Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Note From My Little Brother

I called my brother tonight to check in on his little family.
Olivia, his beautiful new daughter, had a rough first few minutes, but is now doing well.
His two boys, who are both adorable, are having a hard time not calling their new sister 'Baby Emily.'

Our conversation was emotional as we each talked about our day in the hospital.
It's a poignant moment...two siblings discussing their little ones...one who is starting her life and one who is fighting for hers.

Both Ben and I were emotional and when the conversation ended Ben said, "I love you Noelle."
I know he loves me, but I don't remember him saying it before.
I hung up the phone and shed a few more tears.

Later tonight Ben texted me and asked for my blog login information.
I gave it to him and then asked why he wanted it.
What you'll read below is the answer to that question.

For the record, I love you too Ben.

Noelle, thanks for letting me post a thought or two on your blog. Fellow readers, please forgive the personal nature of my post. I considered not sharing this on Noelle’s public blog, but as I understand it, a blog is an on-line journal. For the sake of Emily and Olivia and every other niece and nephew that will join our family, I am going forward.

My wife gave birth to our third child today, our first girl, Olivia. I always get emotional when I watch my wife give birth. I see her in the most intense pain and can’t do anything about it. I see her in complete discomfort and can’t provide comfort. I see her go through dramatic stress of all types and can’t provide much, if any, relief.

Then a baby is born and I have an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude for my wife and for a loving Heavenly Father. As a Mormon I believe that there is life beyond this one. Sometimes the separation between this life and the next is described as a veil. Today that separation between earth and heaven was minimal. 

In Mormon vernacular “the veil was thin.” As our daughter Olivia was born today I instantly knew that she was a gift from God. I knew that my wife and I had been prepared for this gift. I also knew instantly that it was our responsibility to love her, teach her, and provide for her as long as she was “ours”.

As I was driving home from the hospital Noelle and I talked on the phone. We talked about our babies. We hoped for Emily and her recovery. We shared our feelings about the truths of life beyond the veil. It was a touching and personal moment. I was strengthened by Noelle’s faith and courage in light of Emily’s trials.

In my opinion the most important thing that occurred in that conversation was a mutual acknowledgment that God lives, and that He is in complete control: whether you have children or not, whether you can have children or not, whether you have a spouse or not, whether you are fighting illness or not, whether you….…………fill in the blank. 

Today I am particularly grateful to know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves His children, watches over them and is guiding each one of us throughout life’s ups and downs. My hope is that after today’s experiences I will learn to trust in Him more perfectly. May you do the same in your individual journey.



Leslie said...

thank you for sharing your thoughts and your brother's. I wish I was more eloquent and could share how inspired and touched I feel when you share your trials and your faith. I don't know why your Emily is going through the challenges she is but I do believe she was sent to the very best Mommy and Daddy she could be so help her through those trials. I think about your little family all the time and want you to know I am praying for you.

Tiff said...

That was beautiful! I love you both! And your precious little ones. xoxo

-stephanie- said...

You have a very smart brother Noelle. Thanks Ben, these are wise words. Congratulations on your new baby girl.
Noelle, way back when you started this blog, you had no idea you would have little Emily in your world. But God did and He brought prayer warriors in to your life through this blog, because He knew Emily needed many prayers. Praise Him for that!
Continued prayers for all of you.

wjmom said...

*sniffle, sniffle* (not kidding...)

This is beautiful. You are blessed with a wonderful family and an amazing network of love. God bless you all!

Joann Mannix said...

Your brother's words are so beautiful in their truth. A big congratulations to him and his family.

God is with you, his angels surround that sweet girl as she fights.

I'm praying, Noelle, for all of you. May you find God's grace in this journey and know that He is right there beside you.

All my love to you, brave girl. Keep going.

Baby Sister said...

Oh my gosh. I don't think I've cried that hard in a very long time. I have some awesome siblings.

Lalis said...

I have never stopped praying for Emily, or you, Noelle. I just feel awful that my weekend was so hectic that I didn't catch this sooner--I'm just glad I didn't stop praying.
I'm so glad for Ben's testimony. Ultimately that's the one thing we all know for sure.

Julie said...

Boy your brother it everything right on the head. Congrats to him and his family. I am sorry that baby Emily isn't improving but think of the bright side, she's hanging on and healing. Lots of prayers from Minnesota heading your way.
Take care and God Bless!!

Tiffany said...

Beautifully said.

My love to you and Jason and sweet Emily. Prayers too!

pauline said...


Thanks for sharing your brother's testimony with us, what an awesome brother who has an amazing sister.

My testimony has been strengthen by his inspiring words. Congratulations to him and his wife.

As always we are praying for baby Emily, you and Jason.

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

That Ben. He's a good kid.

Like his sister.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Ben. Finding faith and hope amidst trials is often a hard thing to do. It is good to hear from someone who believes as I do; your testimony strengthens mine. Glad you posted.


le Chef said...

We were given siblings to learn how to fight.
For them, for ourselves, for what is precious and beautiful.
Thank you Ben, for being alert enough to realize your sister's distress, see her strength, and to stand by her side. She needs her siblings now, more than ever.