Today though I just want to remember some of the ways in which this extraordinary young person touched other people's lives and hearts. A life which was not long - which was all too short - nonetheless went very deep. Eli (or Miriam) seemed like an adult from their early teens. (And yes, he would have had plenty to say about powerful men who act like children at the age of 70.)
There was the Renaissance Faire (see above) where Eli helped everyone have a good time and taught everything from sewing to swordplay. There was the writing and poetry and music - sometimes dark, always thought provoking and crafted with skillful allusion. There were the extraordinary role-playing games that seemed to appear out of nowhere, taking over our house with a dozen people enjoying themselves following instructions on a spreadsheet that Eli had created. There were the personal commitments to others: even in his own darkness, Eli worked indefatigably to help friends make good decisions and live a more fulfilled life. There was the scintillating wit, which could always bring a smile even as he sometimes used it to hide his own pain. There was...but I don't think I can go on.
I don't want to make out that our child was some kind of perfect saint. Of course not, and it would dishonor his memory to pretend that. And there were depths that I probably never saw. I do believe though that this prayer which Eli used for Receiving with Thanksgiving represents his deep desire. I hope I can make it my prayer too.
I am your servant, God. When there is chaos around me, help me stay centered. When those around me argue and fight, let me be your peacemaker. Show me and help me remember what’s truly important. Help me keep an open mind. Help me soothe the anger of others. Help me resolve the conflicts in my life, so that I may find peace. Stay with me God. Enter into the hearts of all those with whom I cannot find common ground. Fill their hearts and fill mine. I am your servant, God.Rest in peace and rise in power, dear child. We will never stop loving you.