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Ben & the Anderson Family - Journal

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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

Friendship

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.     [...]