Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Birthday Present for Case

As the mother of the sweet baby Case, where would I even begin to describe what we have felt and still feel. There are no words, and quite frankly, even if there were, I am not sure I could be brave enough to use them. Sometimes it's easier to not delve into the pain of our grief and the horror in remembering what Case had to endure.

But in honor of my sweet boy, I had to make this post. I have a request of our family and friends, and even strangers. Case would be turning two years old this Sunday, December 16th. There is really nothing to do but cry when I think of it. But I want to remember the good times, and I want to celebrate the enormity of Case's soul and influence. And we need your help.

Please email me a memory you have of Case. It can also be a statement of how Case has affected your life, especially for those of you who I do not know and never met Case. I need to know that Case is still alive in us all.

I am hoping that Case's short life yields at least a 50/50 split between happy memories and not so pleasant ones associated with the monster that cancer is. Either way, please share a story of Case!

You can leave a comment here (though I am sure there is a word limit), or you can email me at casebeckham@gmail.com.  This will be our birthday present to Case. Thank you.


  1. When I think of Case, I think of you, your husband, and your other son. There is no separation in my mind. I remember how hard you fought for him to have the best possible treatments, and how you were so concerned that he be allowed to just be a little one, as well . . .
    There's a picture you posted at the end of your 'Pictures' post in June, where you're tickling Case's chin after doing 'This Little Piggie' with him. The look on his face is one of such pure delight and love, that it makes me cry and smile through the tears.
    Even though I never met him (nor you), and only know of him through this blog, I could tell what a strong, valiant, HAPPY spirit Case had.
    I know it does not ease the ache of empty arms this side of Heaven, but what a blessing it is to know where Case is . . . to KNOW he is being loved on by our Father in Heaven and Jesus . . . to KNOW he is part of your eternal family!
    Happy Birthday in Heaven, sweet Case! Your short little life on earth has touched far more than you will ever know!

  2. Seeing these pictures of Case smiling and laughing are so bittersweet. I love that little man! My clearest and favorite memory of Case was when you were moving from your temporary house to the house you live in now. Charlie and I came over to help you box some stuff up and so we put Charlie and Case both in Bumbo seats so we could be productive. They were so enamored with each other. Case was belly laughing and Charlie kept looking at him, trying to grab him, and laughing. I love that memory!

    As Case became sick, I remember how attached he was to you, his rocks. Life was so tough for him, but he always turned to you both for comfort and to just let it all out. You both are such examples to me of how parents should be-unconditionally loving and willing to sacrifice all for your children.

    Happy Birthday sweet Case!

  3. I debated on posting because I know the hospital was not the happiest memory, but I wanted you guys to know how much we love you guys! I can remember the first time Case was inpatient with us, I knew immediately that he was going to be a favorite!! His sweet smile and big brown eyes were just irresistable. When I think about him, I always think about the picture of him riding on the IV pole and smiling so big!! Then when he started walking and you guys would walk the hall, over and over holding his hand because he didn't want to go back to the room. It makes me laugh thinking about him laying in bed, hands behind his head, legs crossed like a little old man sleeping! I believe that people are put in our paths for a reason, and I believe we are all better caregivers, parents, and friends because we were able to know and love sweet Case and your whole family. He will forever be in our hearts. Happy Heavenly Birthday Sweet Baby Case!!

  4. Honestly Case was the one post that i would follow and received updated immediately no matter what i was doing i would stop to read the updates that were posted and just the sheer inspiration of case and the pictures of how happy he was no matter how much pain he went through helped me enormously and he made me smile and cry and i had never even seen him. I hope the best for you and i wanted to let you know that Case was a true inspiration for me. Happy Birthday little guy.

  5. On a few occassions our family happened to sit across the aisle from you guys at church when Case was just a new little guy. One particular Sunday he was in his car seat, with one of those car seat covers draped over him. So we couldn't see him. Then all of a sudden that car seat was swaying back and forth and that cover up was bouncing around. Gab and I giggled as this went on for a couple of minutes before Xaiver noticed anything. When he finally got relieved of that rascally coverup and in his dads arms we couldn't stop peeking over at those big beautiful eyes and smiling face.

    We love you guys!
    The James Family

  6. Love and miss sweet Case. I remember the day I first met you and Case when you were admitted for a transfusion. Loved his cute outfit with a hole for his port and tubing. I remember us playing on the floor mat. I remember he didn't walk for the first couple months I knew him and how amazing his first few steps were. I remember "oh yeeaah" and fig newtons and those giant pretzel sticks. Still think about you guys every time I'm in the grocery store passing pretzels and fig newtons. I remember how he used to do laps around the floor, holding your one finger. I remember those sweet smiles he gave me and how he would scrunch up his entire face smiling.

  7. Dear Emily, X and Graydon,
    I never met your sweet Case in person but I got to watch him grow up from afar. I knew Emily in college and she was always an inspiration to me, someone who was strong, unshakable and always had a testimony of Jesus Christ. I saw those same characteristics as you fought this great battle with your dear son. I also saw that Emily passed those traits on to her angel baby Case. He too, seemed to strong and so full of life. I am deeply saddened by the pain your family has had to endure these many months but I want you to know that I was touched by your story. I was reminded of the precious gift of life we've all been given and I have remembered to take life for grated less and to cherish each moment with my children more. I have been reminded of the blessings of the Atonement and of eternal families. I know, through Christ, we all, including Case, can be made whole and that these trials shall be but a small moment when we are reunited eternally with God and our loved ones in heaven. My prayers are with your family this weekend and next as we celebrate the life of Case and on Christmas the life of One who will make it possible for you to hold Case, strong and healthy, for eternity. Love you lots.

  8. I can't even remember who posted the link to your blog, but from that first read, I immediately started following it regularly. And ever since then (shortly after his diagnosis I believe), I always included him in my prayers. He is absolutely adorable and has the best grin ever. Definitely a sweet face that grabs at your heartstrings right away. Even though I don't know your family, your story has touched me. I was saddened by all that he had to endure and all that your family had to endure. My heart sank when I saw that initial post after he passed away. So much sadness for your family, but happy that Case was no longer having to suffer. And thankful for my testimony of forever families. And though I can't even imagine the heartache and grief you are going through, I hope you find peace and hope in knowing that this separation, though extremely difficult, is temporary, and you will hold your sweet little Case in your arms again. And that he has already secured his place in the Celestial Kingdom. That is how valiant he is! After he passed away, my prayers for him turned to prayers for your family and I will continue to send prayers your way. I can only imagine how difficult this holiday season must be, knowing how much you are missing your little man. But, through our Savior, whose birth we celebrate this month, your family can be together forever. Sending birthday wishes to heaven for your sweet little Case!

  9. I am not good at social media, but, I had to post my thoughts about Case on his birthday. Case has forever changed my life for the better - forever. I believe that the foremost reasons Case got this disease and was taken so soon, was to receive a mortal body as we all do, to teach us some lessons and then to return speedily to his Heavenly Father. He has become in many ways, my beacon and has motivated me to live a loving, obedient and giving life so that I can become worthy to live with Case and God. I agree with Emily that he is a very old and noble soul. One fond memory of Case is during the many visits we made to the hospital to visit him. No matter how bad the situation was, we could usually get a smile (especially with "this little piggy..." on his toes), or a hand reaching out to you as we entered the room. I pray that God will continue to allow the veil between this mortal life and the spiritual realm to be very thin on special moments, so that we may feel Case's love and concern for us, and that he will feel our love for him. I know this is happening and will continue to happen as God allows. I think of Case every day and when a sad thought enters my mind, I immediately replace it with rejoicing in knowing where he is and that he has earned the celestial kingdom of God. Case, you are my standard and beacon. I love you! Happy Birthday - Pop-Pop!

  10. As Case's Nana, I have more memories of him than I could begin to write on this post. So lest anyone thinks I didn't post anything, I want you to know that I have sent three full pages of my thoughts and memories of this amazing "little man" to their gmail account. In a nutshell, no other grandma could love this child like I do. He changed my life (for the better) and continues to influence me day to day. I treasure the moments we had to spend together, even though they were difficult and in a place we both would have rather not been. But those memories are precious to me and I will never forget our times spent together. We love and miss you, Case, beyond description. But we know where you are and who you are with. You and your family continue to amaze us just by who you are. Happy Earthly Birthday, sweet baby Case. I love you to the moon and back. Forever your Nana

  11. Although I have only met Case a couple of times, I have a very fond memory of the "Race for Case". Case was very courageous and because of this I still wear his shirt proudly in my every day life. Thanks for always keeping us updated throughout his journey, as I felt I was always along side him. I am sure Case is having a great time in heaven.


  12. I never met little Case, but I will never forget him. Even in pictures, his sweet spirit warmed my heart, so I can hardly imagine how he shined in person. He was truly so beautiful. What touched me the most was reading about how you cared for him and how much his family loved him. I feel like hearing his story and seeing pictures of that sweet face has made me a better mom. His strength, and yours, inspire me to be a better person and love more deeply. Thinking of you and continuing to pray for your family.
    Love, Eryn (Baxter) Salden

  13. Dearest Emily and family, My heart has been thinking of you all day. I admire your courage and bravery. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I find so much comfort, as I'm sure you do, in my firm belief that your sweet baby will be in heaven waiting for your family's reunion someday. Should tragedy ever strike my family in a way it did yours, I will certainly remember your strength and courage and learn from your strong examples, and pray to have the kind of faith that you do.

    My memories of Case are this... I found out about his condition when you sent us your Christmas card last December. I immediately found this blog, started reading, and crying. My 3 children gathered on my lap and wanted to know why I was crying. I explained to them that you were my roommate and friend at BYU, and that your little boy, who was just younger than Weston, had cancer. Troy works with cancer patients frequently, so they are familiar with the disease. Immediately they suggested we say a prayer for sweet baby Case. As the months passed, they continually remembered to pray for "mommy's friend whose baby has cancer." Thank you Case, for the sweet lesson of prayer, faith, and compassion, that you taught to my children.

    One last memory... upon hearing the news, my 6 year old Reese wanted to do something for sweet Case. She began knitting him a hat (a simple project on a loom). She worked on it periodically, and thought of him every time. She was just about done with it, and it was heartbreaking to tell her the news that Case had gone to live with his Heavenly Father. She has committed to finish the hat, and find another baby who is sick to give it to. Case, you taught my daughter to think beyond herself, and to help the sick. We are sorry that we didn't send your hat in time. My daughter will finish it in your honor.

    I wish I could be there in person to comfort and help you Emily. I love you, and we will continue to pray for strength and comfort for your sweet family.

  14. Happy Birthday Sweet Case! One of my favorite memories of Case was taking his newborn photos. I felt like I was touching a little piece of heaven that day. He had the sweetest expression on his face that I will never forget. Even being fast asleep, he had a little grin on his lips. Such a peaceful expression and such an angelic face.

    Another memory that I have is at church when I would hear these squeals coming from the library. I would peek in and there would be Case sitting up playing on the floor and just letting us all hear how happy he was. I couldn't help but go over and talk to him and he would just grin ear to ear at me.
    And then of course seeing him at the hospital reaching out his arm to me as he laid in your lap just completely melted my heart.

    These memories along with all of your photos and journal entries have etched sweet Case into my heart. I will NEVER forget him and will strive to live my life as happy and strong as he did. We love your family and you all are such great examples to us. We want you to know that you are a part of our family prayers daily. Sending you lots of love.

    The Edwards

  15. I was inspired by sweet baby case from afar. I wish I would have met him when we lived in Texas. I followed your blog from the beginning and always waited in anticipation for your updates. I was inspired by your faith and never ending optimism in one of the hardest trials one must endure in this life. I couldn't believe how well you endured the never ending treatments and kept your family strong. I loved seeing Case have such a happy countenance, even when he was sick and miserable. He was inspirational to me, if not in person, but in pictures.

    I thought of you, Emily, when I read the article in the December ensign that almost exactly mirrors your loss at this time. It will probably be hard to read now, but maybe in a few years. I hope you can find peace at this time, I know the holiday season and his birthday must be excruciating. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Love, Laura - your old friend from SPAC :)

  16. Case touched me and my whole family, though you may not have ever known. Jeremy obviously worked with Xavier, but I only saw y'all once or twice. But, I remember showing my family the photos of Case, and rallying them to donate blood, or run in the Race for Case. We were all praying for you, and still are.

    The struggles that y'all faced with Case have inspired me to be a better, more thoughtful person. I used to donate blood before I knew of him, but did it whenever it was convenient to me. Now, I do it as often as I am able - every 8 weeks on the dot, because I know that even though I have done all I can for Case, there are other little babies out there who need it too.

    Even though he was just a baby, Case left a legacy of love, compassion, and faith behind.

    Love and prayers,
    -Sandi McSpadden

  17. My thoughts were drawn to you and your family this morning. I still remember your family in my prayers, and I hope that the truths of the gospel can bring peace and comfort to your hearts. Happy Easter!

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  19. Emily, you do not know me, Xavier had been my physical therapist several times. I was a patient through your ordeal and have followed your blog. It has helped me recently as since September 21st 2015, I lost a nephewhile I was very close with to brain cancer, a few months ago I lost a niece whom I was also very close with to suicide, 3 weeks later I lost a 4 year old nephew to Dravet Syndrom. Then a week later another 4 year old to Leukemia. This has been a difficult time for my family, but it brings comfort knowing you are not alone, there are people who have it worse and we can get through this. We just have to remember God will never put anything on us that we cannot handle. He will always be with us. I think of your family often.
    Lori Hinkley