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,