Friday, December 30, 2005

Tree trimmings and thoughts too.

If someone had told me when I was holding Teagan for the first time after giving birth to her on March 18th, 1997 that I would be making Christmas ornaments to honor her memory in less than 5 years, I would never have believed it. Ever. I was head over heels for her the moment I laid eyes on her...and not once in her life did I ever think of her death. Most of us moms are fortunate to have healthy babies that thrive and grow and make us happy and stretch our patience and teach us new things and bring more joy to our lives than we ever had before. Kids just do that. Most of the time.
But Teagan was different. She had a way about her. Her smile could right any wrongs she committed. When I would ask her what she wanted for breakfast sometimes she would answer, "Whip cream."...and on more than one occasion I took the Reddi-Whip out of the fridge, she opened wide and got squirts of whipped cream to start her day. I don't know why I did it. In the back of my mind I was thinking, "this is terrible- what kind of mother gives her daughter whipped cream for breakfast?". But the other part of me was saying, "If I was her I'd think I had the best Mom ever! Besides, it's part of the dairy food group, isn't it?" And that's the way it was with Teagan. I broke a lot of my own rules without really knowing why. Now when I look back on the memories of her life and the person she was I think there was a reason I did things like that. Maybe somehow God was giving me those moments because He knew I didn't have much time with her. I know that Teagan had mostly joy in her life...and she brought more joy to mine than I ever dreamed a kid could bring. I was lucky to have her for 4 and a half years. I still consider myself lucky- even though she's gone- that her spirit still inspires me and her memories still bring me joy. Sometimes I pull the can of Reddi-whip from the fridge and it brings a smile to my face. Or it might be a song. Or a smell. Or the leaves changing colors. Or simply something in a shade of purple. Teagan's memory is never more than a thought away- and although my heart aches from missing her - I know she has made me a better person...and I would not trade a minute of her life in mine for anything!
All that to say, here are a couple of ornaments that I made when I first decorated the Barbie tree for the charity auction. At that time I had no idea I would be getting the tree back- so I wanted to make sure that the recipient knew who was responsible for the design and for them to put her face with the tree. I used some of my scrapbooking materials and laminated them- 4 years ago. they've held up well...as did the Angel Barbie tree topper. Today I put the tree away for another year, and it makes me realize how fast time really does go by for all of us. I've now celebrated as many Christmas's with Teagan as I have without her. I think back on the time I had with her and wish I could soak up another hug or stroke her hair- knowing that I won't have the chance to do that much longer. Instead, she's now my Angel-in-waiting, and I smother my other kids with hugs and kisses and I "breathe them in"- never taking them for granted. I hope you can learn from me how precious your loved ones are...and for the ones whose memories you hold close- to allow them to inspire the person you are each day. I think that's part of the connection we all share, in this world and beyond. Those are my thoughts today. As always, you may leave a comment and I will even write you back if you like!

5 comments:

caren said...

Oh... my heart filled up and tears wet my eyes...Wishing you a most happy new year!

Deb said...

I was blog-hopping and found your blog. I have enjoyed reading ALL of your entries - thank you for the reminders to love our kids and snuggle them and kiss them and let them know how much we love them. Your children are blessed to have you for a mother. Thank you for sharing such tough times and the things that helped you get through.

Deanna- yep Dee-na said...

i truly believe that God led me to click on your name the other day when u posted a comment on DD's blog. thank you for reminding me so much not to take my children for granted. today my son had a total 2 year old melt down. And i let him "shake it off" and he moved on and i feel better. i think partly it is because of what i've been reading from you. : )

Marjorie said...

I found your blog by way of Debs blog. What a beautifl post. My heart goes out to you...no Mother should have to lose a child.

marta said...

I also found your blog by hopping around....and so glad I did. Tears are running down my face reading your stories. I lost two babies both when I was 5 months preg, and I think about them everyday....I can't imagine losing a daughter that you've held and kissed. I am blessed to have a 5 yr old and your words reminded me to appreciate her...a lot more than I already do. You are blessed with many things, especially strength. Thank you for your stories.