Nine years ago this month, when he had just turned four years old, grandson Ben had the first of three brain surgeries that would save his life. Yesterday, he became a teenager.
We celebrated early three weeks ago with a trip to Atlanta to watch the soccer match between Atlanta United and the Chicago Fire, which Atlanta won in the last play of the match.
Ben and his dad at the Mercedes Benz stadium prior to the match…
Ben with me and his mom. If I look small beside Ben, it’s because I am. He’s already 6 feet tall…
Yesterday, on his actual birthday, he returned from a three day adventure trip with the entire 7th grade of his school. They had an end-of-the-year bonding trip in Tennessee where they went rock climbing and ziplining. Even though Ben returned with a story of having to remove a leech from his foot and with injuries (an injured knee that was swollen to twice its normal size, a bumped head, and sore feet because he went without shoes for part of the trip), he downplayed and was even proud of the injuries.
An amazingly helpful and compassionate young man, he carried others’ luggage and helped in any ways he could, and he didn’t get to go ziplining, in part because he helped get an injured friend back down the mountain (after stepping on a snake that was headed in the friend’s direction while she was on the ground). This kid!
As school nears the summer holidays, Ben is planning to go on several mission trips. In addition, he will be attending high school band camp even though he won’t be in high school for another year. He plays percussion in the middle school concert band but has been asked to join the high school marching band’s drum line at football games next year.
That’s Ben in the back with the drums during his recent band concert…
As always, we are so proud of this young man and so grateful to everyone who has kept Ben in your thoughts and prayers.
#BenStrong #Soli Deo Gloria
And as always: Slava Ukraini! Слава Україні!