Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bennett's Light

My hands tremble and my heart aches as I write these words.

Sweet Bennett is now dancing with the angels.

We were so blessed to have been given the chance to live, if only briefly, in the presence of this amazing little girl. 

You didn't have to be around her long before you were awed by her intelligence and boldness.  The mere sound of her sweet little voice would captivate your attention. And that beautiful grin of hers was undeniably contagious... just take a peek at one of her pictures for proof.

A few weeks ago Katie Anne, Bennett and Diana came to the Ronald McDonald House to celebrate Cohen's birthday with us. It meant so much to us to have them come, especially since Bennett had not been back since she left for home last winter.

Katie Anne wasn't sure how Bennett would react to going back but when they pulled up to the house she told her mommy, 

                   "I'm not afraid at all."
Bennett helping Cohen open his presents.
 They weren't there long when Bennett noticed Cohen's backpack for his TPN. She tugged at me and said words that will echo in my heart forever. Although, they were very simple words... they represented so much.
 "I used to have a backpack like that... WHEN I was sick."
Katie Anne gave a chuckle and said, "Yeah, WHEN she was sick."

The beauty I found in that moment was that Bennett was no longer living in her illness. She no longer saw herself as sick anymore. 

What a blessing to know that in the eyes of this beautiful little girl her illness was a thing of the past and all she knew at that moment was joy. 

When they left Cincinnati her parents were forced to make an unimaginable decision.  

Their decision meant discontinuing extremely aggressive treatments and taking Bennett home to enjoy whatever time they had left with her. 

Doctors told them that they would most likely have only a few weeks to a few months left together... but God had a different plan.

At the time they had no idea if they were making the right decision for their daughter, what parent would, but that prayerful decision proved mightily to be the right one.

Their decision ended up allowing Bennett to be Bennett again. She got her spunk back and was able to live in a world free of hospitals and medical treatment again. They took trips together and spent hours playing, cherishing every moment they had together. And when she had a bad day... she was able to retreat to her own room with her own toys... She had her coveted independence back.

It was the faithfulness of her heartbroken parents that gave her those gifts.

December 13, 2011- October 26, 2015

Katie Anne and Billy are amazing parents, who have chosen to share the beautiful story of their little blue-eyed girl in hopes of helping others. 

And OH how Bennett's story has done that.. and so much more. The light that shined  from this little girl has brought joy to those who knew her, hope to those who hurt, and compassion to those who have never walked this kind of journey. 

Because of Katie Anne and Billy's unwavering faithfulness Bennett's light will continue to shine farther than anyone could have ever imagined. Lives have... and will continue to be touched by the legacy of this beautiful little girl.

Make no mistake about it, Bennett's light has not gone out, in fact it is shining even brighter now from it's position in heaven.

How can our aching hearts not be filled with joy when we imagine you dancing with the angels?  I can almost hear you speaking those sweet words again... "I'm not afraid at all."

Now is your time to dance sweet girl... your shining light will forever guide the rest of us towards home.

B is for Bennett

The Story of the Lamp

Bennett's CaringBridge Journal
your photo name

Monday, October 26, 2015


I  must confess, the words that follow were written from a place of deep brokenness.

But know that although my heart is heavy and my spirit broken, my faith will never waver. 

Recently, I have felt the tears of mothers that lost their children, I've hugged little ones about to loose a parent, and heard discouraging words from my own child's doctor.  Unfortunately, these are just a glimpse of the heartache that surrounds me right now. But although I am broken... I am not crushed.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

My heart has ached more in the past few weeks than it has in a lifetime. I vaguely remember the days when I didn't have to think about illnesses and children dying. I used to live in a world where those things were distant concerns that didn't impact my day to day, but today they plague my every thought. 

I hope you understand that my words are real and deep and come from the core of my soul... they are the voice of my brokenness.

And it is because I have witnessed true pain that I cannot remain silent.

I feel compelled to ask you the question that lies closest to my heart. How can we do any of this without God, without the realization that there is something more? 

I have seen God's mighty hand over me and my children, I have felt His presence during fearful moments and rested in His reassurance of a better tomorrow.

And though I have searched thoroughly, I have not been able to find any earthly resource that can offer me those things.

Yet, still I hear and see others who feel this faith is merely a weakness on my part... that there isn't really anyone out there listening to my prayers... that my faith is a crutch to get me through difficult times.

But let me ask you this... who has more at risk, the one who believes and is right... or the one who assumes there is nothing more, denying the ruler of the universe and choosing to  live only for this brief moment in time?

If I am wrong than I have lost nothing, but if I am right.... then I have gained eternal life.

My gain is True Life... not this painful earthly existence.

My gain... is a greater joy than can be found on this side of heaven.

My gain is an eternity filled with peace... no more fear or suffering.

My gain is a reunion with all those that already wear their crown of jewels... and a spirit that never experiences death. 

What do you loose if you search for the truth... listen to your heart and seek out a bigger purpose for your existence? 

You were created. You have a purpose. You were intended for so much more.

What you have been searching for your entire life... can't be found in any of the things this world has to offer. 

You will not find your peace until you find your maker. He waits for you and your pain... and He longs for your love.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and burden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. Mathew 11:28-29

It is through my brokenness that I am truly healed. It is because of my weakness that I can be strong. It is by His grace that I have purpose. And although I have felt great pain along our journey I have received unimaginable blessings each and everyday. 

My eyes have seen the wondrous gift of His love through the miracles that surround me daily.

Make no mistake about it, there is HOPE and his name is JESUS.

your photo name