I'm listening to an inspirational song sent to us by a dear, dear friend http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi8tajO11SM&feature=related. As you can imagine, Elijah's upcoming surgery is crowding our thoughts these days.
Of all the things I've learned in these three years of Eli's life, one I learn over and over is that people are so kind. Last week, our fellow Little Light House parents and some of the teachers and therapists built us a basket of kindness for our upcoming trip to Shreveport. I was in awe of how they had the basket packed with things David and I really like...Dr. Pepper, pringles, Cherry 7-Up, Reese's, gift cards...how did they know that? We were so touched that fellow parents, who are in similar situations as we are, would make such a generous sacrifice for our journey. I'm deeply touched by the amazing kindness of people.
On Tuesday, David and I (along with a pal of mine from work) met at the Little Light House for a 12:30 p.m. celebration in honor of Eli's third birthday. I made a small cake for the kids. I wasn't really expecting much except eating cake. When we arrived, nearly every available employee of the LLH came into Eli's room to wish him a happy birthday. The therapy staff had a birthday cabinet they wheeled in with neat light displays. The children loved it. Eli knew it was all to celebrate his special day. The LLH thinks of EVERYTHING. I continue to be amazed at their care for extraordinary kids. Eli had been hearing the b-day song all day, so when it was time to sing to him, he sang right along and clapped enthusiastically at the end. Yes, he licked some icing. The LLH staff made Eli feel so special. It was the best day! How will we top that on his actual b-day Dec. 23?
I came to a heartbreaking revelation last week. The parents at the Little Light House are all just like me and David. They too did not select to go on this journey of hospitals, doctor visits, therapy, surgery and heartache. But, here we are. Together we are travelling down difficult paths...each very different, but each unexpected and very hard. As I walk into LLH each morning to drop off Eli, I don't see a single face of bitterness or anger. Everyone smiles. We greet each other with true empathy, patience and love. We have strong bonds in the likeness of our circumstances. One of the added benefits of having Eli a part of the amazing LLH.
Eli now calls Sophia "O Eah," so cute. He calls me Mum Mum. Sweetest sounds.
Eli's weekend Nurse Melody (who Eli loves) has worked with another young lady for 14 years, Lindsey. She died last Saturday at age 23. I cried and cried for her family this week. Please say a special prayer of peace for them as they celebrate Lindsey's favorite holiday, Christmas, without her this year.
I've been writing a recollection of December 23, 2006, and the days and months that followed. I plan to post it on Eli's birthday so stay tuned.
Wishing you each a Christmas of joy, peace and love. I know God will be carrying us through the coming weeks. Thank you for your prayers.
"If He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulder, I know my sister that He will carry you."
With love and gratitude,
P.S. David's been dealing with a debilitating migraine headache this week. No doubt due to the extra stress from thinking about Eli's upcoming surgery (though he wouldn't admit it). Currently he is at the urgent care center to get the dreaded shot to stop the pain in its tracks, but that means another 24 hours of sleep ahead. We really, really want to be in church tomorrow and planned on attending our Sunday School party tonight. We'll do our best.