Thursday, December 07, 2006

Contempt for the Commonplace

Apologies to anyone who noticed the failure to meet the self-imposed Wednesday deadline.

This last week brought winter with it. Ginny and I had the privilege of working with some friends of ours on a short film of Eliot's life. We are excited about this opportunity to share Eliot's story. We do, after all, feel that this is now our role- tell the story. His sweet life spoke so loudly, we can only hope to continue to let it do so. We will let you know more information as it comes.

This next sentence seems to find its way into every post now...we continue to seek exactly what we could do to help others. Please pray that if anything were to be done, it would be revealed.

Our pray as of late has been that the memory of Eliot would incite a smile on our face and in our hearts. This is a big request. Although, the smiles always come, they do not yet surface initially. Just the pain of missing him.

Recently, I have noticed that I have no patience for the mundane. This I readily attribute to my little guy. Ginny, I believe, would echo this sentiment. I would guess this is something that anyone going through life-altering experiences could relate to. It's become difficult to tolerate the trivial. I fear that my face may often give me away in conversations with others. Although, I am nodding my head and feigning interest as they tell me of their new job promotion, or holiday plans, or whatever- I am afraid my face is letting out my inner thoughts...Yeah, well my son died. I miss him. And I don't care.

The funny thing is, I do actually care more than ever. I care about the person telling me the story. I care to know him or her- their hurts, successes, what makes them tick. But I cannot tolerate small talk. I think the initial reaction to this revelation from others might be, "ah, it will pass. give it some time." Well, I hope not. As long as I can control my faces in public, I think this newfound focus might be a strength.

I am created to need a little more substance in my interaction with others than how the Hogs fared in the game last week. Don't get me wrong, I also need the small talk; and I am not promoting the loathed one whose every word is probing and serious. In Jesus, I see the perfect mixture. He interacted, went fishing, and frequented some parties. But He always saw through it, and managed to get to the heart. My hope is to get there. I am not. But, through Eliot, I am closer.

Now, I know some of you will fear talking to us next time you see us...don't. Just don't watch my face too closely.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

We have sold somewhere over 100 necklaces. Thanks to all of you who have let us know what it has meant to you. We're excited to use the money toward something worthwhile. eliot necklace.


Joy Primm said...

I absolutely love your honesty. Thank you for continuing to be vulnerable. Still praying for you...

Anonymous said...

Just keep the posts coming and pour everything you are feeling out- you need to say it and we WANT to hear it! And, it's alright if you are a day late, or if you don't feel like putting on a happy face.

On Our Way said...

You're thoughts are so normal. I know when I was 18 and my father died. You said it right, "well, my father died." Thinking of you and praying for you both!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for continuing to post and share your heart. Eliot has not been forgotten by us and we continue to gladly pray for you. I just finished a women's Bible study on Job. Some great Truths I was reminded of are:1) God is sovereign and knows all things...we do not. 2)God's plans are perfect and we can't pretend to know what those plans are(like Job's friends tried to do). 3)God gives and takes away,Blessed be the name of the Lord. 4)Watching Job's suffering unravel and seeing His response to it,we have to learn to think rightly about God and speak rightly about God,which we can only learn through His Word.

I've seen these great Truths lived out in you guys. Thank you!


FunkyMonkeyJunk said...

Matt, I love your honesty! It's so refreshing and in some ways I do relate to what you share. We lost our first pregnancy over Labor Day weekend this year. After years of infertility, a pretty painful experience. A very insensitive acquaintance mentioned to me that she was sad I wouldn't be attending her baby shower. She said, "I'm afraid that someday you'll regret missing out on something so special to me." Although I didn't say it, I'm sure my face said, "What I'm missing out on is much more than your baby shower...and NO...I don't think I'll regret missing it."

Obviously, I'm still at a point where my thoughts for the mundane are fairly caustic and sharp. I hope to get to your level of awareness of others and have a lot more grace in my thoughts and actions. Thank you for reminding me that I CAN do it, if I choose.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to share, while simultaneously continuing to allow us to learn. You are right about the small talk- I know exactly what you mean. My dad died from a brain tumor- and small talk seems to be just that sometimes.. small talk. I cannot express enough how much your posts continue to put life into perspective for me.
My prayer is that your hurting hearts feel just a little better with each passing day. -Garrett

Mrs. Olivia said...

Good morning Matt and Ginny! Thank you for your honesty but more importantly your willingness to look beyond the surface! Please know I will never forget Eliot and how God used him and his precious family as instruments to help me and so many others see HIM more clearly. Continuing to pray for you every day- Love, prayers and hugs, Mrs. Olivia

Anonymous said...

I'm realizing through our struggles with our baby girl this year that so many people I know have been through heartache and devastation recently that I was unaware of. Before my daughter, I lived in "small talk." My eyes have been opened.

It's a delicate balance, though, to keep what's important in mind without belittling somebody else's trials. Sometimes I still think, "So you're having a hard time at work. Well, my daughter has a syndrome that'll keep her from ever even having a job. Get over it." Obviously I have a long way to go.

Thank you for your honest posts--they speak to anyone who is in the midst of struggles. And they stretch those who aren't.

Heaven Sent said...

What a wonderfully honest post. Your faith is shining as bright as ever. I am praying for your family!

Anonymous said...

My name is Tami Cooper and I ended up linking to Eliot's page after reading Claire's (my friend is friends with her Mommy). Anyway, I have been reading since before Claire was born... and have been incredibly touched by your journey. In fact, my husband was shocked when he came in to find me crying and shaken one day in front of the computer... that was the day that I learned of Eliot's passing.
I have not ever experienced the passing of a child... so I truly have no idea what you all have felt. I have, however, lost all of my core family members. My sister passed in 97, my grandfather in 00, my father in 12/02 and then my mother 6 weeks later in 1/03 and finally my grandmother in 6/03. There were many outside circumstances that made all of this even more intense... but anyway. I remember feeling exactly what you are feeling right now.. and honestly, I'm still the same way. It annoys me to hear people being petty and not realizing the incredible gift of life that has been given to us! There is blessing in each breath we take and so much that we should be thankful for... and doing in the name of the Father... and they're missing it! I often catch myself taking inventory since time has passed making sure that I have not fallen back into their world!! I say all of that to say, I think you are completely normal.. and at some point you may not be as "reactive" to others' pettiness.... but don't be surprised if this isn't a life-changing feeling that remains.

I'm so sorry for your pain and loss... I know that those words are worthless... but know that they are not empty!! Yours and your wife's journal entries have touched me in the depths of my spirit!! Kudos to both of you for the incredible pillars of strength that you are!! (by the way... it's ok to crumble now and again).
I look forward to one day meeting Eliot!! He has to be incredibly proud of his Mommy and Daddy...
I'm convinced that God is proud of you, too!!
Tami (

Shawn McEvoy said...


I'm a good friend of Travis Terral, who has kept me updated on your story throughout the entire span of Eliot's life.

I've lurked on your blog from time to time, but today I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate "Contempt for the Commonplace." You've got it right - and yes, what you've found I do believe is a strength.

In addition to being Trav's friend, I'm also the Faith Editor for If you're unfamiliar, we're one of the world's largest Christian web sites. I'm going to leave this entirely up to you (and I wouldn't even suggest it if I didn't think you had struck a real chord that SO many of us would benefit from reading), but if you feel any leading to flesh this "Contempt for the Commonplace" blog entry out into more of an 800-1,000-word article, with some more of your background story in the introduction, I'd be privileged to run it for you, and help you tell just a fraction of Eliot's story.

If not, please forgive the intrusion, and know that you are blessing many already with your testimony.

You may reach me at

God Bless.

Becky Page said...

Nah. I get it, y'all. I pooped out on small talk a long time ago. I feel awkward about it with folks who don't know me well. That's the weight of sorrow, though. You don't want to waste time with folks anymore - want to get to the heart of it all and get down to loving well.

Still thinking about you lots. Still thinking about Eliot, too.

Lisa said...

I certainly get it! Not to demean anyone else's troubles, but once you have had a tragedy or real grief, you really don't have time for the small stuff! You live harder and love deeper. I guess I have finally come to realize that at least the ones will all the small talk that seems pointless to me, at least I don't feel like they have experienced the true hurt that I experienced.

I remember the social worker coming into my hospital room the day I was going home after delivering my twin boys and her telling me she knew how I felt. I remember asking her if she had gone through hours of labor knowing her child/children were not alive only to see them and have to leave them to go home without them. She told me no she had never lost a child. I remeber the the anger building in me and very quickly telling her that unless she had been through it, there was no way she could even to begin to know and for future reference she might need to change her auto response!

On the same note, I cannot imagine what you are going through because I never brought mine home to care for them or devote every minute of the day to them knowing the whole time that those minutes were limited. I say it again, God knew exactly who to give that sweet baby boy to because most would lose their minds!!!!!!!

Still praying for you in Arlington, Tx. May your days eventually get brighter and may you smile a little more often knowing that Eliot has reached out and touched so many people =)

Lisa Hartsfield
Arlington, TX

Anonymous said...

Your recent post made me think of another journal I read very similar to yours. If you get a chance you should visit It is written by a father about his daughter's fight with cancer. He is a wonderful writer and I think it might help you. The post I am referring to is dated 12/8/06. I am so sorry for the loss of sweet Eliot.
Kym Little
Mobile, Alabama

Anonymous said...

Dear Matt and Ginny. Still visiting your blog. Still thinking of you daily. And yes, still missing Eliot even though I met him through his blog. I am so thrilled to see that over 100 of Eliot's necklaces have sold. I am excited to see what the future holds for you also. May you continue to be blessed with God's peace.
Thinking of you,
Shannon and Carey, Austin