Ben and Christy Shively Family

 (These are thoughts the children wrote before Baby Ian was born)


Dear Ian,

I know you have problems and we pray for you at dinner. People have been bringing food to the house because mom can't. I love you Ian. Mom has told us all about your problems and Ian, I felt you kick. I like to give my mom's belly kisses. Can you feel them? I can't wait for you to be born.  That's all for today. Love, Olivia  



Dear Ian, 

 I am sorry for your conditions.  We are praying for you. I love you. I hope you get to meet us when you are born. If you live for a long time, Tyler would be your best bud. I love you. I'm your biggest sister. You might be going to a soccer game of mine if you are well enough. We are thinking of you a lot.  When you go up to heaven, can you tell me what it's like? I'll listen in my heart when you tell me. Look for Toby, Smokey, and Moose when you go up to heaven. They are some pretty cool dogs. That's all I have to say today.  I'll write more another time.

Love, Samantha

ps-my nickname is Sam 



Dear Ian,  

It's your sister Lucy here.  I love you. I want to give you a hug and a kiss when you are born. You will be my baby brother. I want to be with you when you are sick. And that's it now.   

Love, Lucy 


Ian’s birthday


Ian’s Day: July 7, 2010 according to Samantha (10)

“I remember going to the sonogram and looking at him on the screen.  I wasn’t sure why we were crying.  I was trying to help Lucy to understand that Ian didn’t have a heartbeat.   Later that night, I came home from an event and my Aunt Lou Lou was over.  She took us to the hospital to meet Ian.  I was able to hold him and he was baptized in my arms.  I was sad and happy because Ian was going to live a better life in heaven rather than struggling on earth.  If it weren’t for Ian, we wouldn’t know what it felt like to have someone die close to us.  I remember seeing one eye open a little bit.  He had blue eyes like me.  There was a drop of holy water on his eyelid.  Ian was really small.  Patti from Alexandra’s House was there, taking pictures.  Now we can look at those pictures. A couple weeks later, we had a Mass and a balloon launch for Ian.  There were balloons with his name on them.  After letting them go, I felt kind of sad but happy because I wrote him a note but I knew he would get the note in heaven.  We planted a tree in is honor and wrapped our palms from church on the trunk.  I like to see his tree everyday so that I am reminded that he his always with us in our hearts.  At night when I see one big star and one little star, I know it’s my baby brother and my uncle watching over us.  I sometimes wonder if he has other little friends to run around and play with up in heaven.”


Ian’s Day: July 7, 2010 according to Olivia (9)

“I remember the day Ian died.  We were watching Ian on the screen at the sonogram and then he didn’t have a heartbeat.  We were all crying because it was sad that he wasn’t alive.  We went to the hospital late at night with my Aunt so that we could hold him.  I remember holding my baby brother and wearing the scrubs like my Dad was wearing when Ian was born.  He was such a beautiful baby.  Fr. Farnan baptized Ian in my sister’s arms.  We were all around him and it was so nice.  I really liked that we lifted balloons off to him in heaven.  All of our friends and family were there.  I pray to Ian when I need his help.  I will miss him.”


Ian’s Day: July 7, 2010 according to Lucy (5)

“I remember everyone crying when we went to see him on the computer.  I was sad because Mommy was sad.  I remember holding my sweet baby brother but he wasn’t alive.  My sisters got to hold him too.  Mommy was really sleepy but she was covered up with blankets.  I like that we planted his tree because I can sit on the bench next to it and think about him.  I feel my brother hugging me when I am warm and cozy in my bed at night.  I love him.”