Anderson Butzine's Journal
Written Jul 31, 2013 9:47amTwo years ago, Jesus took Anderson to be with him in Heaven. There are so many things I want to say, but I just can't find the words.
After Anderson passed away, we were given a beautiful cross with the following inscription:
"Little I knew that morning, God was going to call your name, in life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone, for part of me went with you, the day God called you home. You left us beautiful memories, your love is still our guide, and though we can not see you, you are always by our side. Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same, but as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again."
We know that Anderson is with Jesus, and we know that we will be together again, but the author describes it so well, we are temporarily broken. We are not without hope, we are not without love, we are not without happiness and we are not without faith, but nothing is the same without Anderson here.
Today we will be celebrating Anderson with a trip to Knuckleheads in the Wisconsin Dells. "Let's go to KNUCKLEHEADS!" That phrase, said with so much enthusiasm in Anderson's adorable little voice, will be forever etched in our memories.
God bless each of you today.
Happy Birthday Anderson!
Written Jul 9, 2013 11:49pmEight years ago today, God blessed us with Anderson. He was the happiest baby we have ever known, and as he grew, we learned that it wasn't just happiness, but true joy. It was the type of joy that couldn't go unnoticed. Everywhere we went, people we didn't even know felt something special when they saw Anderson.Ella, Immanuel and I made a trip to Children's Hospital today to visit with some of the many people who helped us care for Anderson over the years. The sights and smells are still familiar, and walking the skywalk into the hospital was almost overwhelming. We were checking in as visitors, but I explained that we weren't there to see a patient. Having lost a son twelve years ago herself, the woman behind the desk offered both kindness and encouragement. We continued our way up the skywalk and I mentioned to Ella that I wondered who the first familiar face would be. Seconds later Anderson's Oncologist walked down the hall toward us! He hadn't even planned on going that way, but we were all glad that he did. We had a nice visit and it helped my anxiety pass.While we were on the skywalk, I thought about the dozens and dozens of times we walked it with Anderson. Sometimes he was unable to walk himself, and other times he ran the entire way! And every single time, he caught the attention of those around us. Not because he was loud or unruly... it was that joy pouring out of him! Even if he had spent hours receiving chemotherapy, enduring uncontrollable vomiting and sweating, he would smile as we went down that hallway, thinking about the good things to come for the rest of the day.Our trip to the hospital today was so very rewarding. Many of our doctors and nurses were there, as well as chaplains and other support staff. The Children's Hospital is really like a different world. So much of what happens there can only be understood from the inside, when you're immersed in it. I don't ever want to be immersed in it again, but it offers a perspective I couldn't have gained any other way. So many people have dedicated their lives to helping others. And sometimes, even when they give their all and do their very best, the outcomes are not what anyone hoped for. Emotionally and physically draining work, and no guarantee that the goal you're working toward is going to be attainable. We've been blessed with doctors and nurses who shared a deep love for Anderson, and it's a privilege to maintain those relationships and thank them for the job they do.As a family, we celebrated Anderson's birthday with a game of mini golf tonight. Anderson shouted "GOLF" every time we passed the course near our house. Afterward, Ella wrote Anderson a special message in the sky with a sparkler and we released a Mater and Lightning McQueen balloon for our birthday boy.Thank you for thinking of us today. We appreciate the continued kindness, prayers, love and support.God's blessings,Michelle
Written Jun 16, 2013 9:20amHappy Father's Day to the many amazing Dads in our life, but especially to Jon. One of our area Christian radio stations was promoting a Father's Day contest and I decided to nominate Jon. I don't think I won him a new chain saw, but I'm very happy that the contest prompted me to put into words just a little bit of my feelings for Jon. Here is my entry:"In September of 2003, my husband Jon became a father. Our daughter Ella captured both of our hearts. Having grown up without a father of his own didn't affect his ability to love unconditionally, and from the moment she came into our life, Jon became the most wonderful and faithful Dad.In July of 2005 our son Anderson was born and our family felt "complete." Two beautiful, healthy children to love, to teach, to nurture. What a blessing to share God's Word with them and watch their young faith blossom and grow. And what a blessing as a mother to see the bond between father and daughter, father and son. A bond set in the firm foundation God provided us through Jesus.In February of 2006, Anderson, just 7 1/2 months old, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Our life changed in so many unthinkable and unimaginable ways. We adopted a new family motto, not just "One Day at a Time," but "One Miracle at a Time!" Anderson endured so many hardships; surgeries, procedures, chemotherapy, radiation, and more hospital stays than we could count, but God remained faithful. He surrounded us with loving family and friends, provided skilled and caring doctors and nurses, and he kept our family grounded in His Word. As a father, Jon kept family first while remaining loyal to his employer, maintaining a positive work-life balance during the most difficult times we had ever faced.It wasn't the path we wanted, it wasn't what we would have chosen, but we saw how God worked through Anderson's illness to touch so many hearts and lives. He blessed Ella with an abundance of love and strength; a heart full of kindness and empathy. He blessed Anderson with endurance, unending love for Jesus, a strong spirit and the most amazing sense of humor. He blessed our family with the ability to share our journey with others, and he blessed me with a man who honors his role as husband and father.During Anderson's last year of life here, we knew that earthly healing was no longer likely. As Anderson's needs changed and became more complex, Jon continued to work faithfully to support our family and to support me as Anderson's primary caregiver, all the while with a heart that was breaking. He endured the silent pain of an earthly father, hoping and praying for a miracle and grieving the losses suffered and those yet to come. Knowing that we will all be together again some day offers solace, but does not take away the pain. As we continued to pray and recognize "One Miracle at a Time," God gave the ultimate miracle when He took Anderson home to be with Him in July of 2011. Six years just weren't enough for us, but we are thankful for those years.We had never imagined our life without Anderson. What would our new "normal" be? Well, despite any thoughts or plans we may have had, God's plan was once again not our own. Unplanned and unexpected, little more than a month after we said goodbye to Anderson, we found out we were having a baby. A complete surprise, and at a time we would never have chosen.Immanuel was born in May of 2012, and I have once again had the privilege of watching my husband fall in love. Turns out the family that felt so "complete" years ago was not; we had one more coming! And we won't be "complete" again until we're all together in our Heavenly Home.Jon has been a father for nearly ten years, but it's certainly hard to sum up all the experiences in the past decade that make him such a special dad. While we've had many ups and downs, our blessings have always outnumbered our hardships.Jon has always worked hard, but because he puts family first, he doesn't spend a lot of time or money on himself. When I heard about the Father's Day contest on the radio this morning, I felt an obligation to share a little bit of Jon's experience as a father, but I also wanted to share two unfortunate circumstances that tie in with the Gift Package that you are offering.Before we had children, we bought a parcel of recreational land that we hoped to use to spend time together over the years. Jon maintains the land when he can and we've tried to use it as we're able. Last year, someone trespassed on the property. Breaking into a small shed, they stole our generator. They also stole Jon's ATV, one of the only items he had purchased for himself over the years. Just a few months later, I lost Jon's chainsaw out of the back of our pick-up-truck. I had no idea that the gate had come open, and I also had no idea that the chain saw fell out as I was turning a corner. I thank God for a healthy sense of humor so that we can usually find something to laugh about when things happen that are out of our control, but I also feel pretty miserable about losing the saw. It's also disheartening that someone who doesn't know us or the things we have been through would steal something that my husband worked hard to buy; something that gave him a little happiness.Jon is more than a special father, he is a special son, husband, friend, and employee. Jon works hard at everything he does. He loves God and he loves his family. I am so blessed to be his wife, and our children are blessed to call him Dad. Jon is faithful and dedicated, fulfilling all of his roles to the best of his ability. I thank you for the opportunity to put into words just a little of what he means to me and our family. I also thank you for the daily encouragement we receive from your station. May God bless you as you continue to share His love with us and others! Sincerely, Michelle Butzine"Thanks for checking in on us. I have so many more updates to share and hope to do so in the coming weeks. God's blessings!Michelle