That One White Suit
This delightful young man is named Elijah. He is known for that bright and beautiful smile, for an inner joy that shines through his brilliant eyes. On June 8th, 2014, Elijah suffered from a cardiac arrest and an anoxic brain injury. His feeding tube was put in on that date, and remains in place. He is nonverbal, and is currently wheel chair bound. The fact that Eli is standing, sharing this profoundly special night with his queen… well, you just have to know how important this moment is. And you get to share it.
Elijah’s mother contacted us a few days before a very special event was to be held; Elijah needed a suit for a prom hosted by Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. This evening was to be spent honoring the children who had worked so hard to overcome life struggles.
Elijah, his mother, Quanesha, and his brother, Kevin, came to our Boutique on Friday; the next day was the grand ball. Elijah was propped in his wheelchair, with a very bubbly, endearing younger brother keeping him entertained and centered in the moment. Kevin was so focused on Eli’s experience. He held his head up when it lowered, he made sure that Eli was aware and involved in choosing his apparel. He made Eli laugh, he hugged him when he didn’t think we were looking. We were. It was just beautiful.
Eli had one simple request. He wanted a white suit in a size 14. We have a room full of very large suit coats, all dark blue and black. There was one white suit in a room of hundreds. It was a size 14. The blessings in that moment are impossible to describe.
My daughter, Maria and I, took Eli and Kevin and Quanesha up to our toy cottage. It is rare that we have kids in our Christmas cottage- our cottage is open for adults to help their family decide what special gifts they want to sprinkle on their children in the holidays. Bringing children into our Toy Cottage is magical.
Eli found a basketball and football to play with. I watched as Kevin hefted each ball and knew he was planning on just how to work with Eli and these new tools. Maria and I were very aware of what a champion Kevin is to his little brother, how dedicated the family is to their beloved Eli, how they hope for such a bright future. They have survived homelessness, jobless months, hunger on an ongoing basis. It is most difficult for Quanesha to keep the numerous and constant doctor’s appointments for Eli, but she does it, and lives with such strength and determination. She is now working two jobs, and is a force of purpose and praise for her family, for her faith. She could not have thanked us more profusely; her hug was like folding into love.
We finished our tour of the cottage, and then I saw it in the corner- the coolest blue, shiny boy’s bike tucked away in the corner. Oh yeah, that went home with Kevin.