How are we doing?
I think we’re doing fairly well. We’re keeping busy during the day, working to find new homes for Elli’s equipment and supplies, sort out the life insurance questions, figure out how to get the van back that we drove 5 hours away for a conversion (fortunately they hadn’t started yet), and choose a grave stone. We think about her constantly — how much fun she must be having now that she is healed and whole.

Yet, we miss her. I am struck every day by new ways that Elli’s departure has changed our lives.

I no longer need to puree food at dinner.
I only fold clothes and stack them into 5 piles, not 6.
The endless list of phone calls, forms, appointments, and emails that I worked on for the last 8 years and 8 months for Elli is completed.
I don’t keep music playing nonstop anymore, because Elli isn’t home to ask for it.
We don’t have to park our cars at an angle in the garage anymore, because we no longer need clearance for her wheelchair ramp into the van. (We keep parking that way out of habit, though.)
Instead of insurance EOBs (explanations of benefits) and hospital bills, our mailbox is full of cards and letters. Getting real, personal mail has been great!
The wheelchair bus doesn’t stop by our house anymore.
Julie and Patrice aren’t here every weekday to help me with Elli anymore. I miss their company greatly.
Going somewhere as a family feels so different. I am painfully aware of how normal we look because Elli doesn’t go with us anymore.

I am thankful for the years we had with her. I wanted her to be with us longer, but I know that God had a perfect plan for her life. He has a plan for our lives as well, though we don’t yet know what He wants us to do next. I am curious though. Elli’s death marks a dramatic change of direction for us. We’re still in the curve though and don’t yet know where this leads.

How are the kids doing?
Our kids are also doing well. Little Girl keeps asking where Elli is, so she is still trying to figure out what happened. She really misses having a sister and has asked us if she can have a big sister again. We’ve explained that she has 2 girl cousins, but that is small consolation when you’ve lost a sister.

Little Boy misses Patrice and Julie, and he misses Elli’s equipment. He loved playing with her Dynavox, climbing up her wheelchair, and hanging out with her aides. We had Julie over for dinner last night, and the look on his face as he greeted her and reached up to be held was priceless.

Big Boy is very quiet about everything. I think that he is very worried about me, in particular. He has given me lots of hugs and kisses. He drew me the sweetest picture last week: a vase with flowers in it, my handprint, and a ton of hearts drawn all around it. I think it’s going to take quite some time for him to sort through everything.

So, we move forward in confidence that God is still on His throne. We move forward in His perfect peace that passes all understanding. And we still cry because we miss Elli so much.

This was one of Elli’s favorite songs. When we play it at home, I think of her and wonder if she’s singing it to Jesus Himself.

Glory, by Selah

One day eyes that are blind will see you clearly
And one day all who deny will finally believe
One day hearts made of stone will break in pieces
And one day chains once unbroken will fall down at your feet
So we wait for that one day come quickly

We want to see your Glory
Every knee falls down before thee
Every tongue offers you praise
With every hand raised
Singing Glory
To you and unto you only
We’ll sing Glory to Your name

One day voices that lie will all be silent
One day all that’s divided will be whole again
One day death will retreat and wave it’s white flag
One day love will defeat the strongest enemy
So we wait for that one day come quickly

We want to see your Glory
Every knee falls down before thee
Every tongue offers you praise
With every hand raised
Singing Glory
To you and unto you only
We’ll sing Glory to Your name

We know not the day or the hour
Or the moments in between
But we know the end of the story
When we’ll see

We want to see your Glory
Every knee falls down before thee
Every tongue offers you praise
With every hand raised
Singing Glory
To you and unto you only
We’ll sing Glory to Your name