Wednesday, February 25, 2009

update on Hannah Wed 2/25!

Today marks the one year anniversary of Hannah's brain's been
> very surreal to relive these dates in February in this current situation.
> She's had another rather restless day, but they have now put her on a
> morphine pump, so she can have a steady flow of pain relief rather than
> having to wait for the nurse to come with the injection each time. We are
> hopeful that this will really make a difference for her.
> We want to thank everyone for the many, many emails, calls, cards, gifts,
> meals, etc. We spend a lot of our time reading our email and snail mail
> (much of it from people we don't even know!) and we are saving every single
> one...even though we are unable to respond to most of them due to sheer
> volume. What a blessing you have been to our family!
> Tonight, I want to share a posting from a family who lost a child to brain
> cancer exactly four years ago today....We have become acquainted with this
> family through Facebook and emails, and have been inspired and encouraged by
> their story. You can read more about Ben Bowen at if you
> wish. It was a real blessing to read this posting today, especially in
> light of the storm analogy that the Bowens use. When this post is
> continued, we will be sure to include it in our email.
> *2/25/09 8:22 a.m. The perfect storm.*
> *It amazes me that even in this age of technology and great understanding
> that devastating storms appear with little warning. The details and depth
> of impact are not realized until we experience it first hand, in real time.
> It seems the only thing you can predict is that human response will be
> remarkable. We often see the very best of and very worst of people in the
> wake of a great storm. In recent history, Hurricane Katrina demonstrated
> this well. No one will forget the painful images of men and women
> unnecessarily looting, vandalizing and assaulting one another after that
> great storm. On the other hand, the powerful videos of “average joes”
> risking their own lives to save a neighbor, opening homes and businesses to
> strangers needing shelter, and leaving stable careers to launch rebuilding
> programs for the thousands of refugees. Either extreme is remarkable in and
> of itself and leaves a wake of great impact.** *
> *Sometimes storms are not made up of rain, wind and lightening – sometimes
> storms are made up of circumstances that are very personal – and today is a
> pointed reminder of a storm that my family faced when our son, Ben died of
> cancer. It has been four years since we laid beside him in our bed,
> listening to Disney lullaby music , taking in every scent, touch and sound
> that he made. The ugliness of the cancer in his body was extreme – pain so
> great that we began to pray for the worst thing a parent could fathom – that
> God take him away. Those who share in our faith might wonder why that is
> the “worst thing” – that Heaven is a better place – but something inside me
> still longs for my son to be here with Jennifer and I. This is a difficult
> thing to explain – because without hesitation, I know Ben is enjoying things
> we can only imagine. The conditioned Christian response that he is in a
> better place doesn’t connect with the daddy in me that hungers to care and
> provide for my children. I know that someday, when I am there with him,
> that innate hunger will be satisfied and I will finally “get it”. God
> promised it.*
> *Personal storms may have a lot of spectators, but few experience it. The
> things that we saw, lives that were changed and impact of each bumpy step of
> Ben’s journey was carefully connected and orchestrated by God. I mean it. I
> know this because of the outcome – the evidences that something much bigger
> was happening through our journey. At times, Jennifer and I were amazed by
> the way God was using our hurt to accomplish incredible things. This does
> not mean we were happy about it. This does not mean we were not
> heartbroken. It does not always make sense, but you know what I’m talking
> about. After the great loss on 9/11, incredible stories of heroism and hope
> emerged that inspired a nation like never before. I was there – a part of
> the horrific recovery work and saw the reality of that day. It was ugly. The
> things that happened within the boundaries of “ground zero” would eat away
> at you the rest of your life if you only knew. As great a loss as it was,
> somehow it drew in a nation and sparked “goodness” like never seen before.**
> Throughout history, there are examples of how incredible “storms” have
> accomplished great things. For those who experience it first hand, you
> taste something impossible to explain. You pray for strength to survive
> the heartache and wisdom to connect the dots and serve God well. For those
> who were spectators, great inspiration is born. You pray that inspiration
> sparks change and that you will live life differently because of it. [to be
> continued...]
> *
> *Believing, Tom, Jennifer and the kids
> *
> God truly is good, all the time!
> Jill & Brad

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