Wednesday, November 01, 2006

99 Balloons


Anonymous said...

Eliot- I am going to miss you. I have been trying to "celebrate"-but there have been lots of tears. Still- what a blessing to know you and to be brought closer to God because of you. Amazing.
Catherine (Koch)Cook and family

Lisa said...

Matt and Ginny -

Your faces are priceless! What an honor to be able to feel like I was a part of the celebration even though I was in Texas at the time! Thank you for allowing us all to feel a part of little man's life from a distance.

I know without a doubt Eliot is whole and cord free now, but I have to say that while he was on this earth he was in the BEST place! I don't think anyone can actually imagine the 24/7 care that the two of you gave to him so willingly for 98 days!! Like I have said from the beginning, God knew who to send him to =)

Although I will NEVER forget him, I was wondering if Ginny might consider designing some small braclet or earrings that make her smile and think of Eliot? I feel sure there would be many of us who would buy it so that we to would remember when we put it on. Just a thought I had today! I know there are Trisomy 18 braclets, but how about something for just Eliot?

Thank you again for so willingly sharing the ups and downs of you miracle boy! Continued prayer for you from Arlington, TX

Lisa Hartsfield

Anonymous said...

it looks like it was a beautiful service to celecrate Eliot's life. You are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

God bless sweet, sweet Eliot and your beautiful family. How comforting to know that he is in the arm's of Jesus today. You all have my continued prayers. Thank you so much for sharing Eliot's life with us.

Nicole said...

Matt and Ginny,

I feel like all these people who have been writing to you. I will never forget Eliot. His short life was such an inspiration and I know he is smiling down on you right now in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I was already close to Christ, but this little baby has made me see what He can do in our lives if only we will respond to his command and be led.

Thank you for sharing your family with all of us. You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers and I hope to meet you some day.

Nicole, Judie's friend at Merrill Lynch

A stranger in Memphis said...

Matt and Ginny,
Your faces in this picture moved me to tears. The joy that your precious little boy brought you and the joy that He is in heaven are so evident in your faces.

I am moved by the way that you have walked through this journey. You could have looked at Eliot's diagnosis and the tremendous care he required as an excuse to retreat and wallow in self-pity. Instead you chose to celebrate each and every day with him with a birthday party and a picture and shared this deeply personal journey with all of us.

This decision to live every moment of Eliot's life to the fullest is evident in both his life and his death. It is a lesson for us all to love each other fully in every moment, just as Jesus loves and delights in us each moment.

I know that despite this joy, you miss him terribly. Know that you are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Your parenting, Eliot's life and your reponse have truly brought me to a deeper knowledge that God is truly satisfying and there is nothing on this earth that I desire besides Him. Thank you Eliot, Matt, Ginny...God!!!!

I truly have been an observer and have never met either of you but you have impacted me tremendously, God has been glorified!!

Your sister in Christ,
Mackenzi Groff (a friend of Cliff and Nichole Hughes)

Cary Murphy said...

I am so thankful that God chose the two of you for Eliot. I love you...know that I'm celebrating with you.

Kim Burton-Norman said...

Eliot would have loved this picture. He would be glad to know that he's left you in the tender care of the Holy Spirit as he goes on to relish in Jesus' love.

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant" is what keeps coming to me about you, Matt and Ginny. I think you could relate to Mary & Joseph, who knew that their son was born for a greater purpose than just to be their pride and joy. They allowed the world to share His life and to be greatly impacted by it. He was born to die... and it changed our lives forever..... see the comparison?
I hope you will continue to blog your thoughts and lessons from this point forward. God is not finished with Eliot's story--or with yours. He has touched the far ends of the earth with a tiny little baby, and brought hundreds, or thousands of people from all backgrounds, beliefs and circumstances together to experience this amazing journey.

How humbled and grateful I am to have been one of the hand chosen by God to "sit in Eliot's classroom". We are all here for you, Matt & Ginny; we love you and continue to lift you up in prayer. May His peace and blessings be upon you.

xxxooo Kim Burton-Norman

The Keeters said...

You continue to inspire us all. We are so blessed to "know" you. Eliot's legacy will continue and we all look forward to the day our Lord comes to get us all...and we can meet Eliot...perhaps he will be playing with our 10-month old daughter, Savannah... what a beautiful thought. May God continue to bless you Matt and Ginny. You have certainly been a blessing to me. ~Jodie Keeter, Coppell, TX

Anonymous said...

Dear Matt & Ginny,
I only met you at the NICU reunion, and my Mom was one of Eliot's nurses (Karen Nichols). I don't know why yet, but you guys and Eliot really got my attention. I was looking up Trisomy 18 to try to learn more about it, and everything before I heard of his passing. Eliot was so blessed to have you as parents, as we are all blessed to have spent 5 seconds with Eliot, much less, the 99 days you got!
Your faith, committment to Eliot, and spirit in the face of all you were dealing with serves as an inspiration! I know God had blessed you both, will continue to do so and that Eliot is well taken care of!
Words can not adequately express how I feel. I can't imagine what you are going through.
Love, thoughts and prayers to you both, and your family.
Shannon Stowe

Sara said...

Matt and Ginny,
I read about Eliot for the first time today with laughter and tears. God has used Eliot and you guys as an amazing testimony. Thank you so much for sharing your hearts open and honestly. I can't wait to meet Eliot in heaven. You guys are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I am a friend of Billy, Tammy, Claire & Camille Cox
in Mobile, Al and have been following Eliot's and Claire's stories. I am a Chirstian and I know that Eliot is in the arms of Jesus. I know it can't be easy loosing a child, but knowing he is with Jesus I hope makes it bearable. So many people's lives have been impacted by Eliot and Calire's stories. We will never know till we go to be with our Heavenly Father just how many people have been touched and possibly saved by these little ones. God Bless you both. I will be praying for your family.
Joanna H. in Mobile, AL

Anonymous said...

Matt & Ginny,
This is my first post, but I've been a faithful student in Eliot's classroom since his birth. I never met Eliot, but I, too, love him. I am a perfect stranger but Eliot will always be a part of my life. I have learned many lessons from Eliot's life, and will continue to learn from his time here. The last three months have been wonderful for me. Being one of the MANY praying for Eliot was an honor. Reading the new posts, seeing new pictures and watching him grow was nothing short of awesome.
I can't tell you how many times I have come to this site just because I needed to smile, and the pictures of sweet Eliot are all it took.
Thank you guys so much for being so selfless and sharing Eliot's life with so many. You will continue to be in my prayers. God bless!

Anonymous said...

As Claire's older brother, I pray everyday that when her time comes, I can demonstrate as much courage, Faith, and strength as you guys do everyday. You truely are amazing people and so many of us look up to you! Thank you for sharing Eliot's life, and for being role models we can all look up to.

amy said...

Hi guys,

Don't you just know that as your beautiful,joyful faces turned toward heaven to watch the balloons, that Eliot looked down from heaven and grinned his beautiful grin. Joy through the tears. I wore my red, I said my prayers, I cried my tears and I smiled my smile. Eliot's pictures are still on my refrigerator, I can't take them down just yet. They make me smile. Rainbows, flowers, Holland, "cordless" all have new meaning with me. I doubt I will ever look at them or think of them without a smile and a thought about our Eliot. Wish we could have celebrated with you in body, but know that we were there in spirit. Looking forward to hugging you at Christmas.

Aunt Amy

On Our Way said...

So wonderful with the balloons! And flowers! We love you!

Laurie said...

How beautiful. What a celebration.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful celebration! Thank You for sharing his life with us! You are in our prayers!!!

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny-

It looks like it was a wonderful celebration of Eliot's life. I am so glad that you and Matt included what was said at the celebration for everyone to read. Eliot's life and what he has taught me will not be forgotten.

Katie Pennington

Anonymous said...

Eliot, I don't know how I can learn so much from a baby. Especially one I never even met. But praise God that He brought you to earth. Thank you Matt and Ginny for being transparent and allowing us to learn something from your darling son. I will not soon forget him. I will never forget the lessons God showed me through him. Becky Canatsey

liz said...

Matt and Ginny!
We love you all so much. We are celebrating Eliot's life with you...thank you for sharing your journey with us. We are praying for you guys.
All our love,
Liz and Harrison Merritt

Amy said...

This picture is priceless and absolutely amazing. Grace and Peace Amy

Anonymous said...

Hey Friends!

Just wanted to let you know that I was home for a little while back at the beginning of October and I learned about Eliott from an insert in the church communicator. I had been meaning to look up the blog site but had not made it to the site until today.

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Eliott but I am so encouraged by what you have learned and in turn have ministered to my heart and I am sure to many others. Thank you for your willingness to open your hearts to so many. That in and of itself is a testimony!

I appreciate your honesty, humility, and grace...but it definately takes a special couple to be used the way God has used you and precious Eliott to bring glory to Himself. Thank you for being instruments of Our Father.

Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Matt, if Law school does not work out for you, you have a way with words and speaking truth...I'd buy a book or listen to a sermon! :)

Thank you again! Peace be with you both! I would love to be in touch!

Katie Woodruff (KX '99, '00)

Chris Kidder said...

Matt and Ginny -

What a great celebration of life - even if God planned for it to be only 99 days. He accomplished creating this world in 7 days and the impact Eliot will have for years to come will only be told as each day passes by.

My small group has been praying for him and for you guys for a few months now and want you to know it doesn't stop there. Scott Cable first told us about Eliot and ever since then you've been in my prayers - and will be for some time to come. I've had the chance to celebrate a beautiful life with y'all from LA via this blog.

You are two strong believers in Jesus Christ and your faith shined brightly all the way over here to LA. Take comfort that y'all strengthen my walk with Jesus over the past few months.

Chris Kidder

Heaven Sent said...

I just received the link to your site today and have just finished reading your journey. I am honestly without words, but I have to say that God has truly shown his power and love through Eliot and your family. The faith the two of you have is admirable, and I am humbled and encouraged by your story.

My favorite line (although there were many). was: "Don’t get me wrong, our prayers still go up to a God who can heal; but whose faithfulness is not dependent on whether or not He does." What a wonderfully faithful, but truthful statement. I am certain it has helped many who are struggling refocus their prayers. I know it has helped me refocus.

May God bless you both each and every day until you get to see Eliot again in heaven. What a comfort to know Eliot is in the arms of Jesus, celebrating birthdays that will never end. What a wonderful God we serve!

Anonymous said...

I want to say God bless you. I have been praying for baby Claire and found out about Eliot through her. You are amazing and were so blessed to know your son.

Anonymous said...

Eliot is a beautiful child. I am sorry for this great loss. May you continue to be strengthened by His love.

Jesus said "Let the children come to me. The kingdom of heaven belongs to them" Matthew 19:10

-Shannon Best
Austin, Texas

janet said...

My daughter was thought to have T-18. She does not. She has a condition called distal arthrogryposis -not life threatening. I have often wondered why God chose to spare her as I believe she was indeed born with T-18 but was healed. I will never know the answer to that and my heart breaks for all of you, but of course, I thank God every day for His mercy. I learned about baby Claire though somene who works at alabama ortopedicts YOu know one of those chance encounters the guy is an adult Physcical therapist dont even know his name, just struck up conversation when he saw my baby in her casts I came home and told everyone to pray for her and the family. So sorry to hear of her passing was checking on her through their website and found eliots story. we never know how our lives will interact keep praying it does help.

Anonymous said...

I never had the pleasure of meeting you Eliot, to tell you the truth i was just curious of what 99 baloons was....i have never played a video that i have recieved of facebook but for some reason i did today. I saw this wonderful video of you and your very loving parents. I smiled and cried and you touched my heart very much. You have a beautiful name and fantastic parents! im so happy that you had so many birthday cakes! they all looked amazing.
You will be forever in my heart little angel.
Nicole Tierney

Marloes said...

Search at You Tube for this song:

Song 99 Balloons from Nena...

I'm dutch and just saw your story on the Oprah show here in the Netherlands... It moved me and i immediately thought of this song... It's Originally sung in German (99 Luftbaloons), but i found an English version...

Maybe you know the song... You can not exactly identify with the lyrics, but i particularly like this part...

"99 dreams I have had.
In every one a red balloon.
It's all over and I'm standing pretty.
In this dust that was a city.
If I could find a souvenier.
Just to prove the world was here.
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go"

I just wanted to let you know...

I wish you all the best...

Lacie said...

Matt and Ginny-
i saw you on the Oprah show today. your story touched my heart more than you could know, Oprah was right in saying that your family is an ispiration to the world i only wish my story were so. My husband and were told that our dauther would not live to be born as well and unfortunatly in our case this was true. Our beautiful baby girl Lairah Zane Crooks was born after her death. Her chromosomes were all mixed up, some of them missing. I just wanted to tell you how blessed you are to hold your living baby in your arms, i wanted nothing more than that for my now shattered family we however were not that lucky. Your story gives me hope for our future, the struggles with my emotions were to much before to even concider giving birth to another baby with the thoughts running through my head that this may happen again. I only hope that maybe somewhere up there in heaven my beautiful baby girl knows how much her father and i love her. know that through every tragity there is a glipse of hope and you were ours. through your pain and ours some how i feel a connection to you and though ive never actually met you i know that you feel the same feelings i do every day. i find comfort in the fact that some one in the world knows what im going through and that u have lived through it. thank you for your time
Lacie and Jon Crooks, TX

nina said...

Dear Matt and Ginny,

I am Nina from Indonesia. It was kind a late for me to know Eliot but his fighting spirit and yours are really meaningful. It was just a coincident (though I do believe that everything is beautiful in its time), when yesterday (Aug 31, 09) my 32 days baby boy got cranky and I was so tired with his cries.
And today I can't even recall how I got the address and opened the 99 Baloons.

Thank you Eliot!
You remind me on how much I love my little lion.
You teach me to thank God for each moment He gives.