|Blue for Ben. Photo via www.bensauer.blogspot.com|
If you haven't heard about little Ben or his passion for bugs, snakes and worms, or his amazingly resilient family, perhaps you've heard of Blue For Ben (#BlueForBen). Ben's family lives here, in the Western New York area and I've never seen a community rally together for someone like it has for Ben. Ben's community, amazingly, now extends across the world. Read Ben's story here, and be sure to have a lot of tissues handy. His mother eloquently puts into words their heartbreak, their hope, their love of family and their strong investment in faith. Her words, which describe the most horrible thing imagineable, are absolutely beautiful and will surely move you to tears.
This is such heartbreaking news which hits close to home for so many reasons. Ben was taken too soon. Much too soon. As a mother and a mother of twins, this makes my heart truly ache. Ben was an identical twin and I don't ever want to imagine one of my boys not being with me, or the other one getting by without his best buddy. I met Ben's mom Mindy a few years ago. I'm sure she doesn't remember me, but I still remember how beautiful I thought her boys were. Angelic. I couldn't get over their adorable faces. And now to follow along through Mindy's words on her blog, and watch the Sauer family prepare to deal with what no parents should ever have to deal with... well, it sucks. Cancer sucks. At any age. I'm truly at a loss for words. It's just not fair.
Last night was our monthly Mothers of Multiples meeting. Many of us wore Blue for Ben in remembrance of Ben's all-too-short time on this earth. Prayers were said for Ben and his family. Thousands will keep their porch lights on this weekend as we light up the night for Ben, and thousands more of us continue to cry with the Sauer family. Their story has touched so many.
Perspective. It's always things like this that put things into perspective. My boys were showered with extra kisses last night. After they were tucked in and fast asleep, I kissed them again... and again. I checked in on them again... and again... and then I kissed their cheeks some more. I didn't care if I almost woke them up. I didn't care at all. This morning when I dropped them off at school, I said things I don't usually say on a normal rushed morning, but today, I said these things. Heavy words that meant so much to me, but I know my kids don't really realize it was above and beyond the usual i-love-you-have-a-great-day things I usually say. I meant what I said more today than any other time I have spoke.
Ben is not the only one, and I realize that. Sadly, there are many other children battling awful diseases, and we must not forget about any of them. Ben was a silent spokesperson representing thousands of little warriors. He fought until the very end and had so many praying for a miracle. If Ben's journey has taught me anything, its to embrace my kids being kids. That's what they do best. Kids are expected to grow up so quickly, but I must remember that mud can be washed out, broken things can be replaced and Band-Aids can fix most scrapes. I will cherish every moment. Even the not-so-enjoyable-ones.
Ben's journey also reminded me that I live in an amazing place. Say what you will of Buffalo, but we sure know how to join together as a community. In times of need, the outpouring of love and support offered here is like no other. I'm proud to call this place home.
|The Peace Bridge in Buffalo, NY was lit up #blueforben again last night, after the family released the news of Ben's passing.|