Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Celebration of a Life

Ginny and I, and many of our friends and family, gathered Monday to celebrate Eliot's life. It was perfect. Following a song entitled, "Everything's Alright", I struggled through the following:
____________________________________________________________

"'Everything’s Alright'…not your ordinary funeral song, and 'Don’t wear black' are not your ordinary funeral instructions. But Eliot was no ordinary boy. His life was extraordinary.

A dad speaking at his son’s funeral is probably a little strange as well. But Eliot’s is a story I must tell. Ginny and I have things to say, and I’m going to try to say them today. We also have a saying as of late which is “go ahead & cry. We do”
But, if at all possible, hold it in for the next couple of minutes, or I’ll probably lose it with you. I have a tag team partner on board so I can tap out at any moment. With that said, I apologize for reading. My communications teacher would be disappointed. But I am just gonna try to make it through.

I want to thank you all for being here today. Ginny & I wish we could personally sat down with each one of you and express how much your actions have made our burden lighter.
Thanks for making a call when it had to be awkward for you do so. Thanks for letters & birthday cards for Eliot. Thanks for feeding us, when food was the last thing on our mind. Thanks for surprise one month birthday parties & blog posts & law school softball tournaments for Eliot. Thank you- family- for your love and support. Thank you Josh, Becky, Heather & Paul for walking through this with us.

Thank you all for joining us today to celebrate the life of a special boy who impacted so many.

We view today as a celebration. We celebrate the greatest gift the Lord has ever given us. In Eliot, we enjoyed so much. We loved so much. We learned so much.

Although, Ginny and I had seats near the front of the class, you all joined in on the lessons & the classroom kept expanding to include people we had never even met. We all sat in awe as God, Himself, took a sick little boy and pulled back the veil to reveal lessons about Himself.

An underdeveloped lung. A heart with a hole in it. And DNA that placed faulty information into each and every cell of Eliot’s body - could not stop the living God from screaming of Himself through a child who never uttered a word. To an outsider it may seem nothing short of foolish to credit all this teaching to Eliot, but

I Corinthians says that…”the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

It goes on to say that God’s wisdom is unlike ours and his tools are not what we would imagine. His tools are not the ones we would craft.

Not a pulpit. Not a slick presentation. Not a bestselling book. But a 6lb. boy with Trisomy 18. God found great pleasure to take a lowly thing in the eyes of the world and show Truth.

Every aspect of Eliot’s life was a paradox. Because I hate it when people use words that I do not understand- let me define.

A paradox is defined as
“a seemingly absurd or contradictory proposition that upon investigation proves to be true”

Truly, all of Christianity is a paradox. G.K. Chesterton writes that, “Christianity is a superhuman paradox whereby two opposite passions may blaze beside each other”.

Our God teaches us that:
To become greatest I must become least.
That as a believer, I have total freedom & yet strive not to sin.
And ultimately, that I find life - in none other than the death of man named Jesus.
Through Eliot we experienced the paradox of joy and pain ablaze side by side.

Truly, the Lord did not ask us to take a path which He had not already traveled on our behalf. Although we did not willingly give up Eliot , his life & death have given new meaning to the sacrifice the Father made when He gave His only Son unto death, that we could have life.

And so today, we celebrate. Eliot is well. And, although we miss him more than we can express, we are only separated from him by our time left on earth. We anxiously wait to join Him in worshiping the Lord.

So today we propose a new standard.
How do you measure a life? By years? By esteem? By productivity?

Eliot Hartman Mooney
99 days, 98 birthday parties (& today makes 99)
18 nurses
17, 557 visits to his website
0 minutes unattended

Although these statistics are fun. They all fall woefully short of a metric whereby to judge Eliot’s life. We propose that Eliot’s life be measured by impact.

Thus, truly his was a full life.

We encourage you today to not forget Eliot. To not forget whatever his sweet life taught you. Please go & do that which has been stirred in you through his life. And we look forward to hearing of the ripples he has made in eternity.

Finally, when you arrived you were handed a flower. We believe that Eliot’s life is best understood when pictured much like the flower you hold.

A flower is picked to be enjoyed. Sweet to smell & viewed by all.

When your flower was picked, a process began whereby the flower’s life will end. But this is not the way we view a flower. We just enjoy it. We take it in.

Thank you, Eliot. You were the joy of mine & your mom’s life."

62 comments:

David and Erin James said...

That was beautifully written. So good. Thanks for sharing your pain and joy and hope and faith. Eliot was amazing.

Scott Cable said...

I hate that I couldn't be there. Matt and Ginny you guys are heroes of mine, I love you guys so much...

Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful. God bless you, sweet Eliot.

Kate Walker said...

Eliot's life impacted so many, and I know it will continue to do so for eternity. I can't wait to see where the teachings that I have been given from his life will lead me and where the opening of the "Jesus doors" will take many others. I know that I have been changed by the way you shared Eliot's life. Thank you for being so transparent, Matt and Ginny.
Last night was wonderful--thank you AGAIN for an invitation into your home and into your lives. You guys know how to have a party! I know Ben and Molly were still awake and running around when Wes and I left Benton and Jenny Beth's around 10:00 last night.
We are praying. We will see you soon!
Kate and Wes Walker

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing Eliot's life with us. His life touched so many of us and will not be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that! It was beautiful! It pointed to Christ and gave glory to God.In fact,Eliot's whole life did that. Eliot was a special gift.

Our prayers continue to go out to a Holy God on your behalf.

Kim

Amy D. from St. Louis said...

Thank you for sharing what you said at Eliot's celebration. What a gift for a person who lives far away and has never met y'all, yet wanted so much to be there at the celebration. You captured beautifully some of the same thoughts I had in my head. That God used a little over 3 months of a tiny boy's life to impact so many people. It is a good, hard reminder for me that the work of the kingdom is more important than life itself. Thank you for your courage to continue worshipping our God!

Anonymous said...

The inadequacy of words to express my feelings is frustrating to say the least. I was soooo shocked at what I found this morning as I faithfully checked Eliot's blog.

I have truly been amazed and in awe of your ability to turn a situation that so many would believe to be hopeless and negative into such an amazing celebration and thankfulness...

I love the way you celebrated every single day of his life. Not one single day went by without thanks... I find that so inspiring...

Eliot was a lucky, lucky boy. God certainly knew what he was doing when he chose the parents for Eliot.

Thank you for sharing Eliot's story with us. Your family will be in my thoughts...

Stephanie in Georgia

Emily Bradley said...

Matt and Ginny,
That was amazingly and beautifully written. I appreciate you letting us into the beautiful life of Eliot. Eliot has left footprints on my heart that will last a lifetime, and I never even met him. I will continue to pray for you guys, and again I thank you for letting Eliot touch my life. You are in my thoughts and prayers often.
Love,
Emily (Martin) Bradley

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this AND Eliot with us all. I will always remember him.

Anonymous said...

Eliot blessed my life but just for a short time. I am grateful that I found this blog dedicated to Eliot's life. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I am very sorry for your pain and sorrow. Please know you are daily lifted up in prayer. God Bless.

Beverly Shortes
Seminole, Texas

Peach said...

Matt, once again you have let the Lord speak through you. I was up way too late last night and read this with my husband as the tears streamed down both our cheeks.

I loved how you wrapped up your thoughts by saying you hope to "hear the ripples he's made in eternity". May we all walk our walks with more purpose and more intentionally after witnessing your time with Eliot.

Matt and Ginny, may our precious Lord Jesus continue to carry you in His arms each day.

God willing, we will never be the same after knowing Eliot -- even in this manner.

kent mckeaigg said...

I will always remember that day. May emily and I let our balloons go and may we enjoy the beauty of the flowers. Thanks for being so vulnerable and open... may we do that too.
kent and emily

On Our Way said...

We continue to pray for Him to bless and keep you. Thanks for sharing Eliot's beautiful life and testimony!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. I have tears rolling down my face and then scoll down to the 99 balloons picture and see the smiles on your faces. It was then that I realized that Eliot is OK now. Please know that Eliot's life has definately left footprints on my heart and in my life. I will continue to pray for you daily. Thank you so very much is sharing his life with all of us.

Love in Christ
Leslie Knight
Monroe, LA

Anonymous said...

Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Just BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for showing me in tangible fashion how to view our trials through God's eyes. Eliot is simply ... AMAZING ... even now, in Heaven.

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Well done, Matt. You and Ginny have worn the Lord Jesus so beautifully through such a hard journey. God bless you all, and I hope that someday you're both able to see how your faith, and your son's incredible life, touched so many people. God has been glorified!

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing Eliot and his story with so many of us. We join you in celebrating Eliot's life and the lasting impact he will have on so many. We are praying for you as you continue on with Christ by your side.

Anonymous said...

i love you dearly, my heart and prayers are with you!
monique williams

Anonymous said...

What a privilege to “stumble” into your family’s journey on Eliot’s greatest birthday party -- A special day set aside to celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ calling His precious child home to live forever. As hard as it, thank you for your testimony of serving God first in all you do. Please know your family is now being lifted up in prayers in West Africa! Barb

Jena Griffin Baker said...

Matt and Ginny,

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with so many. You both have been on my heart so much these last days. I think of Eliot often and pray for you both as he comes to mind. You have been such an inspirtation even though you were just striving to be the best parents for Eliot. God placed him with for a reason and you both have done a wonderful job these last months. Please now my prayers will not end now but will continue through the months to come. Take care. With much love,

Jena Griffin Baker

Kara said...

May the LORD bless you and keep you.
The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!
I can see that He has already done that and what an awesome testimony Eliot, along with his parents, has left. Thank you for sharing your heart with so many people, even ones you don't know. God is good!

Bethany said...

Mooney Family,

I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face. My heart breaks and rejoices all at once. I am so thankful that Eliot is with our King. I am so thankful he is well. I am mostly thankful to all of you for sharing your "Holland" with the world. I even begin to tell you the impact that Eliot made in my life. What a wonderful witness to God's love and power he was and is. I thank you for having the strength to share this and letting God speak not just through Eliot but through the two of you. Thank you. I really appreciate it. God IS good!
Blessings,
Bethany Menchaca
Bella Amadis Photography
Leander, TX

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing the pictures and words. I am simply amazed and inspired by the two of you and by Eliot. Words don't adaquetely describe it....You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Grace (Orwig) Hill

Jamie said...

Thank you. Not just for sharing Eliot and his journey, but for the lasting reminders that are his legacy. Thank you for reminding me about how little some things matter and how much some things do. Thank you for showing me what that mustard seed can accomplish in your own life.

Know that your son's legacy and story will continue to touch strangers in ways I'm sure you could have never imagined.

Mrs. Olivia said...

Ginny and Matt,
It was a prvilege to be there for the celebration of Eliot's life. Fayetteville is so beautiful this time of year and standing on that knoll as the balloons floated away is an experience I will always cherish.Please know that I will never forget Eliot and the faithful service of his wonderful parents. Please take some time for you. I pray that you can rest and be renewed for the wonderful directions God has for you next. Love, prayers and hugs, Mrs. Olivia

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny,

I have thought about you every day for the last three months and checked your blog weekly. Thank you for sharing your journey through this blog. It made a big impact on my life as it did everyone's. The two of you are such an inspiration. I only hope that someday when I am a parent I can give half of the love, patience, and dedication as you did to sweet Eliot. You are amazing. My prayers for you continue.

Ashley Wright (friend of Matt's from school)

Stacey said...

Thank you so much for being so open and sharing with all of us! What a testimony all of you have been through this trial. God has really given you strength and grace to handle it so much better than I think I ever could!
You are amazing and I will continue to pray for both of you!!

Kim (Stroud) Dennis said...

Ginny and Matt i've sat here and read about Eliot daily and never commented for words failed me. What an angel that will always remain in my mind! God bless you two your strength is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny,
Doug and I and the girls have been praying for you and are so deeply impacted by sweet Eliot's life and your willingness to share this journey with so many. We'll let you know more soon about how his sweet life deeply touched not only ours, but many of our girls friends, teachers, and classmates who have read your entries and been praying for him. We rejoice to know Eliot is well with Jesus, but also hurt with you for your loss. May the creator of your souls give you comfort and strength that goes abundantly beyond all you can ask or imagine.
Love, Doug, Shawna, Sharay, Samara, and Sercy Sullivan

MamaKimberly said...

What a beautiful testimony to your son's life. You are in my prayers!

FunkyMonkeyJunk said...

Thank you for sharing Eliot with us. God is good in so many ways that we cannot even begin to imagine. I pray that the joy over those 99 days help ease the loss of such a beautiful gift. You're in my prayers tonight.

Andi

PS: I'm a friend of Sara W, who's sister has you linked on her site.

Anonymous said...

Blessings. You don't know me but I feel like I know you. As someone who longs to have a child, I covet the beautiful blessing you were given, if only for a short time. You truly were blessed.

Wendi Kitsteiner

www.flakymn.blogspot.com

Suzy said...

I have just read through your blog from the beginning, and though there are tears on my face, I am smiling. Thank you for sharing your lives. God knew what he was doing when he gave Eliot to you both.

God bless you both xxx

Lisa said...

Although I don't even know you my heart breaks for you and I cry with you. Thanks so much for sharing Eliot's life with us by blog. You shared the love that God gave to you through Eliot. I'll continue to pray for you in the days ahead that God will continue to be your strength.

Tamatha said...

Thank you for sharing your joys and sorrows in parenting your little miracle, Eliot. I can only imagine the adventures he's experiencing now.

Though I've never met him, he's left a footprint on my heart and I'm sure countless others' as well. God bless you, and thank you for sharing your story.

Tamatha

JenMom said...

Absolutely moving...and ABSOLUTELY what it is all about. Glory to God! I wish I knew you in real life. You are amazing.

Bint Alshamsa said...

Thank you for sharing Eliot with the world. May the Lord our God always be with you and may you always feel His love no matter where life takes the both of you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story and your sweet little boy with us. I will continue to keep your family in my prayers and will forever be touched by your strength and courage. God bless you and Eliot.

a bra that fits & a can opener that works said...

WHAT A JOY it will be, when in Heaven we will see, the impact of one tiny life, so painfully short, so amazingly large and far reaching.
Thank you God for giving Eliot to the Godly parents you did, who would share his story and give YOU the glory for all he was and is and always will be.
Not all of us could have done it YOUR way.

Life full of blessings said...

Thank you for your love for your Heavenly Father, who blesses us in amazing ways. I loved reading of your heart and love for your precious son Eliot.
Your true JOY is a blessing and I am so thankful I have come to your beatiful blog and read of all God is doing and continues to do through your testimony to HIM and His plan.
Liz Borbe, a fellow mommy to a miracle from God...

Raylene Herkamp said...

What beautiful words. I hope the sweet memories of your son sustain you until you join Eliot again with our Lord in heaven.

God Bless You,
Raylene
Monterey, CA

Anonymous said...

Matt & Ginny, Although we never met and probably never will, I am amazed at your courage and willingness to share your lives and your sweet Elliot. I found myself viewing the site to get updates frequently. As a Mother of 2, I love my children more than life itself, they teach me something new everyday - I can only imagine the lessons learned in his short little life. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart. Your dignity, honesty, & love for your sweet angel should be a lesson for us all. With warmest regards, hold eachother tight.

Heidi said...

Thank you so much for sharing Eliot's life with us here. You are truly inspiring me through Christ and I have had your family in my prayers. May you feel the comfort of God and be lifted by prayers through this time.

lani from The Wooden Porch said...

I am so sorry for your loss. He was such a beautiful little baby. I too have a tiny baby boy waiting for me in heaven. It's bitter sweet. What a treasure I'll one day behold and it fills my heart with hope, yet after almost 5 years, not one day goes by where I don't think about him and I still often cry. God bless you two.

http://thewoodenporch.blogspot.com/

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

I just found you through the wonderful praying blog world. Just wanted to let you know of another life that Eliot touched. May God be with you all - I know he is!!!

New Mama's Nest said...

I just stumbled upon your site for the first time. You, and your story are amazing. What an inspiration!

Erin Blackstone said...

I'm BAWLING!!!
Ginny, I so wish I could hug you right now. Matt, I wish I knew you better (but this blog helps alot).
You are both obviously blessed. I praise the Lord with you!
Love, erin blackstone

Anonymous said...

A sweet girl from our church (Watermark in Dallas, TX) posted a prayer request for your family and added the link to your blog in the request. I was immediately drawn to the site, and I'm so glad that I checked it out. Your story is truly amazing, and I am humbled to see what believing God in hard circumstances looks like... The world needs more role models like you guys--to show those of us who still aren't eating "solid food" how life can be lived in a way that exalts Christ's name! You guys are in my prayers...

Michele Peters

Anonymous said...

I am so deeply touched by your words. I don't know what to say except he did touch people that you don't even know about. Bless you!

Amanda Davis

jennifer said...

All three of you are wonderful people that have touched many lives in a very short time. Thank you and your son for teaching us all so much. He life was truly an amazing thing. God Bless You.

Karen Glanz said...

Hi! I just met you through a link sent by my sister-in-law. I was so blessed to read Eliot's story - actually it's God's story, isn't it? He just used Eliot and you two to tell it! We, too, lost our little Staci Grace to T18 a few weeks ago (July 27 - Sept. 21) and know your pain. We've asked ourselves so many times how people get through something like this without God. He has carried us all the way and we wouldn't trade out time or journey for anything. May you continue to experience everything He's wanting to show you through Eliot's life. And may your pain one day be replaced by only warm memories, until eternity when our faith will be lost in sight! Gary and Karen Glanz, Kelowna, BC, Canada. Check out our story at http://stacigrace.spaces.live.com

Kira said...

I came across the video of precious Eliot. He touched me so deeply, I just had to learn more. After finding this blog, reading (and crying quite a bit), and contemplating, I cannot believe the unremarkable strength. Both from you as parents and from Eliot for fighting so long to survive. I only wish I could be as strong as your perfect little family. Eliot is in my heart always.

Anonymous said...

Today is october 23rd 2007, and it was the first time I saw or read anything about Eliot, and I have to say, it was the most touching and beautiful thing I have ever come across. By sharing your story, you taught me a huge lesson... Cherish every single moment God sends you, no matter how big or small it may be.
Thank you so very very much for sharing your story, my heart goes out to you.
I will remember your beautiful Eliot forever, and I will hold you in my heart just as long.

With love and prayers,
Kimberley Moreau

Anonymous said...

God Bless you both, what a beautiful tribute to Eliot, the video I just saw on Godtube is so touching. May God enrich your lives and bless you with his love.

Neal said...

I have been blessed by the testimony of God in your truals.

AshleyB. Chillicothe Ohio said...

Amazing. Beautiful. Touching.
-ashley

christina said...

God bless you both. I cry everytime i watch Eliot's video.

Anonymous said...

Eliot was a very luck boy to have both of you as his parents.

Andrew Johnson said...

Thank you for sharing Eliot's life with the rest of us. It's an amazing story full of love, faith, and hope. I had never heard of Eliot before today (I stumbled across your story on Tangle.com); however, I can say I will never forget Eliot after today, also. What a beautiful gift you were given. We serve an awesome God! May He continue to bless the two of you until you get to see Eliot again!

battlewounded said...

I just wanted to say I haven't forgotten. I return to this site every year around this time to remember. Love to you all.