The Bittersweet Story Behind Louisiana's Newest Christmas Tradition: Eli The Crawfish Children's Books
Louisiana native, Kelly Airhart, is a mother, writer, artist, and daydreamer - changing the world. One act of kindness at a time. She does all of this in memory of her sweet son Elijah.
Elijah was born June 29, 2015. He was a happy baby with an extremely affectionate personality. He loved to be held close and to be "booped" on the nose. His smile lit up a room. He brought joy to all he met.
Sadly, on September 10, 2015 Elijah passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep at only 3 months old.
"One in every four mothers actually loses a child before the baby is able to turn one years old. It is sadly fairly common. Although Elijah's death was a tragedy, I prefer he be remembered by the way he lived. To honor his life of love and joy, our family does an act of kindness every day in his memory. We post it to social media using the tag #loveelijah. Elijah may be gone from our arms, but his love lives on forever."
Kelly also decided to keep Elijah's spunky spirit alive by using his name for the characters in the Children's books she writes. One of the most well known is "Eli the Crawfish," which is quickly becoming the new Christmas tradition in many homes across Northern Louisiana.
"Eli is a silly little crawfish who gets into the mischievous situations I would imagine Elijah would get into with his older brothers. Eli's friends are actually named after Elijah's brothers: Alexander, Julien and Gabriel."
Writing and illustrating have brought Kelly a lot of healing during her grieving journey.
"I feel like it is my way to keep Elijah alive in a sense. He is bringing joy to families through my books, and changing the world through our acts of kindness in his memory. As his mother, there is nothing I would want more for his legacy."
You can purchase Eli the Crawfish and start this Holiday Tradition in your own homes here: https://www.kellyairhart.com/collections/all
"I hope Eli brings you half the joy Elijah brought our family. Have a Merry Christmas Ya'll."
Follow Kelly on Facebook: www.facebook.com/kellyairhart