June 29, 2012
202 W. Maple Street Willard OH 44890 7/1/2012 15:00:00
202 W. Maple Street Willard OH 44890 7/1/2012 16:00:00
No one will ever understand why an obituary has to be written for a child. The death of a child has been an unexplained heartache since the beginning of man and will continue until the end of time. Words fail, faith wavers, and the loss overwhelms. In the darkness that follows the death of a child, very few words give comfort. Time doesn’t heal….you just learn to live differently. But in all of the heartache and hurt, you must remember that you are not alone. God knows your pain and heartache, and your child is safe in the arms of His son, Jesus. And those little angels that surround the Lord’s feet will be there to greet you when this world ends. As hearts ache and time goes on, KNOW that you are not alone.
There are people who live a lifetime and don’t experience the love that Arthur Joseph Bartholomew knew in his five months and twelve days on this earth. A routine ultrasound found a concern and instead of hanging around inside of his Mama’s tummy until his due date of March 5th, he entered the world at 5 lbs. 5 oz. and 18 ½ inches long at 3:17 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at Akron General Hospital. He didn’t get to spend much time with his Mama before his short trip down the street to Akron’s Children’s Hospital where the nurses and staff didn’t take long to figure out that this precious little bright-eyed baby would become quite an enigma to them. Tests and scans quickly followed and the spot in his head challenged some of the greatest physicians in the world. Surgery after surgery and scan after scan this spot in his brain eluded these amazing doctors. In the meantime, Mama, Daddy, Grammas, Grampas, and other relatives were welcomed into the loving care of the Ronald McDonald House in Akron whose name should be changed to the Ronald McDonald Home because that is what it is to families in need. Their warm beds, home cooked meals, friendships, and homemade cookies made the end of the daily trips to the hospital bearable. Little A.J. continued to make his impression on the staff and nurses. The test results would show one thing and his stubbornness and determined interest in the world would show another. Aside from the tubes and having to hang out in the NICU, he grew and changed like all little boys. Boys will be boys, and Arthur had a mind of his own. Things were going well and he finally got to leave the hospital to go home and enjoy some fresh air and his first long ride in the car on May 14th. Home Sweet Home and finally some normalcy. Yes there would be appointments, tests, scans, and visits with his wonderful friend, Dr. Roger Hudgins, but things would be normal.
A scan on June 13th showed a major change. The brain bleed that had been pursued grew definitive margins. It was no longer a bleed, but a tumor. Normal didn’t get a lot of time in the Bartholomew home. On June 19th an extremely risky surgery confirmed that Arthur had a very aggressive cancer in his brain and the world that loved this little boy would never be the same. He said goodbye to his friends and the pseudo family that he knew at Akron Children’s and he took his last long car ride home to be with his family who loved him. There are no words that can explain the hurt, anger, and difficulties in caring for a baby under hospice care at home. The emotional rollercoaster that followed took its toll on Arthur and his family. But throughout the living hell that was suffered, the most important thing that trumped all was love. Arthur was loved. He knew it and the world knew it. At 10:55 p.m. on Friday, June 29, 2012, Arthur transitioned from the loving arms of his Mama and Daddy into the glorious love of the arms of Jesus. He now experiences love and peace that our breaking hearts on earth cannot comprehend. In the blink of an eye, he met his great-grandparents who awaited his arrival and in a blink of an eye, he will greet those of us left behind.
Arthur Joseph Bartholomew is survived by his loving parents – Ryan and Katie (Harris) Bartholomew of Willard, Ohio; maternal grandparents – Mike and Kim Harris of Ishpeming, MI; paternal grandparents – Bob and Rose Bartholomew of Warrens, WI; paternal great-grandparents – Art and Joan Winkelman of Laona, WI; uncles and aunt – Bryan Harris and Shasta Olson of Ishpeming, MI, Warren Bartholomew of Burnsville, MN, and Cliff Bartholomew of Warrens, WI; cousin – Lux Harris of Ishpeming; Godparents – Stefanie Batovanja of Hinton, Alberta, Canada and Jason Schafer of Milwaukee, WI ; and numerous extended family members and friends.
Life on this earth was brief for Arthur, but his impact was infinite. As we struggle to trust without understanding, we must always remember that Christ has always had a special place in his heart for children. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” And he laid his hand on their heads before he left that place. Matthew 19: 4 – 5.
A private service for A.J. was held at the Secor Funeral Home in Willard, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to Akron Ronald McDonald House, 245 Locust St., Akron, OH 44302 or March of Dimes NICU Family Support Care of Akron Children’s Hospital, One Perkins Square, Akron, OH 44380.
Katie and Ryan, It is with great sadness that scott and I send our most deepest sympathies to you.We send our thoughts and prayers to you in the continuing days ahead. May God grant you and your family peace
Katie and family, We just learned today of little A.J.’s passing. While we all can understand how unbearable it is, please remember the love and strength of family and friends is always there to hold you up. We hurt with you and for you and look forward to knowing there are smiles in your future and sweet memories of A.J.’s short time with you all. Prayers and condolences to you, Ryan and all who made up A.J.’s family and support system.
Katie, Ryan and family – Your love for your son was felt while I read the beautiful tribute you wrote for him. Please remember that there is always someone praying for you and hoping that your heart will be eased of some of the pain.
Kim, Mike and family – I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your grandchild. You are in my prayers.
With sympathy, Mary Jo
Kim, Mike and family
We are so sorry to hear about little Arthur. What a beautiful little boy. He is with great grandma and grandpa Harris, what a joy. We had
a grandchild that was stillborn, the pain does not go away it just gets bearable. Our deepest
sympathy on the loss of your beautiful little boy.
Dear Katie and Ryan. I don’t know you, but I know your mom Kim Harris very well. We grew up together and went to school together. What a beautiful tribute you have written to your son. My heart goes out to you and your families. Tears came as I read about your little beloved Arthur. What a beautiful little boy. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers and know that he is safe in the arms of Jesus! God Bless and take care!
Dear Katie and Ryan,
What a beautiful heartfelt tribute you have written for your precious baby. I cannot imagine your heartache but I pray the Lord will give you strength and peace until one day you are reunited in heaven with your little Arthur. Arthur was blessed to have had loving parents just as you were blessed to have had Arthur even though for a short time.
Dear, Katie, Ryan and family…I do not know you but I wanted to let you know what an absolute beautiful, heart-breaking, story you have written about your son. There are no words that can come close to how you feel. This story brought tears to my eyes as I read it. I used to live in Marquette and have worked as a few different places. I read The Mining Journal often. As a nurse and mom, this is by far the best tribute I have ever read. I want you to know you are in my prayers and my God get you through this difficult time. Love and Hugs from a stranger
My life is but a weaving,
Between the Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors,
He worketh carefully.
Oftimes He worketh sorrow,
And I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.
The dark colors are as needful,
In the Weaver’s skilful hands,
As the threads of gold and silver,
In the pattern He has planned.
Not ‘til the loom is silent,
And the shuttle cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas,
And explain the reason why.
Katie, I am so sorry for the loss of your little son. Peace and prayers Cindy
Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers; even though we don’t know each other, our hearts break for you. God Bless little Arthur, and may God hold you up in His hands.
I do not know your family, and did not know this little angel personally, but I wanted to express my condolences to his family during this time. I saw his obituary in The Mining Journal here in Marquette, MI, and I was moved to tears. I have never read such a heartfelt and beautiful thing. My family experienced the untimely death of my son’s best friend in an ATV accident last August, and the pain and sadness that followed (and still lingers) is unexplainable. This little one is in the very best place and the most loving arms he could be in–he is with Jesus. I pray that the Lord lessens the pain that you are all feeling everyday as you wait to one day see this little angel again. Blessings to Arthur and his family.
Dear Katie and Ryan,
Our hearts hurt for you and your family. Our church, family and friends have been praying for you and AJ. We continue to pray for you, prayers for peace and comfort.
Bob and Judy Nash Brentwood Tennessee
Bill Nash’s brother and wife.
Katie,Ryan & family- My heart breaks for your family know that you are surrounded with love & prayers from all over. Love to you all!
Katie. Ryan, and Family~ My heart is breaking to know what you guys have been going through. I know the pain you are going through, but just remember to stand by each other in this difficult time. God Bless baby Arthur
Dear Katie and Ryan…
We are so very sorry for your loss of such a beautiful baby boy. Our hearts ache with you. You are right, no one should have to write an obituary for any child. The pain does not go away, and how to live with it, I do not know. Our daughter died on Christmas Day, 2011 and we have as much pain today as we did the day she died. So the pain you are talking about we do understand. And unless you have lost a child, you wouldn’t understand. They have a group called Compassonite Friends that is for parents who have lost a child, whatever age. I don’t know if they have this in Ohio but if you feel up to it, check it out. I do go to the meetings and everyone there does know what you are going thru as they have been thru the same thing. So far it doesn’t help me, but with the help of God, maybe it will. It does bring comfort just for the fact that other people do know what we are going thru.
I will keep you in my prayers everyday even though I have never met you. We will never understand and never know the “why’s”. But I do know our daughter is in Heaven waiting for us and your son is waiting for you also. You have our deepest sympathy on the loss of your beautiful son. He is God’s angel now.
Love and Prayers, Jerri and Barney Wainio
Katie, Ryan, and family- my thoughts and prayers are with you all during this extremely difficult time. There is no words that can be said to ease your pain. Just know I’m always here for you all whenever you need. Stand by each other and support each other as you all will need it. Much love and hugs!
Katie as I tearfully try to imagine the heartbreak you are suffering I smile when I picture the joy little Arthur brought you in his short time. Please know that are hearts and prayers are with you and your family.
katie and family, our hearts go out to you. i can’t imagine how you are grieving. you know, Jesus has a rocking chair that he takes the small ones into and holds them close to his heart so that they can feek the love going up from this plane to where they sit. My grandmother always said that when a child goes up, he is the one who eagerly prepares away for those that love then can follow. I like to believe that is true. If I had to give up such a child, this where I would want the child to go. we came to love and know your family as you helped our family through a very difficult time. I wish we could return the same care to you and yours. Keep strong as you can and listen in the silence to Arthur sending his love to you. I know you will hear him. We love you.
Kim & Mike & family. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family. I have followed your little angel’s journey thru updates from Munising. May God grant you peace and keep you & yours in His loving care.
Dear Katie and Ryan,
We are Bethany and Andrew’s cousins. During their difficult delivery and Akron Hospital stay in Akron with Silas, they asked for prayers on your behalf. We have been praying since. Once Arthur was taken home, they shared the news and we started praying a new prayer. That the Lord would heal you as you loose your son. That you would grow closer to the Lord through this and that someone would be a child of God through this heartbreaking experiences. That is maybe the only comfort we can share with you. May you lean on your family, friends, and Jesus Christ as you face lonely days and sadness beyond understanding. We are so sorry for Arthur’s passing. Love what you wrote about Jesus loving children though! You are right, He wanted him to be with Him in heaven!!
I had the privilege of meeting your family in the NICU during my daughter Brooke’s stay. You are a strong, loving, courageous family. I often thought how wonderful it was to see so many family members always surrounding Arthur with love. The NICU can be an exhausting and emotionally draining place, yet your family would inquire often about my daughter’s progress. This shows your amazing character and beautiful hearts. I admire you and am inspired by your incredible journey. Please continue to support and love each other and know that my family is praying for your family.
To Katie, Ryan ,and family we can only imagine the grief you are goin thru. Our hearts and our prayers are with you.