Eliot’s Story

Tonight I saw a video that touched me deeply.  What impacted me most was how the things that are so easy to see as “inconveniences” when caring for a newborn were such blessings to this family, who knew how little time they had with their son and cherished every moment.

“We feed you every three hours, and it takes us an hour and a half to do it. We’ve loved learning how to best take care of you…”

“It’s 11 at night right now, and my feeding shift has just begun. Mom is asleep, and the best part of my day has begun. My shift ends around 4:45am when your mom takes over. She cherishes her mornings with her boy…”

Just a simple change of perspective, and yet it means so much.  I hope that you will take the time to watch it:






When they interviewed this couple, Eliot’s mother spoke of enjoying each day with him, telling herself “I’ll be sad later.”

Those four little words speak volumes.

I looked up Eliot’s blog after watching his video. You can find it at www.mattandginny.blogspot.com. Here are some excerpts that also touched me deeply:

November 1, 2006 (The day of Eliot’s funeral)

Truly, the Lord did not ask us to take a path which He had not already traveled on our behalf. Although we did not willingly give up Eliot , his life & death have given new meaning to the sacrifice the Father made when He gave His only Son unto death, that we could have life.

And so today, we celebrate. Eliot is well. And, although we miss him more than we can express, we are only separated from him by our time left on earth. We anxiously wait to join Him in worshiping the Lord.

So today we propose a new standard.
How do you measure a life? By years? By esteem? By productivity?

Eliot Hartman Mooney
99 days, 98 birthday parties (& today makes 99)
18 nurses
17, 557 visits to his website
0 minutes unattended

Dec 7, 2006

Recently, I have noticed that I have no patience for the mundane. This I readily attribute to my little guy. Ginny, I believe, would echo this sentiment. I would guess this is something that anyone going through life-altering experiences could relate to. It’s become difficult to tolerate the trivial. I fear that my face may often give me away in conversations with others. Although, I am nodding my head and feigning interest as they tell me of their new job promotion, or holiday plans, or whatever- I am afraid my face is letting out my inner thoughts…Yeah, well my son died. I miss him. And I don’t care.

The funny thing is, I do actually care more than ever. I care about the person telling me the story. I care to know him or her- their hurts, successes, what makes them tick. But I cannot tolerate small talk. I think the initial reaction to this revelation from others might be, “ah, it will pass. give it some time.” Well, I hope not. As long as I can control my faces in public, I think this newfound focus might be a strength.

I am created to need a little more substance in my interaction with others than how the Hogs fared in the game last week. Don’t get me wrong, I also need the small talk; and I am not promoting the loathed one whose every word is probing and serious. In Jesus, I see the perfect mixture. He interacted, went fishing, and frequented some parties. But He always saw through it, and managed to get to the heart. My hope is to get there. I am not. But, through Eliot, I am closer.

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

July 5, 2007

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.

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