I had a good birthday on Monday with family and friends. Emily picked out Dora hats for the girls and Sponge Bob hats for the boys. Not a huge fan of Dora since she is like, what? 6 years old walking through the woods with her monkey with no parental supervision…Anyway…I am 35. I feel like I’m a “mature” woman finally. Maybe I’ve aged significantly in the last 5+ months, but every gray has been worth the trial, every wrinkle one to cherish since I know why it showed up…
The reason I celebrate this birthday like none other is that I am filled with great pride and humility from the gift I have been given from my sweetest little boy, Noah Steven Graves. You see, one of my life goals is to set foot on every continent. I have touched four. My son, on the other hand, has “touched” ALL 7! On the blog counter that Jason set up, there is a country flag counter that alerts us to the top 30 countries that have logged on. Six continents were represented until the other night when I found out from my friend Cindy, that there’s a guy named Josh in Antarctica who is praying for Noah, too! And, obviously that is not only 7 people, but did you know that just shy of 25,000 individual hits have been made on Noah’s blog? Perhaps every state is represented? That the counter does not indicate…Anyway, we are in awe of the way that word has spread around the world about our little mighty man of God. Thank you, Noah, for making me proud and beating me to every continent…Jason and I will have Noah cremated after the service on Monday and wherever God leads us as a family on this beautiful earth, we will leave a little bit of Noah there…
Sweet, sweet Graves family, once again your strength astounds me. I am so in awe of your faith and love for our Almighty Father. I will be praying for your continued strength and courage during this time.
You and your precious family have touched so many people in 5 months…more than most will touch in a lifetime!
You are fervently in our prayers—may grace and peace abound to you these following days.
We love you~
Awesome to spread his ashes around the world. I put some of my brothers in Lake Tahoe and God blessed me with the most incredble sunset I have ever seen.
And I thought I was the ONLY one who felt that way about Dora (And her lack of parental supervision)! LOL.
I think the idea for the ashes is wonderful and beautiful. Much love and Happy (late) Birthday!
AM in OK
Happy Birthday Noah! You will always be in my heart for all of my days. I will always think of you with everyday that passes. You move me…you move me to love, to pray, to seek out your maker. I want to know The Mighty One who brought you here to live such a BIG life in a tiny body in such a short time. I love you little man…
I was led to your site by one of our faithful followers. Noah and your entire family will remain in my prayers and we will ask others to do the same. If there is ever anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask.
My two little miracle nephews, Asher and ^Jacob^: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/asherandjacob
the courage, the pain, the hope…. all of these I’ve also felt as my family decided to take my 32 year old sister off of life supports just over a year ago. all of the memories are coming back to me now… and the tears. and ironically, i, too, had my ears peirced (2 on each side in the cartilidge) as a show of support. they remind me frequently of the precious time i had with my sister. she had her head shaved the same day – i wasn’t about to do that so the 4 earrings seemed like a small price to pay – the men in the family and her daughter shaved their heads – more power to ’em).
as one who has walked a similar path before, you will be on my mind now until friday, and then beyond. i know alone these next three days are painful. i did not have the peace and comfort, just numbness and shock, that you appear to have. i’m thankful that you are not doing this alone.
my life HAS been touched by your story, and it has helped heal some of the painful parts of my story. i thank you for that.
Dearest Graves Family,
Although I cannot begin to wrap my mind around the difficult decision you’ve had to make, I can rejoice knowing the many lives your sweet little boy has touch and changed forever. Like so many others before me have said, thank you for sharing this faith building journey with me. I too anxiously await to reach Heaven and see all of the amazing plans for him revealed. Thank You Father for the miracle of changing lives through this amazing family!!! May His peace continually wash over all of you from this day forward.
I just came across your site from a caringbridge site. I was looking at your favorite songs, and I saw the song “Peace Like a River.” That is one of my favorites as well, and was written by my great uncle. My maiden name is Spafford. I hope you can find some peace in your life. Please know that I will pray for your entire family.
A friend of mind sent your blog to me. The reason they forwarded it to me is because I am a Reliv distributor and they have heard incredible stories about Reliv and how it has changed people’s lives. One story I’ll share with you, and if you want to talk about it, you can call me.
3-year-old boy in Maine dying from a rare form of leukemia. Doctors gave up on him, said there was nothing more they could do. A friend of mind got the child on Reliv through a feeding tube. His immune system improved within the day. This is a very long story shortened. But this story is one of the reasons my friend forwarded your blog.
If you’d like to speak with me, please call me at 508-543-8836 or 508-369-3408. I can get you on the phone with the woman who worked with this little boy the summer of ’06, and has survived his leukemia.
I hope you get this message.
i’m so thankful to hear how God has given you beauty for this birthday.
thank Lord for our precious little Noah – what a gift he is and today we say thank you. be near to each of us inthe days to come we pray – may YOUR name be glorified.
ps – i see you have another heidi jo commenting on your site. she has an avatar so hopefully that has already helped you to differentiate between us – but just in case, i’l be listing myself as “heidi jo w” so you know who is who. (oh yes – and heidi jo w was previously heidi jo h during the days we both went to ORU… just so you know) 😉
Hi Jason and Adrienne. Jason, Molly (Johnson) here…we caught up so briefly at Pathways once, and I met Adrienne, and unfortunately have not seen you since. However, I heard about Noah from friends in my Bible study, and have been praying for you all since he was hospitalized.
I read your post yesterday and just wanted to let you know that I have been obsessively led to prayer for you all since then. I can barely think of anything else. I’ve never really been struck by the desire to pray without ceasing for something specific like this for so long ever before. I’ve been asking God lately to help me really experience prayer on a new level, so I guess this is it!
So, I’d like to pray for some other people but God just won’t let me. 🙂 I hope that you are all bathed in blessings and praise continuously.
I have been a Christian for over 30 years. I am 58 years old, and yet, I want to be like Jason and Adrienne when I grow up (spiritually). I have prayed, I have cried, I have fasted, I have lain awake so many nights for Noah, and you, and Kaija, and Em–and all your family! Your hope and faith is astounding–your honesty, moves me! We all should be walking and talking like you!
Your decision is honorable–and Godly. My prayers for you will not stop. I leave you with Is. 61:3:
“He gave us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that we might be trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that HE might be glorified!” And HE truly is through all of you!
I got your blog from a caringbridge site. I found myself reading the entire thing (took me a while). I will pray for strength for your family. You have made a very tough decision and a selfless decistion. God Bless you all in the upcoming days, months, and years ahead.
from a friend in ND
Hi my dearly missed and loved friends… The quoting of Is 61:3 moved me. It’s as if it was proclaimed just for you…which I guess it was!!
I love you and can’t wait to see you again.
Thru desperate tears I want you to know that we are standing with you. We have been with Teen Mania for a long time now, and were led to read your blog thru mutual acquaintances…
We know the pain and grief of losing a child (and yet do not assume to know the extent of your pain and journey) and know that Friday and Monday is not the end…. we will be praying for you for the duration.
Standing with you, even when you can’t stand…
I remember a young girl so easy to adopt as part of my family, my fourth daughter. I remember a young lady, walking down the aisle towards her future with the man she loved. So long ago and far away it now seems, but this beautiful little girl is now a beautiful young woman who carries a heavy burden in a way only someone who is one with God can do. Special then, special now. My heart is heavy with tears for you and your family, but your strength and belief in our Lord is an inspiration to me and to all who have come into contact with you, your family and most of all with Noah. My prayers are with you – may God bless you and grant you peace as He lifts Noah into his arms to reside in His Kingdom forever. All my love.
Virginia (mom) North
It’s always incredible how word travels – one reason in particular I’m grateful for the internet.
Tonight you grabbed a hold of my heart as I was introduced through a friend to your blog. In many ways I feel like I am re-reading my own journey and plan to sit down and read it all when I have more time tomorrow.
My little boy died a little over a year ago – and life with a child in the hospital is all too familiar.
I don’t have the time I wish I had to even begin to tell you how much of an imprint you have placed in my heart in just a few moments. For now – please know that these next few days you will be lifted in fervent prayer… and I hope maybe sometime there will be more time to write.
You can read what may be a familiar story here:
God bless you all… as he obviously has – and as he soon will beyond words.
In His Love, Meghan
You may not remember me, but my name is Jennifer and I am a nurse from Nebraska. I had the pleasure to meet your family and precious Noah when I worked at TCH the beginning of November. I only spent two days on 3 North, but had the privilege of helping to take care of Noah both nights. I have been reading Noah’s blog every week since then. I just wanted to say that the strength and courage shown by your entire family has amazed me. I have always been a believer, but my faith has definitely strengthened the past few months. I will continue praying for both Noah and the rest of your family through this difficult time. I would like you all to know I feel blessed to have had the chance to be a very small part of such an amazing journey. God bless you and may you find peace at the end of this journey.
I’m so sorry that you’re having to make such a decision for your sweet little Noah. I can’t imagine the ups and downs that your family’s experienced over the last 6 months, nor the faith that you’ve shown in God. I was so hopeful when you wrote that Noah had regained his gag reflex & was making some facial grimaces, and was going to try out a new rice supplement, I thought that he was starting to show signs of responding to things. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
I am so in awe of your faith. My prayers go out to you and your family. Cathy from CALIF.
In my church it is believed that children see angels who comfort them and watch over them. I know they will take good care of Noah. God bless.
I believe that children see the angels who comfort and guard them. I know they will take good care of your precious Noah. I will say a prayer for him today. God bless.
I was introduced to your blogspot yesterday. For the last few days I have been praying for renewed strength and joy as a mom of three. When I was led to your story I knew that God’s story through you was my answer to prayer. I have wept for you and yours. As my husband and I went to bed last night we shared an intimate moment. Yet, I was so focused on the two of you that it was not so intimate for me. Then, the Lord said, “I am giving you this moment, I will provide this kind of moment for the Graves as well. Breathe in all that I offer you, live the moment, just as they are living and breathing each moment I give them as well, through the pain and the joy. Sweet friends in Christ, we are carrying you with the strength of Christ. WE PRAISE GOD THAT YOU ARE ALLOWING US TO BE A PART OF YOUR LIVES. THANK YOU FOR THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!
Matt and I love you and are praying for you guys. You are in the thoughts and prayers of so many people here. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey.
It is with a very heavy heart that I post this comment. When I spoke with Jason yesterday, I simply found myself stunned and not really knowing what to say. 30+ hours later and nothing has changed.
I don’t have any wonderful words of wisdom. I can’t tell you everything will be alright. I can tell you, most assuredly, that you are loved. It is truly amazing the number of people whose lives you and Noah have touched.
I am amazed at the notes I have read. Touched by the genuine emotions I have witnessed in this blog. I am also certain I am not alone.
I don’t recall the movie, but I remember how a particular person’s life was compared to a shooting star. It didn’t last long, but it was unforgettable, incredible, burned immensely bright and touched all who saw it.
I will think of this past few months often. I will pray, meditate and I will try to be a better man. I will do these things not for myself, but in the memory of your son, your struggle, your happiness and your pain. I will continue to pray for you. Many will pray for you. In the words of Mother Teresa, “If you want to keep a lamp burning, you have to keep putting oil in it.” I’ll keep a lamp lit for you in my heart always. This weekend, I’ll keep a lamp burning for you in my home. God bless you and please know how courageous, how wonderful and how inspiring you are. Please know that you are loved.
I am praying for you and your family tonight.
We have cried when you cried, rejoiced when you rejoiced, and through it all, we never forgot that Noah belongs to our Heavenly Father . . .he always has, and he always will. Noah has touched more lives than most people have in a lifetime of living.
God is the great I AM . . He never changes. Nothing catches Him off guard, He’s not surprised by what happens in our lives. His ways are far above our ways and his ways are always perfect because He is perfect. It is always all about GOD . . not about us.
We are praying Jesus Christ will be the rock that you stand on, the shelter you seek, your strength, courage and hope, the great comforter . . .your EVERYTHING.
Never forget that our Father loves you with an EVERLASTING love.
The K’s from Iowa
A funny thing happened. After praying fervently for the last 24 hours, I finally sat down to send this. As I did, “Wish You Were Here” by Mark Harris came on the radio. Coincidence? I think not!
Goodbye, sweet sweet baby Noah. Thank you for touching me, for helping me feel again. Thank you for the tears and the smiles. Goodbye, sweet baby.
Dearest Graves Family,
What an awesome encouragement you have been to those who have followed your journey with Sweet Little Noah – It is true that while you should be the ones who are being encouraged you have encouraged others with your amazing faith… What a true display of God’s faithfulness to see such trust in God’s love for you and your sweet little miracle.
Noah is a mightly little fighter… God has already used his sweet little life as a testimony to touch so many lives.
May the peace that passes all understanding be with you now. Love and prayers to you and your family.
So, Noah is a trend setter 😉
Following suit with you and Emily I went to the mall with my family tonight and got my ear pierced. I just always always want to remember how Noah’s life and God’s work through him (and you Adrienne, Jason and Emily) has touched my life.
Whenever I look in the mirror, or touch my ear, I will be reminded of sweet Noah, the amazing love that our God has for each and every one of us, the tension of remaining faithful even when there are no answers, to never take for granted the awesome gift he has given me as a mother and to always glorify Him in all things.
Thank you for the wonderful gift you are Noah!
Praying for you and your lovely family. So much love in you, so much hope. You are good people. God has given me such a desire to pray for Noah, it just won’t let up.
Lot of hope and care from Los Angeles.
Your co-laborer in Christ,
Mary Robin Gibson
I don’t know what to say to your family. A friend of mine who is a pasters wife sent this to me, an di have read SOOOO much of your storya nd cried for everything that you are going through and for what you must be going through as a family of christ. My father was a preacher and a year ago December 15 2005 he went home to be with the Lord. I heard him say for so many years, I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE DAY I GO HOME TO BE WITH THE LORD”. I miss my DADDY more than words can say and i am 26 with 3 children, but i know that he is in a better place. My heart breacks for your family and your PRESERVERANCE for everything, i have prayed for you and your litte boy Noah, he is a TRULY AMAZING LITTLE BOY, that God love more than we could ever imagine. My love and prayers are with your family at this time. The Lord will help us through our trials. God Bless you ALL. Erin Smith
May God’s peace be with you. I cannot fathom what you are going through but The Father knows. He is with you, holding you. He is, always has been, and always will be with Noah. God Bless You.
Thank you so much for being such a great example of true faith to our loving, forgiving, and great God! I thank Noah for showing in his short lifetime, what some people take a lifetime to show. He was truely an amazing little boy and his life will live on in his memory.
Noah was truely put on this earth for a big reason and without even speaking one word, he was able to speak the word of truth and glory for our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your example and your family will always be in my prayers.