prayers for a backpack

ben's backpack

Six years ago I wrote the following post on our caringbridge page:

Today we watched all the kids across the street on their first day of school. They were so excited, many carrying new backpacks. Ben was thrilled to see the school buses return to the neighborhood, a daily highlight for someone who loves transportation.

As I watched him with his backpack, which contains a feeding pump, ice pack and his supplement, I prayed…

Lord let this be Ben – three years from today. Excited, carrying a new backpack, one filled with good things, walking to Mrs. Anderson’s class.


We were only a month into Ben’s treatment, having no comprehension of the road that lay ahead for us. I was five months pregnant with Ryan, unaware who he was or that only two years later he would become my lifeline.

Today, with his new Seahawks backpack (thanks Aunt Peggy) – we dropped Ryan off for his first day of Kindergarten – in Mrs. Anderson’s class. And right there on her desk sat a framed picture of Ben. Ryan walked right in, happy and excited, blissfully unaware of the complicated state of our hearts. As my friend Laurie said so eloquently here, every moment of joy now contains sorrow – for this should not be our first child in Kindergarten. As I walked home to an empty house I offered up this messy version of a prayer: 

Dear God, the Universe, Ben, or whoever is listening – please be with Ryan today and in the days and years to come. May he have sweet and steadfast friends – ones who will walk this journey with him and help fill the void of his brother’s absence. 

And may the Roosevelt Roughriders be good at sports in 2022…

 ryan's backpack