|The Bowen Family
It was about 7:30 PM on March 2nd. We felt like we had been spinning our wheels. Ben had spent a day and a half in St. Mary's Hospital with "strange" symptoms. He was unusually tired and vomitted occasionally. All of the usual tests came back OK.
Our family doctor, Mike Meadows stopped in to check on Ben and was puzzled by Ben's presentation and ordered a CAT scan. He would call us later with the results. Jennifer took Eli home for the night (trying to maintain some normalcy) and I stayed with Ben at the hospital.
The next few hours are difficult to describe. It was quiet, just Ben and daddy hanging out. I rocked him, paced the floor and rocked him again. I sensed something was very wrong. About 10:00 PM, a nurse came in to ensure that I was going to stay because Mike wanted to see us. The next 45 minutes I held Ben very close.
Mike arrived and asked that we call Jennifer and have her join us. When she arrived, he began to carefully explain that a mass was discovered and that it was causing fluid to build up and put pressure on Ben's brain. He was extraordinarily compassionate. Moments later the Healthnet team arrived to take our baby away to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for emergency brain surgery. As a fireman, I have assisted in many LZ's (landing zones for emergency patient pick ups) but never did I imagine I would assist my very own - my son, to the chopper.
Jennifer and I entered a new life in that moment. We did not ask for it. We did not deserve it. The hours that followed were full of life and death decisions. We learned that his cancer, ATRT, is very rare and very difficult to treat. We watched Ben endure torturous tests and surgeries - some procedures without anesthesia - and could not do a thing... so we thought.
Yesterday, Jennifer was speaking with a St. Jude grandmother - Diane - at an Easter egg hunt for the kids. Diane made a profound statement. She said many talk about believing in God, but few claim to believe God.
You see, God has made many promises that can be found throughout the Bible. There comes a point (some times a very challenging one) where the only thing we can do is believe God. After all, either He is or He is not. He can or He can not.
As for me and this house, we will choose to do the one thing for Ben and each other that we can... believe God. Believe His promises and that He never breaks them. Believe the One who is ultimately in control.
A friend of mine said to me once that what you value will demonstrate in your observable behavior. Saying that we believe in God is easy. But demonstrating it by believing God isn't always that simple. Think about that.
Jennifer and I can not appropriately express our gratitude and love for all of you who have "stepped up to the plate" with us over the past month or so. Know that every act of kindness, every note in the guestbook, every phone call, every whisper of a prayer is noted. Not neccessarily here and now but by the One who is orchestrating Ben's powerful story.
God bless each of you... and go hug your kids tonight.
For Jennifer, Eli and Ben,