The latest from Brenna, Elijah’s mom:
“Restore: “(transitive verb) To give something back, to return something to previous condition….”
God is restoring Elijah right before our eyes. We are grateful. Awed.
While we are thankful for every bit of restoration that God is orchestrating in Elijah. I also pray that he is and we are: forever changed for the better. That we will remember the inch stones He has granted and always seek to abide in Him and view our actions in light of eternity during our vapor of a life here on earth. Let us have his perspective as we view those around us- those who need hope in a lost and dying world. A friend sent me this quote:
“ The Christian’s most defining moments in life are when he has to helplessly depend on God to make it through the storm. The Holy Spirit grabs the attention of others through the suffering of God’s child” — Robert Brock
I believe that our American view of Christianity lays suffering aside… instead we embrace fun and ease and peace. None of us want to suffer. And truly few of us suffer as those believers in other countries. But we bring glory to God when we, as Andrew Murray puts it “suffer well”. And when we remember those who suffer as though it were we ourselves that were suffering. Many of you have shown us how to do that. In loving our neighbor as ourselves we will rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, pray for one another, remember those that are in bonds.
We are thankful for the many ways in which you all have reached out to touch our lives during this time. While I hesitate to call our situation suffering; there are many more people in this world who suffer much more than this, we are humbled by the outreach. Elijah’s faithful friends who have continued to visit him, even when he cannot interact. These friends read to him, talk to him for hours, show him photo albums, joke with him, pray for him, watch you tube shorts. We are amazed at the friends who day after day honor him with an out of town visit. Thank you! This week Elijah received a very special “healing” quilt. This quilt was made with much care, time and love. The best part is that he was able to be awake and aware to receive it; he was touched. It is good for him to know that he is thought of and missed. The quilt had signatures of many who wish him well in his recovery and some verses. Most predominately was I Peter 5:10 which was a verse someone sent to me for encouragement. It reads but the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
We are working on individual thank you notes but please know that we acknowledge and are grateful for the monetary sacrifices that you all have made toward Elijah and our family-we are saving it for extra therapy if needed past the 60 days. Thank you also to all of the special people from STOA Colorado – families representing all the speech and debate teams who have taken time to remember and bless Elijah- it is amazing! We are humbled. I am especially grateful to my friends who are raising my kids while I am gone. Taking the burden off of Randy while he works, you all have been remarkable! We also have been blessed by people reaching out – strangers – who have taken the time to record music, write their story, visit the ICU and give us stories of hope and tokens of the same, replies on the blog from those of you who have been touched by Elijah and Autumn’s story (God’s story) and have taken time to either help them at the scene or pray for them these 50 plus days.
Here is a praise report of God’s restoration this week:
Laughs: Elijah’s laughter has continued in varying degrees throughout the week. Some days he is just too tired. But the things that cause him to laugh are always seemingly appropriate pre-accident Elijah style humor. On Friday Grace had Elijah laughing for a good 45 minutes. His face was even more expression filled than when he started laughing last Sunday.
Language: Elijah has said a few words this week and is attempting to become more verbal nearly every day. Again, all of the words indicate understanding of all that is going on. When I was removing a bandage, he winced and I said “Elijah, your not going to let a band-aid take you down, are you? You just think I am torturing you.” He replied, “You are.” The day that they stood him up they asked if he was okay and he said “I think so”. He also told some friends about standing up yesterday “It was hard.”
Physical: Elijah is nearly tubeless (as I tell him). He had his trach removed last Tuesday (praise be to God) and the Respiratory therapists believe that the stoma is healing remarkably fast. They removed his Pic line and he has no telemetry (continuous vital signs monitoring). He had his pins out on Thursday and has been to the gym three times this week for therapy. The pin pulling was an experience. We rode to Fort Collins in an ambulance and he had a regular appointment in an ortho office. They wheeled him in on the stretcher and the doctor whipped out some pliers and pulled the pins (which looked like skewers) out of his feet. Two in each foot. Elijah never made a sound. With the pins out, Elijah can now bear weight on his feet! This will aid in his recovery greatly. Friday and Sunday he stood on his feet for 15 and 30 minutes respectively. The first day they put him on a tilt table. They slid him from his bed to the table and then belted him at the chest and knees. Slowly they tilted the table to a vertical position. Gradually increasing the pressure on his feet until he was bearing his whole weight (which, by the way, is a mere 138#). Of course it had been 50 days since he has stood on his own two feet so the orthopedic doc said these would be tough therapeutic sessions (they thought that he would only be able to stand on his tip toes since his feet were tending to be in plantar flexion). Not so!!! Praise God. He surprised everyone by standing flat -footed the very first time. He still holds his arms across his chest with very limited movement in the arms or the fingers. Randy has had him try to feed himself this weekend.
Food glorious food: Elijah is eating ice chips since Monday, then graduated to thin liquids and now pureed food/protein drinks, Noosa yogurt and custard. We bring our own drinks since Ensure is about the grossest thing ever invented. (my apologies to the chemists who devised the concoctionJ ) Seriously, who would want to drink water, corn maltodextrin, sugar, and canola oil? We also have a dear friend who makes Elijah’s favorites: peach tea with agave and pumpkin custard – awesome. As soon as he eats a sufficient amount of calories to maintain/gain weight then they will discontinue tube feedings and remove the PEG tube!!
Craig: Elijah will transfer to Craig on Tuesday the 7th of July. We will also have one-month of free housing (either a hotel, unit in a retirement center, or an apartment). They encouraged us to be present for as many of Elijah’s therapy sessions as possible during his inpatient stay to aid carry-over when he returns home. As a former therapist, I get that. The practical day to day of this is a bit unclear so we could use prayer on how this will look.
We have grown accustomed to our little LTAC. We have some great CNAs, nurses and therapists who have taken such great care of Elijah. We know that we will remainfriends with some even after we are gone. We are very grateful for their hard work and compassion- making such a difference in a difficult situation. It also reminded me why I chose my profession in the first place. I still have that pull toward rehab and am glad I can be Elijah’s primary speech/language therapist. Even Spencer, as he watched the burly OT guy called “awesomeness”, remarked, “maybe I will do that for a job when I am grown up”. Homeschool career class!”