Friday, June 4, 2010

His resting place

We went to visit Eli's resting place yesterday. Honestly, I hate the thought of his little body in the ground. When he was first placed in the earth, I would sit and imagine that he was cold and that thought about drove me crazy. I remember in the hospital when I first got him, he was so warm. Once he went to his heavenly home, it did not take long for his little body to get cold. We kept him swaddled in a blanket because the thought of him getting cold was just too much. Babies are supposed to be warm. Babies aren't supposed to die...
But the reality is, they do. Ours did. I hate hurts.
The monument company called to tell us that Eli's marker was in place. So Jamie and I went to see it yesterday afternoon when he got home from work.

The footprints are actually Eli's. They took copies of his prints and sandblasted them in.
I wished that I could say something meaningful here, like LR is pointing to heaven where her brother really is. But... she spotted an airplane and was showing that to us. It is still a cute picture.

This is a community cemetary. He is not out here alone as it appears here.

In fact, there are way too many young people resting out here.
Directly in front of Eli rests Mitch. Mitch is my 1st cousin. There were four of us growing up in a small, tight knit community. We were like brothers and sisters. It was Ray Wilkes, Mitch, Jennifer (me), and Beverly. We were as thick as thieves, inseparable. I remember when Mitch and Beverly moved away. It was like taking a brother and sister from us. Mitch moved back when he was in college. He was 24 when he died. It was June 5, 1997, just five days after Jamie and I were married. In fact, the last pictures taken of him are the day of our wedding. He was killed in a tragic accident at the saw mill his daddy took over after my grandfather died. All that is left of our four is Beverly and I. Beverly did all of the music at Eli's funeral. She is amazingly talented. David, Mitch and Beverly's daddy, is a preacher. He delivered the most beautiful message at Eli's funeral. David and my daddy are brothers.
Beside Mitch is my granddaddy, Ray Floyd Sr. He lost his battle to cancer in June of 1993. He was the kindest, most gentle, hardest working man you have ever met. Then beside My granddaddy is Ray Wilkes Floyd III. I have told you about him. 
In front of Ray Wilkes is Leslie. She is another cousin who was raised in our little community. She was killed at the age of 19 in a horse riding accident. She passed away just six months before Ray Wilkes. Leslie was the oldest of us cousins. Leslie loved children, so I imagine she is loving on Eli daily. In fact after she died, we talked about how all of the little babies and small children in heaven were in for a treat with Leslie. She would love and care for them so wonderfully. Not only was she a sweet heart, she was beautiful. 
If it seems to you that our family has been through the fire, that is because we have. Sometimes it feels like we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. But, you can not live your life that way. We just have to rely on God, HEAVILY! The great thing is that no matter how heavy we lean on Him, He is strong enough to bear it. I have had so many people tell me that God will not put more on you than you can handle.  That is such a false statement, because believe me when I say...I can not handle much. However, I do believe that God will not put more on me than He can handle. He is my strength, my shield, my comforter.
Psalm 28:7
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.

Much love with a heavy heart,


  1. Eli's marker is perfect.

    Thinking of you,
    Melissa & Amelia

  2. I just adore his marker...those feet are precious and we have that verse for Matthew's marker as well.

    I'm so, so sorry that it exists, though. I know people tell me all the time that Matthew isn't's just his body....but I LOVED THAT LITTLE BODY! I was nodding my head with your words.

    And I totally agree--it's not me handling anything because if left to my own devices...well, things might be different. Not my power but His.

    Lifting you up and praying for your sweet, heavy heart!

  3. His marker is great, love the footprints and the verse!

  4. Thinking of you, sweet friend! I wish I could ease your heavy heart. The marker is those sweet little feet! Just keep hanging in there. As you have seen HE gets you through ONE day at a time...I know at times it is seconds and minutes at a time. Again I have to say that I am so glad to know you and that you share these thoughts....I am so often inspired by your words- and I know you give God the glory for it all. Love, Kelly

  5. Jennifer,

    Eli's marker is beautiful. I love the footprints. My heart is aching as I read of all the loss your family has experienced. I was just talking to a friend yesterday about a family whose four year old daughter died of cancer recently. We were talking about soaking up any moments of joy we are given in this life, because we never know when our time of walking through sorrow may come...and sometimes it comes again and again. God is faithful and His grace is sufficient...but some days the hurt is so much. Praying for you as you continue to walk this journey...step by step. May He carry you with His grace....

  6. Jennifer,

    Today is June 5th & as I do every year I went out to the cemetery to spend some time & do some cleaning. Only a few people know that each year, since the 1st anniversary of Mitch's death, I have gone down & cleaned the markers for Mitch, Ray Wilkes & Granddaddy. Never an easy job in the heat of June...but I do it out of love & respect for them. Today was my first visit to Eli's grave since the funeral. Eli's marker is precious & a reminder of how much he is loved! As Rebecca was helping me clean today, I thought about the fact that next year Eli's marker will be included in my annual cleaning. Eli will forever hold a special place in my heart just like Mitch, Ray Wilkes, Grandaddy & Leslie. So much has changed since our carefree days of childhood... Yet one thing remains the same...God's grace! Thank God for His is amazing!

    I love you!

  7. Love it, Jen.....just beautiful!! xoxo, Amy

  8. I love it! It made me cry to see how beautiful it is! We weren't able to do anything like that for kailee, but I would have loved to have her footprints on her stone. I think about you guys a lot.

  9. Amazing post! I love Eli's marker, its beautiful and I love how those are his actual foot prints. I am sorry for all the losses your family has had to endure.

    On the day we found out about Lilly having anencephaly my husband's cousin who was 26 fell into a coma. The week of Thanksgiving Uncle Joel passed away suddenly from a heart attack and then cousin Chris passed away two days later(the one who fell into a coma)he left behind 3 small children. My husband's grandfather lost a baby at 21 days (Jeffrey), his other grandparents (on my MIL's side) lost a baby to still birth. Jim's dad (my FIL) lost his first wife and baby of 4 months in utero to murder. I am not sure why I told you all that... *hugs*

    I do agree that leaning on God is what is helping me the most get through this loss. Its tough some days.

    love and prayers

  10. I love his marker and how his footprints are on it. I really agree with your first paragraph. I felt the same way.

  11. His marker is beautiful. ((HUGS))