than we can ever imagine." I pray for strength for you and your family. <3

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  154. So many emotions running through me as I read your post this evening. Feeling so helpless as my brothers and sisters in Christ are in an unthinkable place. Please God, I come before the throne and ask for your mercy and grace at this time....

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  155. Mindy, Andy and your beautiful family. We are writing this note to you from Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. Our church prayer group received a request online to pray for Ben a little over a week ago and we have been. Today we received the link to your blog and an update on Ben's condition and our hearts and our prayers are with you.

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  156. I don't know what to say other than you are in my prayers. I'm so sorry.

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  157. Mindy...My heart breaks as I read your words and know that nothing I say can give you comfort in this hour of need...All I co do is promise you that Ben is surrounded by a zillion Angels, who have lifted him in their arms to help alleviate his pain, to give him peace and to protect him from this horrible disease that is wracking his little frame...I promise you, he is not afraid, he is not alone and he will be forever in God's embrace...May you find some peace in knowing that God never leaves your child's side and the Angels will help carry you through all to come....may you find comfort in God's Grace....

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  158. My heart breaks as I read this post. We have been praying for your family and for Ben as we have been following updates via 2 friends on fb. I cannot even begin to imagine the hurt and pain you are facing right now. Praying God will give you strength, peace and comfort during these difficult days!

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  159. May peace be granted to your family and to Ben. I pray God holds him in his hands and sends all his Angels to guide Ben into heaven. Our prayers are with you all. God Bless...

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  160. Last week you mentioned that you had "moments" with Ben that allowed you to see through his illness. You cherished those moments. Might I suggest that we all keep in mind that our entire lives are literally "moments" in the realm of everlasting life. The real moments we are given to spend with our families, and others, is life itself which sometimes is taken for granted in our busy earthly lives. I know you will take comfort knowing that your family will someday see your beloved Ben again, without illness, whenever it is that the Lord calls him home to be at His side.

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  162. I am very much impressed about you and your family. About the deep faith you have and how incredible strong you are and have been. My prayers are with you and your little Angel Ben. Keep up your faith and your beliefs. My heart is aching for you and your family. God bless!

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  163. Tears are streaming down my face, I want to make it better, I wish someone could. I want to scream with you, like all the other parents reading this, I am sorry. Prayers from far away...

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  164. Still praying for all of you. So hard. So difficult. God bless each one of you.

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  165. I simply cannot imagine...you all are in my prayers. God hold you all in his hands. I am so very sorry.

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  166. Keep a lock of that precious boy's hair. Constant prayers for all of you. May Jesus hold you all.

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  167. Ben and your entire family are in my prayers!

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  168. Nearly 3 years ago (May 16, 2011) my mother went home to be with Jesus after fighting long and hard against cancer. I had driven home (675 miles) to be there for her birthday on May 6th and Mother's Day May 8th. When I got there the hospice nurse had told us that she probably had days left. As I sat next to her bed and sung hymns, read scriptures and prayed, it was sacred. To this day I believe I heard the rustle of angel's wings. I realize that she had one last gift to give me, I had to learn to let her go. Your precious little boy only had 5 years while my Mother had 73. I know that time means nothing to God, it was given to mankind to measure, He has no need for it. As painful as saying good bye was, I am "glad" I was there for her. My presence there helped her to go forward. Rest assured, even with the medication, your ben is finding peace and comfort knowing he is surrounded by all of your love.

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  170. Lifting Ben up in prayer and praying for strength & God's comfort for all of you tonight.

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  171. Keeping your family in my heart and lifting you all up in prayer. Blessings....

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  172. i am broken for you and your family. i couldn't stop crying as i read your post. praying for you and especially for Ben! much love to you and prayers for strength and peace

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  173. Praying for all of you. And sending you love.

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  174. I will admit I am a grown man and this brought years to my eyes, you and you're family are in our thoughts and prayers, you are an amazing strong family, keep your head high during this transition period, remember God has a plan for little Ben. Dear Jesus please lift this family and guide them through this period with the strength in your arms, lift this family high and show them how you work in these situations, remember you are the master of this situation and help keep Ben strong during this battle.Ben knows you are here with your guiding hands,please keep him tight in your arms,let him know how it feels to be pain free,lord keep He's family strong during this and guide them through all the trials and tribulations Amen

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  175. It took me 3 times reading this to get all the way through. The tears were blocking my vision as I sit and remember almost 11 years ago- just like it was yesterday- the exact description of your 11th hour with Ben as the events unfolded with my Mom. Everything as you described....I cannot imagine your sorrow, pain, anger, hope- every possible emotion that you are feeling. I can tell you that at some point during the last few hours we had with Mom- when she was between earth and Heaven and we had to tell her it was ok. It was ok to go see Jesus and all the others we could name that were waiting for her. Once WE let go, God came and took her home. Thank you for sharing your Family with us. Ben's little life will touch the world- what an amazing testimony that you and Andy were chosen to be the earthly parents of this little one. Hopefully you can feel the love and Prayers that are being sent and I know you will feel God's Hands holding you up.

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  176. Praying for you and your family, dear precious sister in Christ! ♥

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  177. There are no words to express my sorrow at this news. These days it is all to common for me to hear of a child on their way to meet Jesus. While I sit here and think to myself "why God, why these innocent children? Why are you making them suffer." I seem to have his hand on my shoulder telling me he has His reasons and to try to understand. I'm sorry. I just don't understand. I believe. I have faith. I'm not sure why He feels it must be this way. I know He has his reasons that I hope to understand and comprehend some day. But today, I just sit here, hang my head and cry, and again, ask why. Don't be afraid Ben. God is good. God is great. Heaven is a place where you will be pain free and whole again. Those who have gone before you are waiting with open arms to welcome you. God will grant your family peace and courage to face the future. And some day, when God is ready, your family will join you again. God Bless you Ben and your family. Your next great adventure awaits!!!

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  178. Praying for your family!! God be with sweet Ben and all of you!

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  179. <3 love and hugs, comfort and strength to get you through your days. I wish I could help in some way!

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  180. I have no words, just hugs. And love and prayers. <3

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  181. MY son Blair @ 21 yrs in 2001 went to be with his mother and little brother who went to Heaven when he was just 8 - He was amazing then and at 21 and still is so are they. I expect that should the Lord allow Ben to go or stay He has his plan and will that none will perish - Those on this side and those on that side of the veil are all part of the MASTER PLAN. Jack and Ben are the perfect age to go thruough this like no other age - They are strong and not preprogrammed with a set of so called understanding about what happens in heaven and earth and FAITH of a Child is where we adults have to be led to To SEE GOD and His HANDS Working. These are special days we live in as both realms begin to merge - may be a long process but - We all will come through - some on our knees some standing - some jumping, some dancing - some laughing, some crying - but bringing many with us via the wisdom we gain from always trusting the Lord and His Plans for us and our loved ones, our hearts and theirs and those who HE will Harvest via these experiences.

    Many are with you - beside you behind you and especially above you - I look forward to meeting you all and while we are still here on this side to be praying for you.

    Hang in there and take an example from the children HOW to TRUST GOD. Those Moments Get Us Through for sure - just as You have hinted at.

    TY for allowing us to share this trying time with you.

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  182. I know you and your story only through friends but I have been praying for you. My mother lost a child and she finds comfort that in the fact that she is now is happy and free in heaven above. My heart aches for you and and your family. How very brave and special you all are. Heaven will surely gain another angel. God bless you.

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