Elijah B born 20th June 2016 …. our precious wee man. After what was a traumatic entry into the world, from the very beginning you started out as you meant to go on – a fighter. We’ve been told by ‘the experts’ that really you ‘shouldn’t have made it’, it’s quite miraculous that you made it beyond conception it seems, yet we enjoyed your company for almost 5 whole months.
Today marks you’re absence from our arms for 6 months. But we rejoice that you were in our arms for as long as you were – you were a precious gift, whom we got to borrow from God for just the perfect amount of time – because His time is perfect.
Elijah, you were a gorgeous, gorgeous little boy. With the chubbiest cheeks you ever did see. People say you looked like me ….. lucky boy 😉
You were beautiful, absolutely beautiful. So perfectly formed – twinkly eyes, a button nose, and oh so many chins!
You had your own God given agenda, not going by any textbook and when the doctors thought 1+1=2 …. you said, “ah no, I don’ think so”. Without a doubt God did miracles in you and through you. He had your days counted and planned, and you followed His plans not any doctors. It is true to say that you made many people think outside the box, you taught me to always expect the unexpected. To always have hope …. to always strive for the best. To think BIG. To believe in a Great Big God, who can always do more than we expect or imagine. On one occasion the consultants asked me, “what are your expectations for Elijah?” I remember being so offended at the time. I told him, with great defiance – “my expectations are high!! I have high expectations for Elijah EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every day, I will spend it believing that one day he will walk and run and talk and do all the things any little baby would do. Now, I know that there is a possibility that he won’t live long enough for any of that to matter. But, you know what, I’m shelving that. We’re living every single day with high expectations.” He never asked me anything like that again. Thank you Elijah for teaching me to live every day with high expectations, never settling nor giving up, not accepting a mediocre life, but a life to the full. May I never forget that!
‘Your Baby might not survive the birth’
Elijah – less than 24 hours old xx
‘I hope you make it back up the motorway to The Royal’
Elijah in my arms for the first time the following day xx
‘We’re not sure how feeding will go’
Elijah mastered both breast and bottle feeding xx
Elijah got to enjoy lots of little day trips!
Elijah, you were a stubborn wee beastie too! You knew what you wanted, when you wanted it and how you wanted it. And you weren’ afraid to let us all know. You hated the blood pressure cuff, man did you hate the fuss of that!
And bath time was definitely NOT your fav!
But as long as there was someone’s finger for you to wrap your little hand around you were doing ok. When you went to PICU, one of the first things the nurses said was, “as long as someone will hold your sons hand all day and all night, he is happy.” And I was happy to do so. I’m looking forward to holding that hand one day again.
Elijah you were a rascal – you caused mischief in NICU, on Clark Clinic, in PICU and in The NI Children’s Hospice. You certainly liked to keep everyone on their toes. But in doing so, people also developed a bit of a soft spot for you – you were a bit of a local celebrity! Some called you E.Bo …. some called you a mini Winston Churchhill, the physio said you could be the face for many a Facebook meme and to us you were our wee man, our little ElijahPuff. You gave the best smiles and had the best chats …. but only for those that you wanted to! Poor Dr. Sinead tried ever so hard for a smile, but in your stubborn ways you just would not do it! And I know you knew exactly what you were doing – you wee scamp!
You loved the craic Elijah – you loved to play and have fun! You loved it when we sang and danced and played tickles and kisses! You loved it when I sat you on my knees, with my legs raised so that you could sit facing me. You favourite nursery rhyme was Incy Wincy spider ….. especially when you got to do the actions! You loved being tickled under those chins! With mummy and daddy both being primary school teachers, we tortured you with books, but I don’t think you minded! The nurse in NICU also liked The Very Hungry Little Caterpillar 🙂
You were an affectionate wee boy, Elijah. You LOVED a wee massage with Johnston’s night time baby lotion, especially a wee rub of the feet. When you were unsettled all I had to do was put your cheek up against mine, have a little slow dance and immediately you would settle. You had a wee giggle when I blew raspberries against you cheek or under your chin! And you always smiles when daddy let you stroke his beard!!
And you and daddy had such a special bond, a relationship unique to just you and him. He brought a joy to you that was different to mine. It’s a special thing – that father and son relationship …. doing ‘boy’ stuff 😉 You enjoyed the physical play and affection and even a wee multi media sensory night on the ward – all you needed was popcorn and a few beers!
But you know wee man, there are 3 very special little people who loved you very, very much and miss you very, very much. And you simply adored them too! You watched their every move, they were the ones who always got your smiles and your big, long, full of expression chats. You reached out your little hands to them all the time and the 4 of you had a bond that was just beautiful to watch. And even though, they never got to have you home for very long, you were and will always be such a big and important part of their little lives …. and through them you will live on here with us. Because, when I watched you, there were so many, “that’s just like Jonah….. or gosh doesn’t he remind you of Leah … and, that’s just the way Seth used to be”…. so now, when I look at them, I will think …. Elijah did / had that little look too xx
Elijah B – a son, a brother, a grandson, a great grandson, a nephew, a cousin, a little friend, a patient …… a child of God. You were quite literally one in million. In 5 short months, you impacted this world for good, you reminded us of the importance of living every day with high expectations, you taught us to fight, to not give up, to live life to the full. You reminded us to think outside the box, to take nothing for granted, and to remember what really matters. In 5 short months, we got to know you inside and out ….. a beautiful reminder that God does not make mistakes, there are no accidental lives, nothing happens by chance …. each person here has significance ….. every life, no matter how short has purpose …. make sure you don’t miss yours!