We want to propose an idea that we have mulled over. We are asking you (yes…you) to consider e-mailing us what Eliot’s life, or a similar occurrence, has taught you. You may be a longtime friend, a new friend through this blog, or someone we have never met…whatever the case, please consider taking the time and effort to write out what you have learned. It can be a sentence, paragraph, or book-length. You need not be eloquent, just honest. You could also repeat or expound on a post or note you already sent us. E-mail your words to firstname.lastname@example.org. We may even post some of the responses.
Ginny was able to have a jewelry show last week in my hometown of Fort Smith, Arkansas. The weather was terrible, but the show was good. She also has a show in the works for St. Louis soon. I am gearing up for law school finals. OK, I am dreading law school finals.
We recently have had the honor of getting to “e-meet” some families who have walked a similar road. We are always glad to hear the stories of others and love to talk to anyone who might need a resource.
We have sent out some questionnaires to groups conducting respite nights, and are looking at setting the date for our first one.
I, like you I am sure, have been following the tragedy at Blacksburg. The events have left me somewhat hesitant to write about my own life and struggles. Knowing I cannot imagine the hurts of another, I am left to do that which is all I can do…tell my story. But I do so with a heavy heart. Knowing my pain is only a drop in the ocean. I continue to relay the story of the drop that is my own.
This week Ginny and I continued some work on cleaning out Eliot’s room. We have worked at a turtle’s pace over time, doing some small things when we felt like it. As of late some big changes to his room have occurred. Ginny recently took down his crib and we both worked over the weekend on re-arranging some things. This nightmare exercise is something a parent should not have to do until their child is going to college. However, it was a joy to be immersed in a room that serves as a memorial of sorts to all that was Eliot: chicken socks, Alabama hat (too big), red converse (way too big), and stacks of animal-printed premi-outfits.
Ginny recently relayed the following truth with which she has been grappling.
As many of you already are aware, during Eliot’s life we celebrated each day with a birthday party. Rejoicing over each day was so easy while he was here. Psalm 139:16 has never been more true or evident than a day with Eliot.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
The truth of this verse came alive in our son. Each second, minute and hour was not supposed to occur. But the Father had determined otherwise. Eliot’s life was ordained. Such proposition is digested with ease, going down smoothly.
But now comes the coughing and choking that is the aftermath. Because, just as within Eliot’s sweet life, if I believe that lesson, I must acknowledge that today is ordained as well. The days with tears, even the days spent sifting through his room. All days, ordained.
Today is worth treasuring. In essence, today is my birthday, worthy of celebration. Because all days are prescribed for me by God.
This truth, while not fully grasped, has provided new perspective.