I still remember the final push and the rush of pain and relief as the doctor held up the tiny, red child and proclaimed him a boy…and then, as they laid him on my chest, he marveled aloud to the room that the seconds-old child was holding his head by himself. Strength.
In that moment, I held my Chase Stratton Elliot for the first time. Named after his grandmothers, his great-uncle Jim, and the burden prayer that he would run after God, this child of great struggle and the unexpected came; the news of his life shocking us only three months after Aidan.
I still remember walking down the hall of the radiation center and stepping into the room on that last day, my arms full with a too white child too light for his long bones. The anesthesiologist stepped to my side and as the milky syringe emptied into the central line, my baby chanted “I’m so brave, I’m so brave, I’m so brave…” until he sighed and collapsed in a deep sleep on my shoulder. Strength.
In that moment, I held my Chase Stratton Elliot for yet another time – still my child of great struggle and the unexpected. I held him and wondered if this would be the last December 12th that he’d be in my arms.
Now it’s December 12th again and my darling child of struggle is still in my arms! Joy.
He struggles with the world even now, but his stubborn, tenacious, beat-the-odds, stare-it-down, never-say-die, don’t-mess, you-and-what-army spirit is what makes him our precious Chase.
The first time we sat across the table and heard the awfulness of this disease, I asked the doctors what was ahead and one smiled with great sympathy and said: “Let’s just start this fight, and then we’ll get him through radiation, and then we’ll hopefully get him to age three, and then four, and then…”
He saw age three, he conquered age three, and now he’s FOUR.
Moment by moment.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Psalm 27:13