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Ben & the Anderson Family - Journal

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Posted 2018-08-18T23:09:00Z

Reflections from "All Out For Ben!" A most special and memorable evening...

Our entire family wants to thank everyone for going “All Out for Ben!” last night.  It was a beautiful evening and we felt every ounce of everyone’s love.  For those of you who didn’t make it, we want to express the same sentiments we shared last night so I’m including them as our latest journal entry.  We are as grateful for you and want you to hear the words we shared.  Thanks to everyone for everything you are doing for our family. 
From Matt:  [...]

Posted 2018-06-29T19:02:00Z

Our Community is AMAZING - Let's Join Together on Aug. 17 for "All Out for the Andersons' Community Gathering"

On behalf of Ben, Luke, Katie, Matt, and the Anderson and Menante Families, thank you so much for being a huge part of helping reach our fundraising goal that we have together met and exceeded! It is the immeasurable generosity of each and every person, business and nonprofit that has made it possible to reach the goal of easing the future financial stress as the family faces the unknown caring for Ben in the coming months. [...]

Posted 2018-06-17T04:17:43Z

A Father's Love

The real hero in Ben and our family’s journey is Matt- Ben and Luke’s dad.  This entry may sound like a ginormous brag about the guy I married, and I guess it kind of is.   As the primary witness of Matt’s tangible unfailing love and grace towards his boys and Ben in particular at this moment, I am taking the opportunity to brag.   
Several years ago, Matt- semi jokingly- took to calling himself the “Child Whisperer.”  If you’re imagining Cesar Millin with dogs or Robert Redford from the 90’s film The Horse Whisperer, you’re on the right track. These guys have mad skills in developing the very best in the creatures they work with.  A horse whisperer is someone who develops a sympathetic view of the motives, needs, and desires of the horse they work with. Matt has, and has always had, this gift when it comes to being Ben’s dad.  You see, on one hand, Ben is tenacious, strong-willed, competitive and fierce (his name means mighty) and on the other he is exceedingly sensitive, compassionate and intuitive.  When others, including myself, thought the answer to guiding Ben was more structure, boundaries or routine, Matt has known that parenting Ben takes more of a willingness to go with the flow.  If Ben were a river, Matt would be his river bank—meandering, rising, narrowing, containing and guiding his precious son on adventures great and small, easy and difficult, over the last eight years and today.
And for Ben, the love he shares with his Dad is unmatched.  While we—his family and friends-- deeply love and are loved by Ben, the relationship he shares with his dad is something else entirely.  Whether skiing a slope, surfing a wave, sharing a snack or struggling through frustrating moments, Matt is all in—never flinching, attention never divided. And so, Ben experiences peace in his Dad’s presence.        
So clearly—in the profound way Matt loves Ben and in the way Ben receives his Dad’s love, I recognize how loved we are by God and how He is in the midst of this tragedy with us.  Waffling around in my faith is something I have done on and off for years for reasons that now seem so very insignificant.   Having faith in a life that has been pretty dreamy up until now isn’t always easy and often not even necessary… it’s been real but also peripheral.  But now, submerged into such darkness, I lean in to what I know is true… The love and goodness of God. 
Psalm 94:18 and 19 says, “When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me,your consolation brought me joy.”  Ben’s feet are slipping but he finds consolation in his dad’s unfailing love and that brings him joy daily.  I’m so thankful for that!  Our feet are slipping too but we are learning and trusting in that very same unfailing love because, “The Lord is close to the broken hearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed”(Psalm 34:18).
Thank-you Matt for being the dad you are to my two precious and beautiful boys.  I love you! 
Katie     [...]

Posted 2018-06-11T19:29:00Z


The deepest need in the human heart is for intimacy and one of the primary ways that need is met is through friendship.  Over the past several months, we have observed what it’s like for Ben to not be attending school, participating in sports, joining in the fun of birthday parties, and playing with kids in the neighborhood.  Simple but significant moments in our human development have faded from Ben’s life.  Moments like greeting his friends and teachers at school, running out onto the playground with his buddies to climb the tree, socializing with friends during lunch, passing a soccer ball with a teammate, biking or scooting around the neighborhood and shooting hoops in the driveway.  We have done our best to fill this deep void and are so grateful to acknowledge the friends who have come along side us to help through their own love for Ben.     [...]

Posted 2018-05-13T02:53:00Z

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

Ben’s illness has me experiencing, witnessing, feeling, and seeing the totality of a Mother's Love in a way that has brought new meaning to me as it relates to Mother’s Day.  I will mention Katie (only briefly because I could write for a long time, and this forum is dedicated to you all); daily I see, feel, and experience, the oceanic depth of Katie’s love for Ben illustrated in the grief that she feels.  If it is true that the depth of one’s grief is equal to the depth of one’s love, then I can tell you that Katie’s love for Ben is immeasurable. 
This year, Mother’s Day has me amazed at the many mothers out there that are doing so much for Ben and our family in addition to everything else they do.  (Wait, one more necessary mention- Mom, you are the best, sister you are rad too!). 
Back to the moms out there…. You know who you are, and I am in awe of your Love, Care, Motivation, Action, Prayers, Meals, Gifts, and Endurance.  It is so much, that I’m worried if I try to mention everyone that I would miss someone and I can’t afford to do that…this way, I’m acknowledging EVERYONE.  Wow, thank you for showing me something, something much deeper.  Thank you for helping us make Ben’s days as great as possible.[...]

Posted 2018-04-27T04:52:13Z


Imagine you are 8 and you love sports (in Ben's case, skiing is one of those loves) and not only do you love sports, in Ben's case you love the idea and reality of being good.  Now, imagine you have lost your eyesight and a lot of your muscle tone but you want to go skiing.   You want to go so bad, but you know deep deep down something is wrong but your will and desire and determination is overriding what you fear and/or what you don't want to believe.  On top of all that you know that your dad loves skiing too, and you know how much your dad loves it, so you push for it even harder.   [...]

Posted 2018-04-22T05:02:00Z

Hi from Ben's Mom and Dad and Brother

Everyone's overwhelming love, prayers, generosity, support, and hopefulness, is so helping ease the pain of this unimaginable tragedy.  We are grateful.  Ben has had really good days the last 2 weeks considering the daily challenges he faces.  Although his eyesight is almost gone and he is having trouble with his speech, he is keeping great spirits and his resolve is strong.  He likes to start his mornings bright and early jumping on the trampoline and climbing the fireman pole up to the fort.  (He still has the tone to do this and he likes to dominate the strength challenges.)  He also likes to run in the street and ride his scooter before the morning traffic is on the roads...even though he can't really see.  All this before 7:30am.  Dad doesn't sleep as much as he used to.[...]

Posted 2018-04-13T21:18:17Z

From Ben’s dad

Hi everyone,

just a quick note to tell you all how grateful we feel to hear from you all!  Thank you so much for taking time to share.  We love it when pictures are shared even though our tear glands are tired.  We are hanging in there and so appreciate the love and encouragement.[...]