We will always remember Ellie for her love for others, her creativity, sensitivity, and delight in life! Ellie's light has spread far and wide... may it continue to shine in our hearts.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

If it's not one thing, it's another...

Well, we've had a busy couple of days. On Friday it was discovered that John's grandma had the shingles. There is a whole lot of debate about the contagion factors, but given Ellie's weakened immune system, not to mention the cancer, not to mention the stress levels effecting our immune systems... It is a fact that shingles can give someone chicken-pox if they've never had it, but Ellie's immune system has been shredded since her outbreak. Her body may not have the antibody to the chickenpox anymore. So John's aunt Belinda and uncle Michael flew in yesterday to move Grandma down to our new house. Michael is setting up things like TV and computer and Belinda will live at the house with Grandma. Needless to say, it's been busy around here.

And this morning I awoke with those beginning tinglings of a cold in the back of my nose! It is just at the very beginning stages, if it's one at all, so I'm staying in my room and doing every form of preventative measure known to man!

Ellie is still in good spirits, but continues to weaken every day. She now stays in bed all day - only getting up to go to the bathroom. Yesterday we carried her to the tub and let her soak. After getting out and brushing her teeth, Ellie was completely exhausted. She is very pale and has unusually full cheeks (a side effect of the steroid). But when I hold her hand and look at it while listening to her sweet voice, I can still tell that it's the same Ellie. It's just a little hard for me to see all of the changes in her face.

Today Ethan has been sad. Even though I was trying to be careful with what I said, I had been on the phone in Ethan's presence a couple of times today. He is so smart and intuitive, that he often picks up on things that are disguised. Loretta has had tremendous wisdom about what is going on with Ethan and what he needs, and she gave me the heads-up that something was brewing with him. I asked him if he was worried about Ellie and he admitted that he was. He said "you know, sometimes a person gets very sick and the doctors can't help them and their family can't help them get better." I said "what happens then?" He said "then they die." I asked if he was afraid that Ellie was going to die and he said "yes." Ethan hung his little head until his chin touched his chest and asked "is Ellie going to die?" I said "she might, buddy." His head popped up and he exclaimed "she might?!" I went on to tell him that Ellie would be in Heaven where she will have no more pain and she would never feel sad again. I told him that we would all be sad because we miss her, but she would be with God and she would also get to be with my dad. I told him that he and Daddy and I would still be a family and that we would be ok. He said (after methodically counting to 20 on all fingers and toes) "In 20 days I'm going to cry really hard. I'm going to be in my bed and I'm gong to cry so hard that you and Daddy and Ellie will hear me from the other room." I assured Ethan that we would come and comfort him. After our talk, Ethan was able to talk freely about it with Loretta. In general Ethan seemed better, but he started being rude to Reni - not wanting her to come in the room or talk to him at all. Then La had a wonderful talk with him about being scared and sad and how easy it is to push people away when we are scared. Ethan immediately pointed out how he had been pushing Reni away and was so relieved to hear La say that she sometimes does the same thing. She reminded Ethan that he is safe and everyone here loves him and will take care of him. Ethan has been much happier since then. La and I laugh sometimes about the fact that together we manage to make one whole mother. It may be sad, but so true!

As I type, I'm looking out the window and it has started to snow! I had forgotten how wonderful it is when snow falls. It has happened a couple of times already since we've been here, but it never fails to take me by surprise. I'm beginning to love snow days as much as rain!

Thank you all for the wonderful comments and emails. We are still seeing the hand of God at work. In many ways we are ragged with stress and emotions, but not to the point of despair. We continue to see God work and move in the smallest of details. I often imagine that it is in direct response to your prayers for us. I told Ellie the other night at bedtime that there were people praying for her while she sleeps because where they are it is daytime during our nights. She was so tickled over that thought. It brought her such peace as she drifted off to sleep. So... thank you. Thank you all for persevering with us to the end.


At 3:30 PM, Blogger oneofhisfriends said...

Dear Living Epistles,

It would seem your lives parallel Ephesians 1:

... That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory...
Ephesians 1: 12-14

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Timothy 1:17


At 4:50 PM, Blogger "Bug" said...


Roger, Debbie & Kaeli

At 5:46 PM, Anonymous GERRY said...

How sweet and honest little Ethan is. You have a remarkable family. Anyone would be proud to be part of it; and I know a lot of us feel as if we are. Constantly praying for you all Sarah. You're right about the prayers for Ellie - I'll be she is being prayed for 24 hours a day. Blessing to you all. Gerry

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I don't post comments very often, but I want you to know that we have been following your blog ever since we first heard about Ellie. My daughter, who is the same age as Ellie, has been praying diligently every night for her. We also have a son about Ethan's age. Our hearts go out to you in your suffering, but we rejoice to see the love of God shining through you.
Blessings, and prayers,

At 7:41 PM, Blogger tricia said...

I love that little guys thought process." In 20 days I'm going to cry." LOL. What a blessing La is, you really do have the coolest support team/family. Love you!

At 8:07 PM, Blogger pk said...

and to the beginning dear ones ! much love, hugs, and continued prayers, in HIM, pk

At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Kim Schmitz said...

Reading your words brings tears to my eyes every single time. You never cease to truly amaze me....

Thinking of your family numerous times every single day!

At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm praying for you.

(from PNG)

At 5:40 AM, Blogger Becky K. said...

You are an amazing Mom!! I know you are probably thinking...like I have a choice, right now! Well, you do have choices and I always see you noticing the details and caring so much for those around you.
Becky K.

At 5:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are praying for your whole family here in England. Words can not express how moved I am when I read your posts. Just know that in the hard times we are upholding you all. He able, more than able.

At 6:14 AM, Blogger LindaSueBuhl said...

Few words - my prayers now are pleas with few words. We love each of you - God must have put that love there since we don't know you in this world.

At 7:14 AM, Anonymous David & Kristen said...

We're praying for you guys!
David, Kristen & Jonathan

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Debi said...

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for this precious family. Thank you for this website to allow so many people to be a part of Ellie's life and struggles and triumphs. Help John and Sarah to know deep in their hearts that they ARE fulfilling this high and holy calling for God's glory... to be a husband and wife to each other and to be the dad and mom to 2 great kids, Ellie and Ethan. Give joy in the moments that bring light to the dark places in this sadness. Cover them with your mercy. May MANY people and children put their faith in Jesus as a result of Ellie's life. May she complete the work that you have for her in your perfect timing. Bless them today, dear Jesus.

Love from the Hall Family
(friends of the Sumralls)

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Lorraine said...

Will you tell Ellie that...yes...indeed...prayers are being said for her while you are sleeping. We are holding you all up to the Lord in prayer throughout the day (your night). God Bless you.

Grandma Lorraine & family (UK)

At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just praying with Alexa for you - Sarah, John, Ellie, and Ethan. I was thanking God for all of those that are supporting you emotionally and physically at this time as well. We are thinking of you and crying out to God for you. Thank you for your testimony to us!

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are thinking of you and continuing to pray for you all each day. Thank you for keeping us all updated.
The Pflug's

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Mandy Caley said...

Praying always
all our love
the Caleys

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Mrs. Mumble said...

You all are a wonderful testimony of the power in family taking care of family, binding yourselves together with the gifts of the Body and functioning as the Body!

Checking up on the blog regularly and praying!

Love to you all...Rachel (Celena's buddy aka Mrs. Mumble)

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

Wow. I am praying for Ellie and everyone around her.

You are amazing! Lean on Jesus...

In Christ Alone,

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I come almost everyday and read this blog for updates. It broke my heart when i read that she stays in bed mostly. Ive known suffering but most assuredly never the likes of what she is going through. God bless her precious heart and your wonderful family. May He be with you all everyday bringing comfort and peace.

Melissa from Indiana

At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog for some time since coming on it while reading the blog of a dear friend and 25 yr. old mother with cancer. She fought faithfully with all means of medical treatments, prayerfully endureing the chemo, radiation, isolation, etc, which you are so familiar with you too.

We also remember you all in prayer and pray the Lord's comfort be on Ellie in this time.

Thank you for a testimony to the Lord's faithfulness, may you all continue to find strength in Him.

Respectively, Don - Missouri

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A five letter word for "love" beginning with the letter "J".
J E S U S. May you always feel Him walking with you.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger jeni said...

hi ellie-

just wanted to let you know i'm thinking of you a lot lately.

today, i took my dog outside in the deep, deep snow. she loves the mountains! i thought of you the whole time we were outside, because i mention your name to my puppy a lot!

today, i wanted to take her on a sled with me. she was really nervous, but i finally said, "G! you KNOW ellie would do this! come on! be brave!!!!" hehehe!!

she finally got on with me and we went wee wee wee all the way down the hill! after, she got off the sled and ran around like crazy and kept dunking her head in snow banks:) if my dog could laugh out loud, i know she would do it:)

so, maybe you can chuckle on her behalf:))))

thanks for always making my day better, ellie. you're one in a million and i'm glad i sort of know you, even if it's only in cyber space.

you make this world an amazing place:) thanks for doing that.


At 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing with us! We really consider it a privilege to be a part of your lives through our prayers! You really could choose not to be so open with us, but we are able to pray so much better for you when we feel your emotions through your posts. Thank you for doing that, even though I am sure it is hard at times!

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are praying for Ellie and each one of you in a special way. We continue to commit you all to the one who knows you best and loves you most. Your lives are a testimony and point us all to the Lord...thank you.

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Katie :) said...

Dear Sarah,

I pray for Ellie and your family daily and will pray for peace and rest without pain for Ellie. Your faith is encouraging to many who read your blogs...may God continue to give you strength, comfort, and peace - as we know life here on Earth is so temporary; an eternity in Heaven is waiting for all of us.

In His name,

Katie Monath (Brasier)
(we went to Calvary Academy together)


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