This is now about Ben's brother Nate (Newtown, CT)

momgamer wrote:
ccesarano wrote:
McIrishJihad wrote:

LL, so long as it helps the family, I don't feel bait-n-switched.

This.

Nth'd. ;)

Many times.

Xeknos wrote:
momgamer wrote:
ccesarano wrote:
McIrishJihad wrote:

LL, so long as it helps the family, I don't feel bait-n-switched.

This.

Nth'd. ;)

Many times.

So say we all.

Do what's good for them with my money - no need to put it towards anything in particular.

What they all said. Not a problem with me.

Totally agreed.

+1'd

FlamingPeasant wrote:
Xeknos wrote:
momgamer wrote:
ccesarano wrote:
McIrishJihad wrote:

LL, so long as it helps the family, I don't feel bait-n-switched.

This.

Nth'd. ;)

Many times.

So say we all.

Indeed. Whatever they need most is OK with me.

Though I know this thread has changed to be about Ben & Nate, I wanted to point out that Groupees is doing a big music bundle where 100% of the funds raised are being donated to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

http://groupees.com/newtown

FlamingPeasant wrote:
Xeknos wrote:
momgamer wrote:
ccesarano wrote:
McIrishJihad wrote:

LL, so long as it helps the family, I don't feel bait-n-switched.

This.

Nth'd. ;)

Many times.

So say we all.

So say we all.

"Parent is defined as a ‘point of origin,'" said David Wheeler, whose son Ben was among the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. "What I have recently come to realize is that I am not done being the best parent I can be for Ben. Not by a very long measure. If there is something in our society that clearly needs to be fixed or healed or resolved, that resolution needs a point of origin. It needs parents."

http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/l...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/15/ny...

http://www.sandyhookpromise.org/

It looks like Ben's parents are going to be on the Rachel Maddow Show tonight.

From David Wheeler:

I'm flustered in the face of this kind of gesture -- I never know how to respond to this magnitude of generosity. My friend told me the other day that I need to learn how to smile, say thank you, and shut up. I'm not good at this.

France and I are moved beyond the ability to express at this thing you've done -- you and your gamer friends who went and got jobs and families and stuff like that. We are so very grateful for that kind of support and love. After discussing, we decided that the best use of the collection would be, as you suggested, to make it part of the Benjamin Wheeler Fund.

Someday we will all sit down and I'll be able to tell him [Nate] about the people who helped him in this way, and I suspect, if things continue the way they are (when all is said and done) he might just be a gamer with a job and a family and stuff like that.

Sorry this dragged out as long as it has. He's been hard to get a hold of, and I wanted to talk with him before committing the money. But he told me about their plans for the fund, and it's probably for the best our money goes there. We're going to visit them in the near future and I'll be dropping off the games and equipment at the local library then.

So thanks, one final time, for your generous donations.

Thank you for being the conduit for us to take part in the healing. I'm so impressed by the parents' united response in forming the organization to promote a national discussion. I hope the movement grows.

Ah! One more thing I almost forgot. Although I'm not sure anyone's really coming by this topic anymore...

But the Wheelers recorded an album of children's music many moons ago which ranks incredibly high up as one of the best children's albums I own. It's a collection of songs David and Francine wrote mixed in with some standards. Francine has a gorgeous voice and David is a fantastic guitar player and good singer himself.

And they'd like all the people here who donated to have a free digital copy of the album, if you want. They're not high-tech and it's spur-of-the-moment, so there's not a code or anything like that, but I have the cd, and I have it ripped and I can make the files accessible.

If you're interested, send me a PM.

You can listen to snippits on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Come-Sit-Besid...

Personal favorites:
All the Pretty Little Horses
Playing in the Band
Love Somebody
Hello

Insider info: the children's voices in the background of Bananas includes Nate as a baby.

To those who have contacted me: it's been crazy busy at work and I forgot to bring the files. I'll get them up somewhere for download by tomorrow, most likely.

In the meantime, another friend of the Wheeler family wrote something about them and their music on Huffington today, including one of their songs.

You might want a tissue handy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gerit-...

Saw David and Francine on Maddow and I'm amazed at how they are able to hold it together, have such a healthy perspective on this atrocity and in general just seem to be strong, beautiful people. All I could think was, "Why do things like this happen to good people like them?". I know there's no answer. No rationale. It's all so gut-wrenching.

That's awesome!

From Ben's Dad:

- - -

So here it is. Friday morning, 9:30. Exactly one year ago, at this moment, our sweet, rambunctious boy and nineteen of his innocent, pure, untouched friends and six caring, nurturing, dedicated professional women fell victim to an intersection of our country's fetishistic idolatry of the most lethal consumer products our species has ever devised and our country's inability to intelligently and sensitively deal with mental illness. I can only wonder what level of carnage will be enough to arouse a sleeping populace and a government so fiercely dedicated to special interest cowering such that some sensible reforms are enacted. But, you know, you can't pass a law that makes a mother be smart. You can't pass a law that makes people not be jerks. But you can make it harder for people who want to kill to get their hands on these tools we've created that have no other purpose under the sun.

I cry every day. I miss him in the pit of my stomach with an ache that doubles me over and compresses my chest to where i can no longer stand. I am so incredibly angry. I tell him I am so, so, so sorry.

I smile every day. I think of him and smile -- sometimes I laugh out loud at his singular zig-zagging course through six sparkling years. And then I miss him again, even more.

There is a doorjamb on the right side of the door from my office to Francine's studio. It has hashmarks in pencil that marked his growing body. The highest one is marked "11.11.12" and is 47 and 3/8ths inches from the floor.

Five inches above that, his brother has written in pencil, in the tilted hand of penmanship barely under control, "Would be here."

Would be here.

We are leaving town for the weekend in a few hours, and we will probably not answer our phones or check email or Facebook with any regularity.

I want you to know that we love you and we thank you.

Peace.

IMAGE(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1462833_10152053806138744_692477435_o.jpg)

I can't believe it's been a year. I can't remotely fathom how Ben's parents have managed to get through it.

Do you know how Nate is doing, Dave?

It is hard to believe that it's been a year. You and I had just gone to see The Hobbit and I came home to my find my wife crying on the couch watching the news reports. And then came a phone call from a friend and I was on the floor, sobbing.

I don't have any idea how David and Francine and Nate have gotten through. They're extraordinary people. Beyond the horrible tragedy of losing Ben, it's been a year of upheaval for them. All these bizarre things — going to the Superbowl, meeting Oprah, etc. — which seem wonderful and are but are equally horrible. As for Nate, I know he'd been having trouble sleeping at times, but don't know how that's going lately. I do know that he loves going to school and is a busy little kid, and by all accounts I've heard is doing pretty well.

lostlobster : Ben's Dad's writing in so painfully powerful.
My thoughts as they have many times during this last year remain with his family and his extended family like you as they try to support each other through this.