This week brought more joyful memories with Eliot. Park trips, restaurants, and a lot of Mooney family bonding. Ginny and I are preparing for our first college football season with cable TV. She is busy teaching Eliot the Alabama fight song, while I threaten to purchase him every infant hog outfit in sight.
The week was not without its drama. One night during his 2am feeding, Eliot managed to pull his feeding tube out. We had been warned that this was likely and even practiced the necessary steps to remedy the situation before leaving the NICU. Upon waking Ginny up with a yell, we realized that we did not have a stethoscope, which was necessary to replace the tube. We called Walgreens...they were out. Wal-Mart did not answer. We decided we would just drive to Wal-Mart and if they did not have one, we would head on to the NICU in Springdale. Upon walking out the door, I remembered that I had once- before Eliot was born- met our neighbor three doors down. She mentioned that she had heard of our future-child's condition, and that her and her husband were nurses. So, with only having talked to the woman one time, I headed up their dark stairs and knocked on their door at 2:30am. The husband answered the door, and after a little needed time to become coherent, he found his stethoscope.
Stethoscope in hand, Ginny went to it, while I held Eliot's head still. After much wrestling, praying, and Eliot tears, the tube was down, and Eliot was able to feed. [I need to take this time and just acknowledge that my wife is my hero.] This story makes it seem a little more quick and smooth than actuality. The tube debacle did not conclude until about 6am. With that said, this story is told not for any sympathy, but just because others have expressed that they want to know what is going on.
Trying to tell you what Eliot has taught us is similar to serving grape juice as wine. More time is needed for the process. We are telling of a journey we are in the midst of. However, we can offer the glimpses that have been offered us.
Today we celebrated 40 days for Eliot. I took the dog for a walk at Wilson Park in order to get out and enjoy the cooler weather. As I rounded the corner on my first lap, I saw it. A rainbow. Not the kind you sort of see and sort of don't; rather, it was large, robust and could be seen from end to end. Initially, I thought it might end somewhere around Hasting's, and debated going to look for it. The proverbial pot of gold could put a dent in some medical bills, you know. I thought better and kept walking.
And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth....Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
These verses make it seem as if God was the one who needed reminding, but I cannot help but think that it is actually us. God lifts the veil, reaches into the seen world and places a sign; one to remind us of His promises, remind of His presence. I needed a rainbow.
Eliot is a rainbow all his own. A signpost to remind us of great things. As I look at my life, including four years of full-time ministry, I have no hesitation saying that God has used 40 days of Eliot far more than anything I have said, done, or taught. Why? Because He wants to. Because God uses humble means for His glory. Eliot is a sign that is read different by each person. To some he says- cherish the seemingly mundane moments of each day; to others, look and see the power of prayer; still others read how God does not work within the logic of man. All that through a child who feeds through a tube and has never spoken a word. What a kid.
So, on Eliot's 40-day birthday, God provided a rainbow just as he did after 40 days and nights of rain. You just can't make this stuff up.
Please continue praying for Eliot. We love posts. Thanks.
Matt and Ginny Mooney