If life were Sesame Street, this post would be brought to you by the letter "C".
C is for cancer. Cancer sucks. Duh. But it really sucks today, because it took the life of an inspiring little boy last night. Ben Sauer, the kid known in Western New York as #Blue4Ben, passed away last night after a three-month battle with brain cancer. He started to get headaches in January, and when he was diagnosed a couple weeks later, it was already stage 4. The tumor grew rapidly, and even after having a lot of it removed and getting radiation, it tripled in size and there wasn't much more that could be done. He hung on for so much longer than anyone expected, but he went downhill rapidly in the past few weeks. He managed to live long enough to celebrate his fifth birthday with his twin brother last week, but he went to be with Jesus last night.
His story captured the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of people all over the world, but all of Western New York in particular was swept up in his story. Buildings and bridges were lit blue in his honor. Offices, schools, and organizations dressed in blue (my office included). Likely millions of prayers were sent heavenward asking for a miracle, but in the end most of them just asked for peace for his family--his parents, brother, sister, and an unborn sister he never got to meet. His story is tragic in how fast it all happened and how horribly it ravaged his otherwise healthy body. Still, his mom's testimony through her blog has been amazing. Her faith has been strong, but her emotions have been raw and honest. Her post just the other day was absolutely heartbreaking. I challenged people on Facebook to read it and not cry. It was a very vivid illustration of the final days watching your child die of cancer. Unimaginable. My heart breaks over and over again every time I think of another element of their loss. He was an identical twin. How will his brother manage without his best friend? His littlest sister will never know him. His parents had to watch their perfect baby boy become helpless, then die. While the support of thousands of people around the world must be amazing, there is nothing that can bring Ben back. They definitely have some peace knowing that Ben is at peace and healed in Heaven, but oh, how they will miss him on earth. I just can't put it into words, but it sure makes our problems seem small and insignificant.
The other "C" word in this post is "Control". Since Jacob's behavior worsened over the past couple weeks and now Carter is getting harder to manage, I've caught myself falling back on an old coping mechanism I remember using before when things got tough--fixing all of the little problems instead. When you can't control the big things, try to control all of the little stuff. I keep finding myself brainstorming to fix all of the things that are bugging me. For example, we have a lot of plants floating around this house, and I can't bear to get rid of them. They were clogging up my kitchen, the sunniest place in the house, and it was making me nuts. Suddenly I realized that I could put up a TV tray in our dining room and put all of the plants there. Still good sun, but away from Carter's main paths and out of my kitchen! Perfect! One less thing to bother me.
I keep thinking about how I'd like to reorganize things, or which things around the house that I'd like to fix....or I drive myself nuts about the things that need fixing but I'm just not sure how or when or with what money. There are piles all over my house...newspapers, magazines, school papers, and the dreaded artwork pile. I have paperwork that needs filing, coupons that need cutting, landscaping that needs a lot of work, and so much more. I need to take at least a day off of work just for that stuff alone. I swear I could spend a full week at home alone and still not get it all done. But it occurred to me that I fall into this sort of mindset whenever everything else is a mess and I feel the need to do something to make life better. Or maybe I'm just trying to minimize the random annoyances so I'm not as bothered by the big ones. But finding the time and energy to do those things is not easy. At night I vent on this blog or do some research on one topic or another (lately it's been minivans and booster seats), or sort through pictures or read the paper. I'm just too tired to do much else.
At this point I'm just trying to get through the week, see how the Knighthawks game goes on Saturday, and then plan accordingly once I know if Craig has two more weekends of work or none. I want the Knighthawks to win, for sure, but I'll admit that if they lose a few things will be easier in the next couple weeks. But playoff runs are always fun, so I guess it'll be worth it in the end. Just a lot of coordinating in the meantime.
Ok, off to finish up a couple things before bed...and then sleep, lots of sleep.