Sunday, February 3, 2008

Intro from Eli's Sherpa

David Ramirez, father of Elijah, reporting for duty:

For those who don't know, a Sherpa is one of the locals who lives around the Himalayas and usually serves as a guide and guard for the visiting climbers; "sherpa" has become a generic term for "the one who carries the luggage." So if my son, Elijah, is on a journey--and he is--then I'm the bellhop following close behind. This kid knows how to fill a car trunk.

Of course, those of you aware of Eli's journey know that no one carries more weight than he does, even though he's 13 pounds at 13 months old. When he was hospitalized for 11 days after his birth, his doctors wrote "failure to thrive" on his paperwork, a sort of generic stand-in for "low birth weight, cause unknown." I snicker whenever I see paperwork today that still lists this as his diagnosis... No one I've met or heard of knows how to thrive like this little guy. He understands things they can't teach in books.

What do you want to know first, the shopping list of symptoms with which he struggles, or the miracles we've witnessed through his life over the past year? As this blog grows legs, I'm sure we'll swing back and forth between the two. Elijah (I hardly ever call him Eli, but he answers to it) faces daunting challenges in '08, mostly associated with repairs to deficiencies in his arms and legs, so you will hear us asking for your prayers again and again. But if '08 is anything like '07, you'll also hear us announcing repeatedly how your prayers have been answered. I certainly have no reason to expect anything less.

I'm cheating a little by posting the first message to this blog. The honors really should go to my wife, Melissa, who has been responsible for myriad e-mail notices during the past year. In addition to soliciting prayers from a massive network of friends, family, acquaintances and strangers spanning the entire continent, she is also responsible for masterminding our current financial situation. Without her administration of our insurance and government assistance options, Elijah would be in much, much worse shape tonight. With her hands, ideas and willpower, she has saved our son's life, as surely as any surgeon he has encountered.

Melissa's attention to detail is surpassed only by her loving spirit, which she has passed on to both Elijah and our beautiful daughter Sophia (not "Sophie," not until she says it's okay). She is five-years-old, bright to the point of glowing, curious, graceful, and devoid of malice. We would be absolutely lost without her, and she continues to amaze us with displays of patience and comprehension throughout Elijah's ordeal. She’s an essential member of the team.

I'm sure the majority of Ramirez-originated updates in this blog will come from Melissa, not me, so like I said, it's kinda uncool that I'm making the first post. But it's precisely because you don't hear from me as often that I wanted to take this opportunity. Let me be the first to welcome you as you join us on Eli's journey, and to say thank you, thank you, thank you for all you have done for him. Your prayers lift us, and they feed directly into Elijah's Attitude Adjustment System. He radiates peace and happiness even during days of trouble, and therefore, so do we.

That's enough for now; plenty of time to explain it all in further posts. For now, and for always, please continue to pray for Elijah in the following ways:

- Pray that he experience as little pain as possible.
- Pray that he is able to make his mark on this world, in his own way, in his own time.
- Pray that God be glorified because of, not despite, the challenges Elijah faces.

Blessings for you and your families,


Emily said...

What a beautiful post, David! I second everything you say, and I can't wait to see my little guy in a few weeks!

It's amazing to see how Elijah is going to change the world. How he can make a day brighter, just by being present with us.

He's a beautiful child, and he was given to a beautiful family. He's lucky to have you, as you are lucky to have him. Blessed, really. Goes both ways.

I always think of your family when I say any prayers. I will continue to do so also!

I love your blog, and can't wait to follow it.

I'll also add him as a favorite of mine.

I've got my own blog as well, and would love to invite you as readers to those blogs.

Talk to you soon,
Emily Fritts

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the new blog. This will really help me keep up with you guys, even though Grandma Bobbie is diligent in sending out emails. Your entire extended family is so precious to me. Your whole family glorifies the Lord in such a way that blazes a path for all to see. Eli is so blessed to have been born into such a wonderful family! Praying for you all - Lynda Thackerson

Emily said...

This is a great blog! I've read many a blog in the last few years and this is the first which makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time! God is so good! I love you both...and your precious kiddos!
Faithfully His -
Emily K. Graham

Rob and Kathy Gandy said...

As we said in the email we sent you last night, we have just learned about Elijah this week. Tonight we went to this first post on your blog and started reading. We plan to read every entry until we catch up. We have already read your recent posts regarding Elijah's surgery this week...we are SO thankful to read tonight that he is doing so well, so far. Praying that God continues to meet every need in the Ramirez family. David, we remember you and Mark being Sophia and Elijah's ages. Know that we will keep you all in our prayers every day from now on. Love in Christ, Rob and Kathy Gandy, Ada, Oklahoma