|One year after Elijah left the hospital, he was beginning to thrive!|
I know of the day that President Kennedy was shot. I am reminded by the TV stations of the anniversary of the attack of pearl harbor. But, it's a second hand account. I listen and try to comprehend the impact on Americans, but I don't feel these historic moments like I do on 9/11...because I didn't live it. I remember my Mom telling us where she was when she heard that Kennedy was shot...she was ironing and I was 10 months old..in a playpen nearby. When she told that story, we could sense the emotion that she held of that moment. Because of her emotional connection, I wanted to learn more...to understand the impact that that moment had on our country. I want my kids to do the same when I share with them those days 10 years ago. We have a lot to learn from history..and by sharing our perspectives and our Christian worldview of the significant world events of the day with our children, they may listen more, learn more because we lived it....
But on the 5th anniversary of 9/11, we made a new memory on that day. We drove to the same hospital that we are sitting at right now. Just 2 months before, we had lost our son, Evan. Just about the same time that we have already been in the hospital this time around. We left with a scrawny, sick little baby dressed in a onesie and who gripped tightly the only possession he had... a hard, plastic rattle ....and a van load of medical equipment. It was on a 9/11/2006, that we first met with a room full of doctors before he was discharged. They wanted to make sure that we fully understood the complexities of his care. They wanted to make sure we understood that he may not survive.."He will die with a bone marrow transplant and he will die without one..." were the hematologists words...He encouraged us to take him home and keep his as healthy as possible so that his lungs could grow and his condition to stabilize..so that we transplant time came, he had the best chance of survival.
It was just two months before that we held our son, Evan, as he took his last breaths. God, what are you asking of us? You have obviously mistaken us for someone who can handle this..we can't. Not again. If it wasn't for the look of helplessness in Elijah's eyes on the day we met him, I think I may have wanted to run. The words that the doctor said that day are blazoned into my memory forever..."This child is truly between a rock and a hard place." But, there was piece of that analogy that was left out...Elijah was firmly standing upon the Rock...and nothing about Elijah was not known to God.
He didn't smile back then..hardly at all. He had that old soul look...an old weary soul that had seen war and strife. It was many months before we finally saw smiles from our little boy. But, when he laughed, it was like magic...because we knew how long it was in coming. We knew the struggles that he had endured..and the depth of his struggles magnified the joy we felt in the triumphs.
9/11 is about picking up the pieces. It is about finding courage out of fear. It is about recognizing our weakness and our vulnerability and looking deep within to find strength. God did not make a mistake when he asked us to walk this path with Elijah...He found His broken, weak followers who had nothing of their own to offer and filled them with all that they have needed...every morning since then.
Happy Gotcha Day, Elijah Jordan Martindale!