Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sometimes I wonder why...

I don't do it too often. As I said on Oprah, "When you ask why too many times, it brings you down". At least in an instance such as mine, where I don't think there is a "good answer". I do wonder and play out in my mind on occasion, how I imagine things would look in my life had we not been at the Old Depot at brunch on Sunday, July 29th, 2001.
And truth be told, we really "shouldn't" have been there at that moment in time. It just so happened that we were there that day, at precisely the moment that a woman decided to end her life by driving her car into that crowded little restaurant. Nearly every event that happened that day was out of the ordinary of our usual Sunday morning routine.
Chip had to usher at the early service, so we got the kids up and ready faster than normal and rushed off to church. Teagan was being good as gold about the whole thing. She even shared her juice box with Brock, while we sat in the "cry-room" at church.
We went to Sunday School after church, and talked for a few minutes to some friends before we loaded up the kids in the car, and as we neared the main road outside the church parking lot, Chip said, "Let's go out for a nice brunch. I heard that the Old Depot has a great breakfast...and pie". We had never been there before. Ever. It would be our first visit.
I agreed, but with a slight hesitation. On the drive out there, Brock fussed off and on. I said maybe we should just go to McDonalds- like we usually did on Sunday afternoon. Chip drove on. Three times (I often wonder if there was a "force" giving us a chance to change our minds- like a sort of intuition that we could have avoided the tragedy that changed our lives forever had we "listened" to it...hmmm) Chip said, "I'm going to turn this car around and go home". We'd have a short debate, but each time we drove on. I even said once, "It's Brock who's causing the problem...Teagan's being an angel. It'll be fine".
Then, when we arrived, I had second thoughts. The Depot didn't "look" like I had imagined it to look, and I was a little torn about going inside. But, it had taken about 15 minutes to get there (which in and around Gaylord area is a long drive!), so we stayed. The table just inside the door was cleared, so Teagan grabbed the end chair and said, "This is my spot. I want to sit by everyone." I gave her a look, and Chip one too. Normally that spot would be mine, so that I could reach kids on either side of me to help them with their food. Chip told her she could sit there, and the rest of us took our spots.
I wonder how things would be different if we had simply sat in different spots. I even kept Wyndham strapped in her carseat the whole time we were there. I never did that, ever. She hated the straps because she was so small they came so close to her face and neck. I always undid the straps the minute I opened the car door when we got somewhere. Not that day. I was just telling her that she was getting fiddgety enough- so I would take them off in just a minute. Those were the words I was saying when I heard the loudest bang of my life.
The next several moments were etched in my mind forever. They've caused nightmares and tears and more heartache than I ever believed a person could feel.
I don't know why I was at that particular place in time when something so tragic happened. My family simply wanted to spend some time together after having been apart for nearly 3 weeks. We had gone to church that morning. We were doing "everything right" in life- so-to-speak. And yet evil touched us there that day. I don't know why. I've come up with many possible answers to that tough question, but still, I don't have a good answer.
I don't know that even having the "right" answer would change anything in my life. Grief would still touch me at times, pain, dreams and memories would still exist. Teagan would still be gone.
So, I learned early on- even at the scene of my nightmare that day, to trust that God was in control, and to seek Him everyday for strength, hope and comfort. I don't like to try to understand why- although I've seen some very positive things come from my hardship. I simply have decided to let God do the figuring out and I've looked to Him to piece my life back together. I have sought joy all along the way. Now, when I wonder and ask why and wish I had different answers, I see there are lots of possibilities- although none really makes good sense to me. I've learned that to have joy in life, I don't have to have the answers. I simply have to rest in the One who gives joy...and one day in Heaven I believe I will look back and it will make sense.
Life makes us all wonder and ask "why" from time to time. I hope you trust God who has all the answers waiting for you someday too.


Portia said...

What a day to read this... today is the day my dad was killed 18 years ago. I decided that I wasn't going to wallow in self-pity about it anymore. I can't. I have to be stronger than that. I ask myself "why" all the time and today when I read what you wrote (soooo inspirational!) I didn't feel alone. You also reminded me (again) that joy is there when you look for it.

So today, I will hug my kids a little more and kiss them a little more and I will hold my husband a little tighter too!

Thank you Jody. I love what you write. You are such a blessing and such a beautiful person!

Kerry said...

I ask myself that same question all the time with the loss of our daughter, I can never come up with any reason that makes any sense why a 4 year old would pass on with heart problems when there are so many people out there who just don't deserve to breath!

I guess even after almost 14 years I'm still so angry and truly hope that someone has a bigger plan for me and my family than I had for myself.

I hope to have the understanding and faith about "the why's" at sometime in my life like you do.


shawnna said...

loved your post today - so special --

trusting in the Lord

Queue_t said...

" Do not linger to gather flowers to keep them, but walk on, for flowers will keep themselves blooming all your way." Rabindranath Tagore

This was on my inspirational calander this morning. Thank you for your inspirational faith too.

I needed a little faith this morning.

Tamara aka qt

stephanie Tafoya said...

no matter how many times I read and re-read your story, hear it from differant angles that you write it, think about, pray about it & so on,my heart aches for you, and for chip, and for your extended family, and your friends. I too have a very strong belief that God has a plan, that everything happens for a reason, so on and so on, and yes, your unbelieveable amount of pain & grief puts everything into perspective for so many....thank you for sharing and for opening your heart to so many. I have just closed my site because of really crappy things people say but will stay in touch & keep reading your entries!

Melanie Slatina said...

Jody, I have thought about commenting so many times! You are truley an insperation. I know that you have probably heard that a hundred times but... you truley are. Not only for overcoming one of my worst fears but your belief in God. I have asked him why and begged him to let me in just a little on this big plan of his, to the point where I am too discouraged to put all my faith in him. I wish I could, if there is anything I want it is to have what you have in your beliefs and relationship with God. You truley are an amazing person, and I love reading your blogs.. Its really cool because Im in Spring Lake so when I feel like we are neighbors.. :) Take care- Melanie

NittyGrittysNanny said...

I miss you Jody.......and the kids....and probobly Chip too:)
Thanks for helping me realize that since there is no answer to "why" just a way to deal with not having the answers! See you soon!

Knit and Purl Grrl said...

Jody, you continue to be such a huge inspiration to me. As I read your words, I kept hearing "CHOOSE JOY" echoing through my brain. As my pastor often says, happiness is not always within our grasp, but we can always choose joy.

Anonymous said...

The "experts" all will tell us that how we think, react etc. are all a choice. I've not walked in your shoes but I so admire you because you "have" trusted God to be the one whose in control and while you question Him you still choose to have joy...and hope because of Who He says He is!
Some people would rather choose bitterness and to wallow in their grief and to let is consume them so noone wants to be around them as all they do is go "negative". If you are a follower of Christ, He has the solution and it's in His Word. Thank you Jody for being so transparent and sharing your life with the rest of us!

Amanda said...

Thank you for this today...God Bless you.

Carrie said...

You are so wise, Jody. Truly an amzing spirit. Love you -

Jenny said...

"I am a Child of God,
and he has sent me here,
has given me an earthly home,
with parents kind and dear

Lead me guide me
walk beside me
help me find the way
teach me all that I must do
to live with Him someday

I am a Child of God,
rich blessings are in store
if I but learn to do His will
I'll live with him once more

Lead me guide me
walk beside me
help me find the way
teach me all that I must do
to live with Him someday"

That is one of my favorite songs Jody, and it brings me comfort, I hope the words will bring you comfort too. Teagan is living with God now, and was so blessed to be able to have "Parents kind and dear". She had the best in the short time she was here!

Hugs and Love!

Brad said...

You're right Jody that it doesn't make any sense. There isn't a why - at least not right now. Maybe one day it will be revealed.

Hugs to you.

Rebecca said...

I am just a random blogger who stumbled across your blog long ago & read on & off. I can not wait for the day when all our tears will be wiped away and we no longer will look at life through foggy glasses. All will be made clear! You seem to be touching so many people even through your pain.

Many rewards for the faithful!

Wendy Smedley said...

Thanks for voicing what we all wonder from time to time. Why do human beings bad choices impact other innocent human beings so destructively? Such as you and your baby girl Teagan?
I too have faith that someday we will find out.

patterns of ink said...

Wonder is
the meadow of the mind…
where God is kind enough
to let man find and walk
the common ground of
science and conscience—
the path between
what he thinks he is…
and what he knows he should be,
a place where quiet questions
are allowed…
and praise of answers
is aloud.

Jody, It's fine to wonder. It's even fine to doubt. Just as courage is not the absence of fear (but the ability to act in spite of fear). Faith is not the absence of doubt (but the ability to believe in spite of it). Wondering is allowed and someday the answers will be aloud.
Your heartache is not lost on others. Thanks for being yourself and having the courage to write...

Kirsty said...

Your post makes so much sense. I often wonder why about so many things in my life. Hearing your story has made me realise that my why's are so insignificant to yours. I can't imagine what it must've been like that go through all that you have. It's such an inspiration for me though, because inspite of everything you still believe that God had a greater plan and Teagan was part of his plan.

Thank-you for inspiring me this morning Jody!!