A Destiny Fulfilled
Eli would have been 16 years old today. Without cancer in his life, we would have expected him to have gotten his driver’s license today (if he had lived through treatment, then probably not because of the cognitive delays), maybe even surprised him with a little ’16 or ‘17 V6 Mustang or a base F-150 with some Flowmasters to make a little noise. Maybe.
But, honestly, I don’t usually play the “what if” or "if only" game. I prefer to think that Eli lived the life he was created to live. He was robbed of nothing; we were robbed of nothing. His life was full, it was whole, and his destiny fulfilled. Sure, it was not the traditional complete life one usually envisions, especially as parents for their child. I could make a long list of what didn't happen for him that we as young parents had hoped for, dreamed of, and even planned for as we considered his future. But once you, as a parent, let go of your own narrow (and many times selfish) wishes and goals for your child and let God guide and measure his or her success, it’s pretty amazing and satisfying. I can also make a long list of what Eli DID accomplish and of the lives he DID touch, so as a parent, I couldn't be prouder, nor could I be more thankful.
So, I hope that when you remember Eli, that you also think of him in that way, and of us in that way. It took a while to shake feeling short-changed early-on, but, for me, to allow myself to feel short-changed would mean negating or diminishing the life and accomplishments he did have. It would also mean that I had no anticipation or expectation beyond this world, and what a sad way to live, to measure success only by the standards of this earthly life. Thank you for remembering him today, and I hope that what you knew of Eli has inspired you to allow God to create success in your life in unique ways.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. -- Proverbs 16:9