When Elias was born in 1999, we decided to name him in a unique way. We gave him a Biblical first name like all the other boys, but his name was in honor of a Swazi man that had worked for my dad on the mission field in Swaziland, Southern Africa. Then we picked a middle name that started with D to make his first two initials ED, which was his grandpa Ed Stickle’s nickname.

As a preschooler, I began to notice that Elias had a unique sense of spatial relationships in creative art. Of course, at this stage, it was in the form of a verbal observation here or there. Those moments gave us the feeling that he was much older than his actual age. 

Around the age of eight, he began bringing flowers in from the field and fixing up arrangements in vases on my dining room table. The way he arranged them looked like something you would pay big bucks for at a florist shop. He developed this skill through high school adding flower drying and subsequent arranging until I had every surface in my house filled with awesome dried arrangements.

Elias also took up drawing. He started with scenery pictures and eventually tackled drawing people’s faces. After a while, He was able to do a basic pencil portrait in a half hour.

Elias is non-confrontational by nature. Therefore, coming into adulthood, seemed to flow seamlessly for him. He excepted offers from family members for a place to stay, a car, and a job. And there certainly were plenty of family members to make those offers. 

He is applying his ability to do detail work on the job painting cabinets and installing them. On the side, he does random painting and remodeling jobs. At church, he is the cameraman. Around family, he shares lots of interesting information on many topics he studies up on. We enjoy his fellowship. He’s as dependable as clockwork and pleasant at everything he does.