We hope this finds you well and enjoying the arrival of summer! We have good and promising news to share with you. [...]
Greetings Friends, [...]
We hope summer is going well- that you are finding time to enjoy the long days with family and friends! [...]
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark”.
St. John of the Cross
(Matt) We think about you all daily and are honored and humbled, and helped to share a bit with you. As you know, our journey is not over, it never is, and I hope our connection is never fully severed. When our daily tears ebb, we are, continually, so thankful and grateful for the fullness of Ben “Cole’s” life to the very end. It was amazing, and I’m overwhelmed to tears again when I meditate on it.
When I opened up the quarterly Circle of Life Community Hospice Newsletter and read the piece in it titled, “7 Things I’ve Learned Since the Loss of My Child” by Angela Miller, I felt like I could write the words I was reading. Today, it has been, exactly 4 months and 4 days since “Cole” transitioned Heaven and as I’ve had time to reflect and gather my thoughts, these words seem a good way to share with you the ways we are feeling. (I added my brief commentary in parenthesis) and if you know anyone who these words might inspire or help, please pass them on. [...]
Benjamin James “Cole” Anderson
December 30, 2009 – July 31, 2020
Benjamin James “Cole” Anderson went to heaven on July 31, 2020. He lived a life full love and adventure, exceeding everyone’s wildest imaginations in his brief 10 ½ years on this earth. Ben was welcomed into the world on December 30, 2009 by his parents Matt and Katie Anderson and his brother Luke.[...]
Last Sunday, a week before the Nevada Caucus, Ben was invited to visit with Vice President Joe Biden following a fundraising event here in Reno. Two friends, Allison Gorelick and Abbi Whitaker, learned of his earnest interest in the American political process and in doing cool things and in meeting interesting people, so generously arranged the meeting. Thank you, Abbi and Allison!
The meeting of the minds, at the tail end of both of their days, turned into forty-five minutes of heart-felt conversation crisscrossing topics like family, grandkids, friendship, sports and pets. They touched on the political landscape. Luke and I waited anxiously by my phone for Matt’s reflection on their time. Matt described the interaction as, “Legit, sincere, [and] authentic. Biden dialed right into Ben like he was his own grandson. It was impressive. Biden was not afraid to connect with Ben.”
People who connect with or “see” Ben aren’t uncommon, but they are unique. They abandon their own agenda and ideas of what to do with Ben and simply follow his lead. They take Ben at his word and let him drive the conversation. They lean into Ben, literally because Ben is difficult to understand and when he’s misunderstood, he gets frustrated. Ben appreciates authentic answers to big questions and avoids small talk and patronizing conversation. Ben loathes being treated like a little kid or a baby. He is a kidult. Like all of us, Ben wants to be heard because he has a lot to say and, because he has so much friggin’ dignity, demands it. People who engage with Ben get to hang with Ben.
Vice President Biden exceeded our expectations and unknowingly joined the collective of other great Americans who’ve shown Ben the same kindness, generosity, interest and love. I’m positive it is a group he would be proud to identify with. People from the early days of Ben’s diagnosis like Morgan, Emily, Homze, Ronan and JP who spent time with him weekly. Friends like Silverback, Myles, Joey, Joseph and Jenna who’ve become his best mates. Families like the Walkers and the Pavilacks who've driven long distances multiple times to fill Ben’s bucket for entire weeks! Encounters along the way with Francisco in Costa Rica, Tim in Bishop, James at IFly, Gary and Becky on I-80 during a highway closure and the myriad people who understand without flinching that Spike is a Bobcat, not a Cockapoo.
Vice President Biden, no matter where we place ourselves on the political spectrum, is a man and leader who genuinely cares. He’s devoted his career to seeking the common good for the American people. He is a man who has suffered the loss of his first wife, young daughter, and an adult son. He was a single dad. He gets it. I’m sure it is these difficult moments and his perseverance through them that have equipped Vice President Biden to sit with people like Ben and to be unrushed, sincere and tapped into the needs of another precious life. In the midst of a pace and schedule that I cannot even begin to fathom, Joe Biden blessed Ben with another life enhancing experience. I’m sure the Vice President was blessed too. Thank you, Joe. [...]
Welcome to the Ben & the Anderson Family support family! This site is for family and friends, old and new, to organize our efforts to support this extraordinary person. This page will serve as your home base for rallying the troops, receiving updates , and raising dearly needed funds to support Ben & the Anderson Family. Here's the plan:
Your First Step: Please take 30 seconds to click on the "Follow" button on the top right of this page. This will allow you to receive updates, read journal entries, make donations, share Ben & the Anderson Family’s story on social media, and help the family with week-to-week calendaring needs. Though not mandatory to follow Ben & the Anderson Family’s page, we encourage you to easily create an account with your name and email in order to be able to post photos, leave comments and sign up as a helping hand on the Calendar page. Feel free to upload a photo of yourself to your profile so we can get to know and recognize others on Ben & the Anderson Family’s support team. After clicking “Follow” above, read on to learn more about what you can do to help.
Journal: This tab is where you can read the latest entries posted for Ben & the Anderson Family and our support team. You may see additional authors writing updates here to help alleviate pressure for Ben & the Anderson Family and expedite information sharing. Each post is followed by a photo and name of the author of the entry. You can reply with supportive comments to any journal entry, or click on the name of its author to send a private message.
Posts: This is where you can leave an encouraging message for Ben & the Anderson Family and family, and to read thoughts left by others! If you have something pressing you'd like suggest that everyone sees (e.g. a fundraiser or upcoming event you're spearheading), please don't hesitate to contact us via private message so we can consider sharing it more widely in the Journal sections. There will undoubtedly be many coordinated efforts and events ahead, and we want to make certain they’re organized and publicized through this site to help drive the greatest possible impact.
Calendar: Please see this important section to learn what the family needs NOW. This will be an especially helpful section for locals in close proximity to Ben & the Anderson Family. This is an up-to-date calendar which will list the family's immediate needs such as child-care, rides, and meals to help most in the short term. If you see a need posted and can fill it, please sign up through the calendar page directly (i.e. not through private communication) to let us and others know that you've committed to that need. Please check back often to help out with the most recently posted needs!
Donations: The very most impactful way to help Ben & the Anderson Family’s is to make a direct donation right now. After insurance participation, bills and related costs are expected to reach several thousand dollars. This fund will be used at the sole discretion of Ben & the Anderson Family and family to help manage all related expenses, and will give them the flexibility to take time off work as needed to directly support Ben & the Anderson Family’s. Donations can be made securely using credit or debit card for any amount. PostHope.org generously makes these donations free of any fees. All donations, large and small, come with the eternal gratitude. Thank you for your generosity in considering what amount you are personally able to give.
Perhaps more importantly, you will also find the tools to share your donation and Ben & the Anderson Family’s story with friends and family via Facebook and social media. After donating, please click the social media buttons to share far, wide, publicly and OFTEN! We believe that many kind strangers online will feel moved by Ben & the Anderson Family’s journey.
Notifications: After clicking “Follow” above, you’ll then see a tab to manage “Notifications”. If you feel you’re receiving too many or too few email notifications, please check this section to tailor notifications to your areas of interest. For example, if you want to receive journal updates but not new calendar posts, or any combination of notifications from this site, you can do set them to your preference this section.
Don’t Forget! If you haven’t done so already, please click “Follow” on the top right. It’s your very next step to showing your support!