Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Well, we did not manage to post on Eliot's birthday. We fought to celebrate, and feel we were able to do so.

When accurately remembered, there is so much to be thankful for. But heartache often manages to eclipse the whole. Therein, lies the battle. Attempting to push aside the pain, to relish the joy. That battle continues.

We wanted to be sure to issue an ongoing invitation to folks who want to contact us. Feel free. We have greatly enjoyed hearing from those who have experienced Trisomy 18 or something similar and are here for anyone who may need a resource or just an ear. That invitation is open to anyone, whether you have walked a similar road or not (

We will update with information or any new blog that comes about.

I will end this blog with words originally spoken at his funeral:

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.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


As many of you know this will be our next to last post. The site will still be up and available. We plan on a final post for Eliot’s 1-year birthday (Friday). I will then be taking a blogging sabbatical. We will update the site with any information we want to pass on. This information might include such things as respite night information and a new blog address- if a new blog comes about. If you want to know about those things, you can put your e-mail address in the box to the left and it will let you know when the site is updated.

I have been working away on a documentary about Eliot. It is coming along, but has a long way yet to go. The process is much better than the movie. Any project that allows me to get lost in photos and footage of my son is one I am happy about. I view it as a gift to Ginny and myself, which we will appreciate more with each day that passes. As of now it is a private project, but if, at a later time, we are inclined to share it, I will post the information.

We wish to thank each and everyone one of you who has visited here. Many of you have encouraged us through comments and even taken the time to send us cards; to those who responded when we asked for 2-month birthday cards for Eliot. Thank you. Thanks, even to the lurkers. We’re glad you came around.

Ginny and I were recently reminiscing how we looked forward to checking comments when Eliot was here. It was amazing to see folks flock to the site and check in on a boy that most of them had never actually met. He had that way with people. We quickly learned that this whole thing was beyond us. A story was unfolding and we got to take part.

Some of our favorite e-mails came from those who noted that they were not “religious” or told us how they “were not sure they fit in this group”; but they went on to tell how Eliot had taught them something or just brought a smile to their face. Some even elicited how they could not believe they were reading a blog that was written by a Christian living in the South. But all were drawn in some way to something.

Eugene Peterson says it this way:
“Everytime someone tells a story well, the gospel is served”

All we have done is tell a story. The story of our son. And, oh, what a story it is.

I have purposely made strides to downplay the God-card. This was simply because all I could do was get in the way with my feeble attempts. God was in the story. He did not need to be exposed.

If you have found yourself drawn to this story and not really knowing why, I humbly propose that my son is only a vehicle to proclaim a story greater than his own.

There is someone who loves you with a love larger than ours for Eliot. There is one who takes you with all of your flaws and delights in all that you are. He sings over you when you sleep and hems you in while awake. He destroys the worth-measures of man and pronounces you worthy. He is Jesus. He is the only way we have made it thus far and our only hope for tomorrow.

Thank you,

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Trust in Hindsight

Ginny is done with travels and is busy with the beads. I am currently lost in an Evidence class and otherwise occupied with various projects. We’re planning on another post next Wednesday and then a goodbye post for Eliot’s 1 year birthday (July 20th). Another blog is being considered, and we’ll pass the site on if it happens.

As I think back on life one year to the day, I am at a loss. It all comes only in glimpses- flashes on a screen with no continuity. It takes effort to remember. And I hate that. Nonetheless, I remember vividly.

Eight days from birth- there were so many questions. Trisomy 18 renders an impossible task. One must welcome life and simultaneously prepare for goodbye in one motion. We battled to be hopeful, but not blind. We pleaded boldly with Him, but did so, on bended knees of submission.

Rarely, I am able to pull back from my typical view of circumstances. During these brief moments, I attempt to see the year past in wide angle- viewed in entirety, and outside of myself. It is such a view that has cemented a notion I held even before I had reason to do so.

Against all that may seem otherwise, today is purposeful. Life has no detours. Each zigzag culminates at an intended port.

The last year was a culmination of everything I have ever learned, witnessed or experienced. It’s as if I was unwittingly on a training schedule to be Eliot’s father. And, although, I would maintain that I still was not ready- not fully trained, some things are only learned in practice. Training can only get you so far.

Approaching thirty, and one year from law school graduation, I get the loathed, “what are you going to do?” quite a bit- and deservedly so. Well, here’s the unconventional truth. I have no idea. Pretty sure practicing law is not it. To be honest, I had no clue why I headed to law school when I did.

When we left Fort Worth three years ago, I pointed us to Nashville. Great town, but I could not get a job. I mean no job. I looked for jobs that I thought I would enjoy first, then I just looked for anyone who would hire me. No one. Not the library, not the steakhouse on the corner, not Starbuck’s.

I ended up folding sweaters at the Gap and apologizing to my wife that, “I had moved us to Nashville so we could work in the mall”. No slight on the mall jobs, but this is not why we had moved. Fort Worth had malls. I laugh now, but I cried then. I felt like a loser husband and I couldn’t even get the creases right when I folded jeans. So I applied to law school, got in, and went with it.

Needless to say, the decision to go back to school for something I was pretty sure I did not want to do, did not make for good conversation. Yes, my wife is one incredible woman.

And now I know.

I could not imagine the last year without the folks in Fayetteville. Because of preparation made in light of school, we had accounted for me not having an income. I was able to do take off from classes and devote my time to Eliot. I am so thankful for that. We were perfectly situated for the road ahead of us. So, now when people ask why I am in law school, I laugh- and typically tell them about my son.

It is too bad that trust cannot be measured after the fact.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the lord’s purpose that prevails.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy Trails

We continue to wait on a location for the respite night. Against all within me, I have opted for a laid back approach. Trusting that something will open up if it is meant to be done.

Ginny has returned from the Big Apple, as has my smile. We are headed to Conway, Arkansas this weekend to marry off a good friend of mine. With this friend getting married, I feel compelled to warn all that the end of the earth might actually be approaching.

Ginny and I have decided that this blog will be coming to an end soon. Eliot was born on July 20th, and we think it a fitting date to wrap up a site dedicated to his life. We are not attempting to move on or anything like that; rather, we simply think the view from the window into our son’s life and our grief has revealed the panoroma. There will be more information coming on how to keep up with us if you want.

A question has been bumping around the recesses of my mind as of late.

What is the destination?

I have come to view mourning as a journey. Let me be the first to admit that sounds a little hokey, but come on, let it slide.

The pathway is littered with obstacles, each differing in degrees of difficulty. A recurring hurdle of hardness-of-heart here, a pothole labeled despair there. Unforeseen twists and turns are the norm; all the while, the lone desire of the traveler is to stop- to rest. However, it is quickly realized that pit stops are dangerous as well. For it is here that the strangers, with names such as Fear and Skepticism, attempt to become traveling companions.

There is an alternative to traveling the road of mourning that can sometimes seem appealing. The idea that I can stay here and not go down that road at all appears the better option. However, one comes to learn that the road is not actually optional. It must be walked. Attempting otherwise only delays the journey; and each day left unwalked increases the toll that is charged for passage.

And so I have walked the road. It is only recently that I have wondered where it leads. What is the goal? Where does it all end?
Does this road have a destination or is my status now permanently that of a nomad with no home- walking a treacherous road without end.

I have come to a settlement on this question of mine. Bad news first. The road of mourning does not end on this side of eternity. Ginny and I will not reach the end of our heartache. We will not arrive at “all better”. In truth, our loss is a permanent scar whose effects have only just begun.

But we do have a companion on this road who has traveled it himself. Who, alone, makes the road bearable.

And, although the journey does not end it does head toward something. There is due north. And the compass points to the love of Jesus Christ. The further traveled, the greater the understanding. Never attained, but closer still.

Thus, the river of grief flows to the same sea that all of life’s rivers flow towards. Even if one has never known pain, his is the same road as mine. All of life’s experiences- including Eliot- direct me to my home.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge
Ephesians 3

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
I Corinthians 13