On Saturday morning, the weather was perfect just long enough for the Bensons to share some beautiful words of gratitude and to plant the “Triangle Oak” in honor of all of you. Thanks to those of you who came out. In case you weren’t able to be with us to include your name on the river rocks that were planted with the tree, we wanted to be sure to share their heartfelt message with you:

“They say the true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you never expect to sit.

And, that’s exactly what you have done for our family! In our darkest hour, YOU planted this tree and placed Christiane beneath the only shade in an otherwise desolate and barren landscape. In a selfless act of compassion and love, you have supported us with an unfailing devotion to our family. And, after 10 years of hard work, and on the cusp of a clinical trial, you should be so proud for having put Batten disease on the map! There are simply no words to express the enormity of our gratitude for everything you have done over these last years.

Though none of us will likely live long enough to see this Live oak in its full glory, we can watch as its roots take hold, and its branches reach far beyond this corner, and far beyond what ANY of us ever imagined. We will watch it grow providing shade not only for Christiane, but for so many others who will join her beneath its branches. And, not just Batten, but other disease groups too, beyond Batten who will benefit from our efforts.

We very much believe that you have been an incredible gift of God’s provision. Because our faith, our family and our friends form the triangle that has sustained us throughout this journey, we’d like to dedicate this tree to you and name it Triangle Oak in your honor. Christiane and Garland helped us pick the name, and we hope it will be easy to remember not only for its location, but mostly for its meaning. I hope that every time you pass this corner, you’ll remember the triangle…..that in difficult times it is always, always our faith, family and friends who get us through.”

Much Love,
Charlotte and Craig Benson