I know you’ve been told, over and over, what an impact you’re having on people as you go through this horrible ordeal. I’m sure you would rather have a healthy little boy than almost 50,000 facebook page “likes.” But that’s not the hand you’ve been dealt and I have never seen someone handle a bad deal with so much grace.
You and I talked about writing. About how writers process their thoughts with words on a page…how that’s what you’re doing. (For example, this letter has been writing itself in my head for days now and wouldn’t turn off until I finally sat down to write it!) So I understand that you’re processing all of this in writing. But you are so brave, friend, because you are processing and then hitting “publish,” making those thoughts public. Sharing a piece of yourself at a time when no one would blame you for shutting your doors and pulling the shades.
Everywhere I go, people are talking about Ben. Seriously…everywhere. It’s mind-boggling. I’ve heard people wonder aloud why this story has captured so many hearts. Truth is, there are kids diagnosed with cancer every day. Truth is, Bad things happen to good people every day. So, why has this struck such a chord? I think there are a few obvious reasons:
First, your kids are some of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen. (There’s just something about a pair of dimples.) I think I’ve probably liked more of your Instagram pics than any others, cuz they are just so darn cute.
Second, it’s the twin thing. The thought of an identical twin losing his brother is just somehow harder to bear.
Third, any time a child has cancer, it’s undeniably unfair. And people react to that.
For all those reasons, I think the story has spread. But you, Mindy, are the lightning rod. If you hadn’t shared your heart in such an eloquent, raw, honest way, I believe things would have gone very differently. But for His own reasons, God has seen fit to make this about more than a dreadful diagnosis. And you have allowed Him to do that, through you.
Because the world is longing to see true faith. A faith that is not based on circumstances. A faith that reassures us that God is good, even when things look very bad. A faith that is real and willing to be honest. To wrestle with hard questions. To cry and beg God for answers. A faith that is strong enough to carry a family through the hardest of times.
You have shown us that, friend. You are showing that. Every day. With each mini miracle, each word in a post, each glimpse into the life of your precious Ben. You are giving people hope that true faith exists and God is good.
So, I want to thank you. Thank you for letting us in when you had every right to shut us out. I know it can’t be easy. And if tomorrow, you stop writing…stop sharing…no one will blame you and we will keep loving you and praying for you. As you’ve said, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. You don’t owe anyone a single blog post. But as long as you keep writing them, we will keep reading and weeping with you.
Regardless of what happens tomorrow, I just wanted to tell you, from one mama to another, you have made a difference.
You have helped me be a better mom. I pay more attention to what my kids say these days. I play more games. I watch more card tricks. I treasure each day because the truth is, none of us is guaranteed another one. Each day is a gift. Thank you for helping me to see that.
And on behalf of the thousands you’ve touched, thanks for being so brave. You’ve inspired us all.
For any of my readers who (somehow) haven’t heard about Ben yet, click here to read his story: Blue4Ben
UPDATE: On May 14, 2014, Mindy posted the following on the Blue4Ben Facebook page:
Ben is with Jesus now. He took his first breath in heaven peacefully at 8:05pm last night. Thank you so much for praying. Our baby is at peace now.
Our local news channel, WGRZ, posted a beautiful piece about Ben’s story. Get some tissues and click here to watch it. It’s an incredible story.
Photo Credit goes to none other than four year old Jack Sauer. Nice shot, big guy!