Endurance of Eliza

Eliza   ~

This precious tiny girl defined our summer. She taught us all how to endure a terrible ordeal. How to fight battles. How to smile through pain. How to embrace each new day.

 
Eliza, you’re an amazing baby girl. So thankful you’re my little cousin, and so thankful you’ve come so far in your healing from HUS.

 
My blog had a malfunction, and four months vanished. I wondered about leaving the posts about Eliza off. A way to say “that anguish is all behind us now”. But the story is too important. I want to always remember the grand moments of her recovery… the way we were all pulling together in thoughts and prayers.

 
I’ll add them here.
A reminder… you can follow her story on Facebook or on her website.
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Posted June 24, 2015
My cousin is a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. The last time we spoke in person, she was over at my house to photograph her adorable little two year old, Eliza. It was the weekend before Father’s Day, and my cousin was doing a fun little photo shoot to surprise Eliza’s daddy.
I told her I was almost out of the primer I love, and to get me two more tubes.
And we laughed at Eliza playing with my cat. And we squealed with delight at her adorable little antics while she pranced about holding her wooden letters that spelled DAD.
And I pulled out of my driveway to go to my mom’s house where another branch of the family was having a mini family reunion. We ate and we laughed.
All of us just going about our summer days, living life, enjoying the moment, gearing up for what we’ll do in the days to come.
The next weekend I dashed over to my aunt’s house to celebrate another little “great cousin’s” birthday. This fiver year old with curly hair was all smiles while the family chorus sang the birthday song at the top of our lungs in four part harmony. We do love to sing that birthday song!
But little Eliza couldn’t be there. She had been throwing up all night and was still very sick. I remember saying “Bless her little heart”… couldn’t stand for her to be sick, but knew she’d surely be better before too long.
Eliza was in the ER later in the day. By the next day she was in the ER in a larger hospital, and being admitted. The following day she was on a jet headed to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Ft. Worth. Her kidneys were failing.
There is no way to know how this precious baby contracted e coli. Or why it developed into HUS – a term I don’t want to have to know about.
I don’t need any reminders to keep this girl on my heart and in my prayers. Everything is a reminder. Every waking thought is of our precious little Eliza.
Squeezing the pink tube of almost-empty Mary Kay. Looking at my cat. Knowing I need to start making ice cream for the family gathering next week… but knowing Eliza will still be in the hospital. Facebook. Crossword puzzles – oh my goodness, this baby loves to get out the pen, put on the glasses and do a crossword puzzle.
What can we do? We can’t stop tragedy from coming to our doorstep. We just can’t hold it back. So we live every day to the fullest. We treasure the photo shoots. We sing the birthday song and eat ice cream. We cherish the children. We thank God for them.
Thank God for Eliza! She’s such a sweetheart. Praying for you as you begin dialysis, dear little one.
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Posted July 14, 2015
Darling little Eliza is still fighting with all her might in the ICU of Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth. She has always stolen hearts! Such a little beauty… sweetest smile… so busy with her yard work, her crossword puzzles, her knitting.
My heart breaks to see her suffering… to see her parents suffering… her grandparents.
So many people are praying, sending love, sharing money to help with her medical bills. As I write, she’s been in ICU for three solid weeks. I’m a cousin in this close-knit family drama, and I know that the concern of friends, our community, actually people all around the world – this is what sustains us all and helps the days remain bearable.
We’re wearing our ribbons made by Eliza’s cousins. We’re wearing our bracelets. They’re special reminders of this adorable two year old.
I invite you to get to know her better. You’ll fall in love instantly!
If you do Facebook, search for Endurance of Eliza.
No Facebook account? Please go to her website, and definitely look at the “Photos of Eliza” page:  EnduranceOfEliza.com
Her parents are right there by her side. The medical bills are going to be unfathomable. Jana is a stay-at-home mommy. She’s enjoyed selling Mary Kay for a little extra spending money. Well, I’m asking you to overwhelm her with orders. Please, even if you don’t typically use this product… everyone could use a little lip balm… so click on over, purchase some for all your friends, and make sure you have your order shipped directly to your home. This way Jana can stay at the hospital and take care of Eliza while her business grows. This is her site:
Mary Kay through Jana Dodd
I’m longing for the day Eliza is not only out of ICU, but out of that hospital and back home laughing and playing. I’ve said it from the beginning, and even when I’m choking back tears, I’m still saying it and believing… Filled with hope!
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Posted August 2, 2015
This morning when I chose the shirt I would wear to church, I smiled because the bright colors matched so perfectly with Eliza’s bracelet beads. I’ve worn the bracelet every day, and will until she comes home. Many are doing the same.
When I stepped through the doors of the church building, a friend greeted me with a huge smile and said, “It’s so wonderful to see that baby girl smiling!”
As one of our elders opened our services with prayer, he thanked God “for Baby Eliza and how much she’s improving”.
After services, another friend held up her matching Eliza bracelet and, with happy tears in her eyes, told me how thrilling it was to watch the video of “our girl” playing with that beach ball.
To my cousins Jana and Burl, sweet Eliza’s parents, I want to thank you for sharing your story with everyone as we go through this trial. I say “we”, because we are all in this with you.
The people I’ve mentioned didn’t know you before this happened. They’ve never seen Eliza in real life. But they love her with all their hearts. They’ve prayed. They’ve given money to help. They watch Facebook closely for “Endurance of Eliza” updates.
How I long for the day when you are back home in your cozy house out in the country, cheerfully going about your anonymous life. But life ebbs and flows. There are times when we are thrust into the spotlight, and times when we can retreat.
Sharing Eliza’s battle with HUS has helped her. The world is praying. People are helping to pay those bills. But just as beautifully, sharing the ordeal has helped all of us. You’ve bound us together with love for your little darling. You’ve increased our faith. We’ve been given so many opportunities to praise God. Thank you for this precious gift.
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Eliza at the FairOur family had a booth at the Roosevelt County Fair to say thank you to our amazing community for all the grand support.  We raised money for Eliza’s ongoing expenses, and gave away gifts.  BEST part of all.. Eliza was home and came to the fair!

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