Sunday, June 13, 2010

To my son Benjamin:

Ben,

It's your Dad. I know everything you read in this book is written by your mother, but I wanted to write down my feelings about what has gone on during the past month of your life before they escape me. I have learned so much from you. I believe in miracles because of you. You were in the hospital for over 3 weeks. One day you were perfectly healthy, and less than 30 hours later, you were being brought back from deaths door. You had to be revived twice before the doctors could put you on life support. I was wrecked. Your Mom and I were devestated. As your father and provider, to be able to do nothing for you was pure hell. All I could do was pray. At first I prayed that you would be healed. I prayed that you would be able to wake up and be the boy that just a few days earlier was starting to smile and stare into my eyes. Those days felt like eternity. After turning to the scriptures, I learned to pray for the will of the Lord to be done. We never stopped praying for a miracle, but we knew the Lord wouldn't do what we as parents wanted. We realized it was what the Lord had in store for you that would eventually happen. That brought peace to my heart. I knew that the Heavenly Father was in charge, and he had a plan for you. I just had to learn to accept it.

You were on life support for 6 days. During those days, my mind would wander into some very dark places. I want you to know that I very quickly turned to our Father in Heaven, and he gave us all the comfort we needed to stand by your side. Your Mom and I, and both your Grandmas and Grandpas were constantly by your side. You were never alone. Ever. At times I felt the presence of Angels standing by your side, and couldnt help but feel the presence of your Great Grandma Alder. I know she was there with you. After a few days on life support, we started hearing of all of the people who were praying for you to get better. Thousands and thousands of people were praying. For you. I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father heard those prayers, and he listened.

Over the next week, we were so nervous. When they took the ventilator out of your mouth, you started to breath. We were so excited. But then, you struggled. We had to watch you like a hawk, never taking our eyes off of you for fear that you would stop breathing. You were hooked up to monitors that would tell us when you were struggling for breath. We spent 8 days watching you, constantly feeding you oxygen so that your brain wouldn't be without it. It was like you were standing on the edge of a cliff, and I constantly felt like you were going to fall of and get hurt. I hope I never feel those feelings again, as long as I live.

One night, your Mom and I were trying to get some sleep at a nearby apartment, and your Grandma Zollinger was standing watch by your bedside. You stopped breathing. The nurse had to grind her nuckels into your chest in order to get you to start breathing again. That was at 4:30 in the morning. We were called and told to get back to the room as fast as possible. Your Mom and I ran as fast as we could, not knowing what we would find when we got there. We were so relieved to see that you were alive, but horrified when we were told of whathad happened. You did it three more times that morning. This was the lowest time in my life. After watching you fight so hard to two weeks, to see you stop breathing and turn blue was more than I could bear. You were rushed back up to the PICU, where the Doctor took you right out of your Moms hands to administer oxygen to you. They didnt know what to do. I felt helpless, and felt like this could be the end of your short life. I denied the urge to give you a priesthood blessing, for fear of what I might be directed to say. The urge got stronger and stronger, until I could no longer deny it. I layed my hands on your little head, and blessed you with comfort. I also told you it was ok of you wanted to stop fighting, but we really wanted you in our family. The choice was yours. After I finished, I waited. I waited and waited, expecting this to be the end. But as the hours passed, things started happening. The doctors determined the reasoning behind your breathing problems, and increased your medication. After a day lying motionless on the bed, you were able to lay in your mothers arms. You opened your eyes. You looked at your mom and you smiled. You even laughed. I knew at that moment you made your decision. You wanted to be with us, and we were so happy. From that point until this very minute, it has been all positive. The doctors and nurses constantly were impressed with your progress, knowing where you had been just a few weeks before. The word miracle was spoken numerous times.

We dont know what the future holds for you. At this moment, there is still a lot to figure out. The list of problems is long, but we have hope. You have proven to me in your short life to never give up. To lean on your family when you dont know what else to do. They will always be there for you. God Lives. He answers prayers. He is a God of love. He is in charge.

You must know how much I love you. I will always protect you. I will stand by you as long as you need me, and I will teach you everything I can. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for the Plan of Salvation. I am greatful for the knowledge that we will be a family forever, not just during this short time on earth. You have so many people who love you, but I can't imagine anyone who loves you more than your mother and I. You have taught me more in your short life than I could have ever imagined. I hope you can continue to teach me, for all of my years on earth. I love you my son.

Love,

Dad

7 comments:

Levon said...

Thanks dad, loved that! Listen to your daddy, little Ben, good stuff!

April said...

I debated on whether or not to comment because what you wrote seemed so personal and sacred, Aaron. It was truly beautiful and touching. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this experience . . . please know that our family has not stopped praying for your son since we heard the news. Our girls cheered when I told them the news that you would get to bring Ben home from the hospital. After the celebrations, I reminded them that we needed to keep praying that he can continue living his miracle and keep getting better. We sure do love your family. Ben is a blessed little man to have you has his father and Courtney as his Mother.
Love,
The Catlett Family

Hilary, Ben, Ella and Ethan said...

I wanted you to know that I was so inspired by your miraculous story and display of faith, I felt compelled to read some of Courtney's post in my talk yesterday. I hope you don't mind. I was even more touched when a young mother came up to me afterward, her 2 year old son in her arms who will never walk or talk, the prognosis being that he won't live very long, and told me how inspired she was by your total acceptance of the Lord's will for your son. I can only say thank you for sharing your story, and Aaron, for adding your account and testimony. You will probably never know all the people your family's experience has and will to continue to effect. You are special people.

Candice Robinson said...

Aaron, Courtney, and Ben:

You don't know me, but my name is Candice and I work at Kraft with Dan and Andy. When Dan told me about little Ben, my heart went out to you all and I promised Dan that I would pray for Ben and your family daily and I did just that. Like you Aaron, I prayed for God's will to be done, I also asked Him to comfort your hearts during this time and to provide you with family support. Something told me to ask Dan about baby Ben today and I was ecstatic to learn that Ben was home...praise God! Your story is very touching and I am so glad that baby Ben chose life and that the Lord has heard the prayers of everyone.

I will continue to check on Ben's progress.

God bless!

Candice Robinson

Groverfam said...

Aaron- I am so touched by the words of you and your wife and want to let you know of the strength that not only I, but others gain from your testimony and experiences. Ben is so lucky to have you both as his parents and he will forever be thankful he chose life here on earth with you and the rest of his family. To hear you bear your testimony was enriching and inspiring. Thank You

Lili (The other Grover family)

melissa said...

I like april debated on commenting, I just have to say that your families example of faith has been an inspiration to all those around you. You and Courtney are amazing parents. Thanks you for sharing your testimony and experience. We will still be praying.

Love the Sabins

Lauralee said...

Sweet- and Amazing.. thanks for sharing!