My Child Isn’t Normal, and That’s Wonderful.

I wanted to write a blog post for the many different parents who have a child, or had a child, with sever health problems. Parents who lost their child to health problems, or a parent who is currently taking care of a child who requires a lot of care.

When William was born, my experience was anything but normal. I was away from my baby the whole time I recovered at the hospital. Instead of staying in my room and resting I pushed myself to visit the NICU and see how my baby was doing. I didn’t bring William home until two and a half months after he was born.  I don’t ask for parenting advice on Facebook because William is so out of the norm. Spending many days and many late nights at Primary Children’s Hospital has taught me how many people are dealing with many of the same problems as I am. It has taught me that whatever situation you are given, you can still choose to be happy and embrace positivity.

I read a friend’s blog post one day and it really made an impact on me. This couple has struggled with infertility for a long time now, and she expresses her feelings often about how she doesn’t understand why someone else can be blessed with children and she can’t. I know for a fact that we all do this. I have met many parents at Primary’s and almost all of them have mentioned to some degree of how they look at other’s are are sad that they aren’t able to do things with their child like normal people are able to. It is a completely normal thing to think this, and it is very common. I constantly write about this because I have trouble with it, I wish William could lay on his back, didn’t have to go to so many doctors appointments, didn’t have so many diagnoses or bad news. Maybe you look at your situation and think; “I wish my child could eat without a tube.” or; “I wish my child hit the normal developmental milestones like other children,” “I wish my child didn’t have to be pushed in a wheel chair.” “I wish my child could see or hear me.” “I wish my child was with me right now,” “I wish i had more than just a couple hours or days with them.”

These feelings are normal and we should embrace them. We should say to ourselves; “This is hard! This sucks! I wish things were different!” You look at others and don’t understand why you were the person who lost a child, or had a child with some rare disability. William is fed every 3 hours, and at night I wake up, walk downstairs heat up some milk, mix some formula in it, and then hook him up to the pump. Sometimes he cries a lot because he is so hungry, and I always think to myself how I wish I was able to breast feed so it didn’t take so long to get William’s milk ready. I wish i could just stop his crying immediately. But I can’t. I don’t have certain experiences with Will that I wish I did.

We look at our lives and wish things could be different. Maybe it is a child that has passed away, maybe it is a child that has been in the hospital for months. Maybe you aren’t able to have children at all. Maybe your the love of your life decided to walk out on you. Maybe you have yet to find the love of your life. Whatever your trail or burden may be people are always looking to others and wishing for something different.

So, for the parents who wish better for their children I want to express the love that an almighty Father in Heaven has for you and your child. As William spent many weeks in the PCH NICU I never went a day without feeling the love and presence of the Spirit at every single child’s bedside. When I think of that love, I know I’m not alone.

“I have a great appreciation for those loving parents who stoically bear and overcome their anguish and heartbreak for a child who was born with or who has developed a serious mental or physical infirmity. This anguish often continues every day, without relief, during the lifetime of the parent or the child. Not infrequently, parents are required to give superhuman nurturing care that never ceases, day or night. Many a mother’s arms and heart have ached years on end, giving comfort and relieving the suffering of her special child.” -James E. Faust

 

The Good Life: Some Updates On Us

I wanted to write to everyone about how our family has been doing since Will as been home! He ha now been home for a week and 2 days. He was discharged from the hospital on August 2nd. It has definitely been hard to adjust having Will home rather than having him at the hospital, I am way more sleep deprived that’s for sure! William is totally worth it though.

I never explain what the doctors are doing to fix William’s head because one; its super complicated and hard to explain. Two; plans are always changing because William’s body is changing so it can always change. and Three; I personally think that is too personal about William’s medical history that is not necessary for others to know. I won’t apologize for not sharing those personal details because quite frankly it’s no one else’s business #sorrynotsorry. William still has updates otherwise for those who would still like to know!

Before we were discharged William’s speech therapist at Primary’s wanted to do a swallow study to see why William can’t take all his food by mouth. A swallow study is when they do an x-ray on William’s throat and watch as he eats to see how he swallowing. After the swallow study was done William was diagnosed with Dysphashia which means he cannot coordinated his swallowing good enough for a fast flow of food. If eats like a normal baby food collects in the back of his throat and gets stuck, this can cause blockage in the airway, chocking, and most dangerous aspiration. For now, he has a occupational therapist that come to our home (we absolutely LOVE her!) who helps Ben and I know how to bottle feed William. He feeds almost all of his food through his tube, and when he is showing signs or oral readiness we will offer a bottle with only 15 mls of milk in. He have to be very careful and pace him or else it can be life threatening for him. He needs to have his milk thickened so help him pace, and use a preemie nipple. The goal is to help him have the experience and pleasure, not about food volume. That said, breast feeding is out of the question. I still pump throughout the day, and he is fed my breast milk through the tube, I don’t know what the future will bring for William being able to feed by mouth of if  will ever be able to breast feed. But Ben and I both want what is best and safest for William, so we will not force him to feed by mouth unless he wants to. If I were to force him to take more food by mouth that would not only be extremely dangerous but cause a negative eating experience for him, I would hate myself if I caused him to develop a food diversion, which is possible, and real for many children.
Also before discharge William had a hearing test which he failed. The audiologist explained to me that because of William’s head dressing and his head deformity it was hard to do the hearing test in the first place. But they did the best they could and found that he has significant hearing loss. Because they were limited in the hearing test they want to see him again in 6 weeks to do another hearing test and have better answers for us. It was not surprising to me to hear he might have significant hearing loss because he did form abnormally, I guess Ben and I might be learning sign language which will be fun! At birth, the doctors also told us he had a visual impairment, because he was so young they aren’t sure how significant it is, but they will have an eye test for him in September so we will see how that goes!

The day of discharge was very hectic, we probably didn’t leave the hospital until around 5pm! I remember driving away with William in the car and Ben saying; “I feel like we are stealing him from the hospital!” It was so true, I felt even hesitant to take him home because I was so used to him being at the hospital and not home with us. It was crazy! The first night was very hard though, Ben had to work all night so thankfully I had my sister here with us to help me. William gets fed every three hours over the pump, and since he can’t be on his back still I was waking up probably every couple minutes just checking on him to make sure he didn’t roll over on his back (which, all the people at the hospital can back be up when I say he moves A LOT so this is very possible!). William slept wonderfully the first night, but me on the other hand, not so much!

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Because William can’t be on his back still, he has a special bed car seat that he uses. Here is a picture of him in the car bed, he doesn’t like it very much and he is getting so big that he is going to need something else pretty soon!

On Thursday August 4th William was visited by his OT and PT. His feeding is doing very well, and we are continuing to pace him and only feed him for experience and pleasure.His PT was concerned about his hips, knees, and neck. Since he can’t be on his back certain muscles are not being used which causes some muscles to be underdeveloped. His PT taught us some exercises to do with William to help his muscles and She came today again and said he has progressed a lot! We just got to keep working on his exercises!

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Here is a picture of Ben working with William the other day on his hips.

On Friday August 5th William had his first doctors check-up since the hospital. He is seeing a pediatrician at University of Utah Hospital and she is wonderful! We love her, we were so worried about William having a pediatrician that would understand him and have experience with how complex he is, and she was wonderful. His check-up went fantastic! He now weighs over 12 lbs, and he got his ears cleaned! It was a wonderful check up, and he is doing very well! Yesterday, August 10th William met with his plastic surgeon to check his head, and it is healing just as it should! Soon he will be able to have his second surgery on his head. At this point we are moving forward with faith in the Lord that He will continue to guide the surgeons and He will allow William’s head to heal in the best way for William. We feel confident in the abilities of his plastic surgeon, he is very knowledgeable, talented, and really cares for William. We couldn’t have asked for better doctors, surgeons, and therapists.

Ben and I moved to Bountiful, and we love our ward! We haven’t been to church yet, and we have already met almost half the ward! It has been awesome, we have felt so welcomed and so loved! We love where we are living, it is a wonderful area for sure! We are excited for this new chapter in our lives.

Right now, William is moving more and more every day! He is smiling and interacting with people. He is doing so well at home with us it was a wonderful decision to bring him home.Having Will as our baby is the most stressful, tiring, and wonderful adventure. He will always have health difficulties, and we are going to continue on this crazy roller coaster ride. As William develops we will continue to have good news, and bad news. We will have set-backs, and great victories. But we have chosen to continue to give William the best chance in this world, he deserves support and love as he develops. We have no idea what the future will bring for William, but we know that no matter what happens we will always be his parents, he will always be our son. We will always love him, take care of him, and have fun! One day, William will be resurrected and made perfect through the atonement of Jesus Christ. He will one day stand before Ben and I with a perfect head, brain, and mind. He will be able to see and hear perfectly, and his body will be made perfect and complete. I know that without a doubt in my mind. But until that day, we will enjoy every moment, embrace every set-back, and depend more fully on the Lord.

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“Come What May, and Love It!”

William has a lot of health problems, and a lot of different diagnoses. He is a complex kid. He has visual impairments, hearing impairments, he has a problem with swallowing and must eat through a feeding tube, he has many different doctors, surgeons, and therapists. Bottom line, he is different, he is a curveball. Now, being at Primary Children’s hospital has taught me to enjoy the challenges and the life I am given because I can’t change what has happened. But, this is something that wasn’t easy, and something I still struggle with.

I had a hard time not comparing myself, and I still have a hard time with it. I get jealous, self-centered, and mad at the fact that my situation sucks and someone else has his better than me. For example, I hate going to the doctor and being told more things that are wrong with William. I hate being told more and more limitations that he has. I am jealous of the friends that have healthy babies that go to the doctor and are told that there babies are healthy and strong. I once had a NICU mom explain to me how she hated being other moms out with their babies and she was unable to take her baby out because he was to fragile. It’s a normal thing to be jealous and compare your life to others, but the more people I meet the more I realize that everyone does it, and you may be jealous of one person but that same person is looking at you the same way

I know many people with many different struggles in their lives. Since I have posted and been open about my own struggles, many people have reached out to me. Health problems, unable to conceive children, divorce, death of a child, loneliness, depression, fear, and much much more. But it’s that moment when we look at our situation and we finally say; “I’m okay with what I got.” 

We can look at a situation and think about how someone has it better and be bitter or we can decide to make the most of what we got. I can either sit and cry about the fact that my baby has health problems and disabilites or I can pick him up and rea him a book and enjoy the time I have. Let’s stop comparing ourselves, stop talking about how Soninke else has it better or maybe how you’re the one who has it better. Let’s start helping each other. Serving one another, and remembering that one day everything is going to work out in perfect harmony. 

Lets Talk About Disabilities

I have been wanting to write about this topic for awhile. It’s been on my mind a lot as I have been blessed with a son who has been born with severe disabilities. I want to first point out that I write this not just as a mother, but also as a sister. I grew up with a younger brother who has autism and ADHD, and trust me it has made all the difference.

As we all know what we consider to be “normal” differs from culture to culture, family to family and person to person. What we consider normal is what the majority of the population experiences. For example; as a child develops majority of children in the world develop certain skills that are needed for survival. As we study different children we see that some will not develop in the norm or what we consider the norm. They are not like the majority of the population. As human beings, we are given the natural man and in that natural man we develop routines where we are used to a certain way things run, and when something happens outside of that routine we freak out. It’s okay to not understand things, and to be used to a certain way things are supposed to go. But it is also important to learn to adapt and educate ourselves.

When I was in young womens at church we did a service project where we went to a home for adults with disabilities. We all had a sacrament meeting with them, and sang primary songs. I remember standing in the middle of all these people, the “normal” people and the ones that were different. I remember thinking to myself how wonderful this moment was, how wonderful it was that we could all be around each other. How no one was making fun of these people, but instead it was a room full of love and acceptance. I also participated in special olympics, and have done many service projects with special needs children and adults. At every single one of these experiences a stake president, bishop, or service project leader would express their testimony of how special these people are. After these many different experiences I have come to understand how pure and perfect children and adults are who have special needs.

I feel that in the world today, because we meet someone who doesn’t fit what we consider to be the “norm” we close ourselves off to those people, we see them being bullied, avoided, looked down on. I have seen people look down on those with disabilities and think something is wrong with them, and that they are better. I have seen children express rude comments all because they are un educated in the importance of acceptance, kindness, and love. The sweetest spirits that I have ever met were given some sort of disability, abnormality, or may look different in some way. I know for myself that everyone I have come in contact with that has special needs I realize how they are better than me. At Primary Children’s hospital I was at a parent lunch when a woman walked in with her son in a wagon. He was unable to move, and control his movements. His mother explained; “He is what we all are trying to be. Pure.”

I look at William sometimes and wish his head had developed normally, that he didn’t have any other disabilities and he was like a normal baby. But as the days and months go on I realize how selfish that is of me. Children and Adults with special needs are already there, they have already achieved what the rest of us “normal” people strive a lifetime to achieve; being pure, becoming Christ-like, and becoming perfect.

“For reasons usually unknown, some people are born with physical limitations. Specific parts of the body may be abnormal. Regulatory systems may be out of balance. And all of our bodies are subject to disease and death. Nevertheless, the gift of a physical body is priceless. …A perfect body is not required to achieve a divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail frames. …Eventually the time will come when each ‘spirit and … body shall be reunited again in … perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame’ (Alma 11:43). Then, thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become perfected in Him.” Russell M. Nelson

To the exhausted and scared parent: you’re not alone. 

Since Will was born I feel like I live in the hospital. My daily routine consists of waking up, getting ready going to the hospital until around 10:00pm at night, going back to the RMH doing homework or laundry or anything else I needed to do that day and then go to bed. Most of my time in the hospital I spend with Will, and since the bed spaces are so small in the NICU we sometimes have interactions with other parents. Some of it is from introducing ourselves and other times it is just seeing a sad, depressed look just a few feet away. 

Just recently in by Will’s bedside a new baby was admitted to the NICU. Ben and I were changing Will’s diaper, taking his temperature, fixing chords and such as a nurse approached our bedside and said; “there is going to be a bedside surgery so you two will have to step out.” I knew it was for the baby across from Will’s  bed and I couldn’t help but looked at the parents. Ben responded to the nurse; “a bed side surgery? They do that?” The nurse replied; “yes, when it is an emergency.” Ben and I then walked out of the NICU to wait for the end of the surgery and as I passed the parents were talking with the surgeon, their faces drained with fatigue I could tell they haven’t slept in a long time. 

The sad part is, I see it all the time. It’s a constant battle, trying to find the balance between trying to make a good medical decision and trying not to cry and completely loose it. Your emotionally drained, physically drained, and completely exhausted. But you don’t care, because it’s your child. You’re okay not sleeping, crying your eyes out, or not eating because all you want is for them to be safe, happy, comfortable, and okay. 

In Elder Rundlund’s talk, Through God’s Eyes, he says; “My associates and I worked for a long time to restore his circulation. Finally, it became clear that Chad could not be revived. We stopped our futile efforts, and I declared him dead. Although sad and disappointed, I maintained a professional attitude. I thought to myself, “Chad has had good care. He has had many more years of life than he otherwise would have had.” That emotional distance soon shattered as his parents came into the emergency room bay and saw their deceased son lying on a stretcher. In that moment, I saw Chad through his mother’s and father’s eyes. I saw the great hopes and expectations they had had for him, the desire they had had that he would live just a little bit longer and a little bit better. With this realization, I began to weep. In an ironic reversal of roles and in an act of kindness I will never forget, Chad’s parents comforted me.”

I have never felt more stressed, sad, frustrated, or upset in my entire life than I have the past six weeks. But I can’t help and imagine the feelings that Heavenly Father feels for every one of us as we struggle, and we hurt and have our own limitations. For most of the day when I am with Will, I pull his crib side down and I find a short chair where I can lay my head next to him in his crib. Since Ben and I are not able to hold him, or see his face most of the day I feel that is the closest I can be to Will. When I watch him, every time he has trouble I am immediately at his side ready to help in anyway I can. I know that Heavenly Father is the same way with us. That he watches us and is there at any time we need help or are in need. He helps us through his son, Jesus Christ who understands out pains perfectly. 

So, to the exhausted and scared parent I want to say; you’re not alone. Whether your child is perfectly healthy at home, sick in a hospital bed, away from home with his/her own family or whatever the situation may be; I tell you that not only are there other parents going through hard times too, there are people to help you. I think the most beautiful love is the love of a parent for their child. 

And to the parent whose child is not healthy and at home; you’re not alone. You’re devotion and efforts to help your child are not over-looked. Everything will be okay in the end because of the Atonement. Children are protected, loved, and cared for. It’s hard, and you can’t understand why you’re child has to go through this while others don’t. You would do anything for your child just to take that pain away. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father feels the exact same way about your child and you.  

My Family isn’t Perfect 

There is this cliché I’ve been seeing around that says; “happiness is a choice.” And I usually just ignore it but lately I’ve noticed that it is so true. I think part of overcoming the natural man is overcoming our instinct to feel sorry for ourselves and to immediately feel depressed or sad in situations that we can’t control. Many times during our adventure and journey with William, Ben and I were put in situations beyond our control. Recently, Will had an emergency surgery that was the most stressful day of both Ben and I’s life. I remember watching the surgrgeons taking Will down to the operating room with Ben right behind them, and I was feeling completely, and utterly useless. There was absolutely nothing I could do but sit and watch. In that moment I felt sad, depressed, useless, and angry that there was nothing I could do for my baby. For a while after this experience I remember trying to think of ways that I was the cause or things I could’ve done to prevent his emergency surgery from happening. Then one day I just looked at my situation; I was far from home, from my own bed, from my dog. I wasn’t able to hold my baby whenever I wanted to. I had no idea when I would be able to take Will home. But as I looked at my situation and looked at myself I realized that staying mad, staying upset, trying to find out why everything happened wouldn’t help me at all. 

Yesterday Ben and I attended church in the hospital. They hold a short 30 minute sacrament meeting in a little auditorium room. Some people dress up, some people don’t, some are staff from the hospital others are parents. Children who are staying in the hospital sit with their IV poles and wheel chairs and wait for the sacrament. It was the most spiritual sacrament meeting I have ever attended, and couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude toward my Savior and my Heavenly Father for the very imperfect, but very beautiful and wonderful family I had been given. The branch president spoke to the children about the atonement and how the Lord has atoned not only to save us from sin but to help us in times of need, in pain, and sickness. He also explained how Heavenly Father administers Angels to us in times of need, now some are seen and some are unseen. I thought of Will’s nurses, doctors, and surgeons who care for him and watch over him with such dedication and love for him. I thought about many of my family members who have passed away that also watch and care for Will. Most of all, I remembered the love that God has for Will and the Love our savior has for him too. 

So, when I feel useless, and stressed about the situation that I am in and how I cannot control it, I have to remind myself that here is good. Life is okay. “Come what may, and love it.” Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ all will be made perfect again. But for now, it’s okay. Don’t stress about things we cannot control, but instead think of things you can control and focus on that. 

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Alma 7: 11-12

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

Yesterday was the scariest moment of my life, so far. I say so far because I’m only 21 years old, Will is my first child, and I have a long life ahead of me. I don’t doubt that there is more in store for our little family.

Ben and I had taken a trip to Rexburg on Friday in order to see our dog, and drop some things off, and pick up some things that we needed from our apartment. We were nervous to leave Will but my sister was able to stay with him for the day. We didn’t get back home until late Friday night, probably around midnight. We stopped by the hospital, said prayer and read scriptures with Will before we left. We said to each other “we are going to sleep in tomorrow and try to get some rest.” because this is the most sleep deprived we have ever been. We didn’t go to bed until late around 2am because we stayed with Will, talked with some nurses, and honestly didn’t want to leave him. 7am the next morning we got a call from Primary Children’s saying; “Will’s surgeons are concerned about his head and are wanting to take him down to the OR.” Ben and I haven’t showered in 2 days, we quickly grabbed some clothes we found off the floor and were at the hospital in a couple minutes. He was taken to the OR shortly after, the only reassuring thing helping me was the words from the anesthesiologist after I had asked him how they planned on putting the breathing tube in for Will. He said; “I will figure it out, that’s my job.” Ben walked with the doctors and Will down to the OR while I sat outside the NICU doors waiting for Ben to come back. As I sat there I remembered once when I was younger, I had meningitis and my parents rushed me to the ER. They had to do a spinal tab, which they put me to sleep for. My mom told me later how she needed to leave the room because she couldn’t see me the way I was in that hospital room.

Not many parents go through what Ben and I have from the moment Will was diagnosed at 23 weeks in my pregnancy. But that’s just it, this is our new normal. I didn’t wake up one day, look at Ben and say; “Let’s have a baby with medical problems.” of course not. This wasn’t something we chose, this is something that happened. Nothing caused this, it was no one’s fault. This is life, this is what we need to do, and we can’t compare our situation because its not like anyone else’s.

Ben and I are staying at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in Salt Lake. People donated money and built this house for families that go through many different things. A lot of families in this particular RMH have children at Primary Children’s Hospital, but they live far away like us. One morning I remember getting overwhelmed by the children I had seen. They have a community kitchen, and I was sitting at one table as Ben was getting our breakfast. I saw a mother grabbing some toast while her daughter sat in her stroller with a feeding tube down her nose. I saw a father helping his son play a game while his daughter sat in a wheel chair unable to control her movements with casts on both arms. I saw a mother sitting next to her son who sat in a wheelchair, a blanket draped over his legs, his head had no hair from his cancer treatments and I hear the mother say; “We are so excited for his bone marrow appointment next week!” If you never have to see your child in any kind of distress like this, get on your needs right now and thank Heavenly Father for the healthy child you have. I don’t know how many times I thanked Heavenly Father that Will is as healthy as he is.

“For reasons usually unknown, some people are born with physical limitations. Specific parts of the body may be abnormal. Regulatory systems may be out of balance. And all of our bodies are subject to disease and death. Nevertheless, the gift of a physical body is priceless. A perfect body is not required to achieve a divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail frames. Eventually the time will come when each ‘spirit and … body shall be reunited again in … perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame’ (Alma 11:43). Then, thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become perfected in Him.” -Elder Russell M. Nelson. Quoted from Ronald A. Rasband’s talk “Special Lessons.”

I have a personal belief that there isn’t always a cause for everything. I believe that William had the abnormality that he does simply because we live in an imperfect world, and have imperfect bodies. I know that Ben and I did nothing to cause this impairment to our son’s head. And because of this I ask myself why it had to be him, why we had to watch our baby suffer from an imperfect mind and body. And the answer I get every time I ask myself this is simply because this is an imperfect world, and we are all imperfect. As I watch Will battle the struggles and trails that his body gives him, I ask myself what an extraordinary, strong, wonderful spirit he is to push through his imperfections. He is only almost a month old, and he is the strongest person I know. My testimony of Christ has been strengthened every single day as I watch William overcome every single obstacle that is in his way. My testimony of the Atonement has never been stronger, as I am strengthened myself by Christ and many angels He sends our way. Jefferey R. Holland says; “there is help from both sides of the veil.” This is not the end! This is not what forever will be like.

“I testify of the holy Resurrection, that unspeakable cornerstone gift in the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ! With the Apostle Paul, I testify that that which was sown in corruption will one day be raised in incorruption and that which was sown in weakness will ultimately be raised in power. I bear witness of that day when loved ones whom we knew to have disabilities in mortality will stand before us glorified and grand, breathtakingly perfect in body and mind. What a thrilling moment that will be! I do not know whether we will be happier for ourselves that we have witnessed such a miracle or happier for them that they are fully perfect and finally “free at last.”12 Until that hour when Christ’s consummate gift is evident to us all, may we live by faith, hold fast to hope, and show “compassion one of another,” I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” – Jeffery R. Holland, Like a Broken Vessel.

I also testify of the wonderful Atonement that has been made available to all of us from the selfless love of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that Christ atoned for our sins, our afflictions and our sufferings. I know that as I stared at my son in fear, scared for him and what could happen to him Ben and I were not alone in that room. Christ was there and he was with us from the beginning. I know the love that God and Christ have for both Ben, me, and Will. I know that this is not the end, that we will one day be freed from heartache, suffering and pain. I know that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as saved me, has helped me, and has continued to strengthen me even when I feel there is nothing else I can do. Life is not easy, not for anyone, but continued faith in the Lord is what keeps us going to bigger and better things.

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