What I heard this weekend led me to a question that I had never really thought of: "Exactly, why am I agreeable to my kids winning a trophy for studying the Bible?"
I SPY ELI
convention if I counted correctly. I know! I can not believe it has been that many years. Eli was diagnosed in December 2011. We had already signed-up for our first convention, which would be in April 2012, when we received the diagnosis. The weekend then happened to fall during his break between radiation and the start of chemo. So, that would have been our first year, and I guess that's also why, in my mind, the weekend is so closely tied to him. He loved being a part of it and loved that we were together during that time because, in the coming years, we would often be separated. And, if you followed his journey, you know that we were always getting whisked away
during that weekend for some kind of procedure, or some kind of appointment. So, traditionally, it has been a stressful weekend, not just from the event itself, but also from juggling Eli's health needs.
"Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.'
Then I said, 'Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, 'Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.'”
Thankfully, this year at Lads, I was able to control my thoughts - at least while I was awake - and stay away from any corners in my mind that might cause me to jeopardize participating in events with the kids, or volunteering for duties. We were busy getting to events, studying and preparing for events, so I was distracted. But, Eli was always on my mind, especially while taking our traditional Easter weekend pictures at the beautiful Opryland Hotel venue. And, it was especially nice to hear that others remembered him, too. There is no greater gift you can give a mother who has lost a child, no matter how long ago it was than to let her know you remember something about him or her. I am always so thankful for friends that loved him, too.