Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sometimes I'm glad...

Sometimes I'm glad that I didn't know what awaited me in just a few days- 5 years ago. I know there are different schools of thought out there on this matter, especially if you've been through it personally. You know, the issue of if you'd want to know how much time you or a loved has left here on earth, or if you'd like to go or lose someone suddenly. I go back and forth, there is good and bad to both situations.
But, as much as I wish I had known so that I could have hugged Teagan with all my might and kissed her so that I etched the feeling of my lips against her soft cheek, I think most of the time I am glad that I didn't know what my future held for us. I think it would have knocked the life right out of me and disillusioned me for the last few days we had together. Days that didn't hold anything truly out of the ordinary- but now I look back on and realize that they were the most special days of my whole life. They are vivid in my mind and the fact that they were lived simply makes me so happy.
Teagan bounced around in the backyard, played with Brock and Wyndham, and just did the stuff she liked to do. She followed me around and asked me several times, "How many days am I?". I remember thinking that was a strange question for a four year old. I dodged her question a couple of times, and on the third time I told her, "Teagan, you're a lot of days old...and you've got a lot of days left." I told her that she was at least 1,500 days old; that seemed like a big number to her, and she dropped the question at that.
I remember the night before she died we had Chinese take-out. She turned down her fortune cookie for the first time in her life- ever. I couldn't believe she didn't want a cookie. She said, "Give my fortune to Brock." I don't put much thought into fortunes from local Chinese take-out shops, but this one read something like, "You will live long and prosper." Yep. Teagan gave that fortune to Brock. Instead, I made her one of her favorite snacks, tapioca pudding. She liked it warm with a little milk to stir on top. She didn't eat it all, so we put her bowl in the fridge for the next day. She never finished that pudding. I remember coming home after a week at Hurley Hospital so that I could get treatment for an infection. My mom started cleaning out some of the things in the fridge. She pulled out a small bowl and asked, "what was this?". "Teagan was saving her tapioca for later." We both broke down and cried. Over a bowl of shriveled pudding.
I knew then that I was in for a long road of heartache, as my reality sunk in one little bit at a time.
Yes, sometimes I'm glad that I had no clue what awaited me. I would have missed out on the simple goodness of the time we shared those last few days. I had no worries or fears to cloud the time I now consider the greatest days of my life. I would challenge all of you to try to live your life in that way this weekend. Simply, and without worrying what your future holds. Enjoy your days as they come. See the beauty in the little things, like kids playing, a song that sparks a memory played on the radio, or call a friend to say hello. Treasures don't have to cost a lot in life to be valuable. Knowing that Teagan was happy, secure and loved up to the very last minute of her life brings a warmth to my heart and gives me peace in this time of remembering her life. I may not have deserved to be her Mom those 4 and a half years, but I loved every last minute of having her in my life.

24 comments:

Portia said...

:~:goosebumps from head to toe:~:

Thank you for your reminders to enjoy the littest things-- not just the big ones. My son is almost 4 and I think I enjoy him so much more because I read your Nitty.Gritty. It reminds me not to take it all for granted. When he says something new (or even funny) or grasps a new concept, I treasure it much more than I used to.

Just like last night-- I went to a quilt workshop and Daddy had him call me to tell me good night. We did the usual routine over the phone and I started to choke up. I was 10 blocks from home. That's it. I missed him so. I missed our routine. And all I wanted was a "break" from all the Mommy Duties.

But I hold him closer and love him tighter... all because of you, Jody!

Thank you for your stories from the heart!

-Portia
gigglesandgrins77@yahoo.com

shawnna said...

May God continue to BLESS you and yours Jody

my prayers are with you especially during the next few days

love
Shawnna

Anonymous said...

Just reading your blogs makes me say, You deserved to be Teagan's Mom. What a delightful, creative, on the spot Mom you are! Wow, think of the many special moments of reunion you are going to have! You can even talk about why she liked fortune cookies :)

Anonymous said...

Never did I dream that fortune cookies and tapioca would bring tears to my eyes! Oh what sweet memories you have. I can only imagine what you have gone through, both physically and emotionally. Thanks for your "deep thoughts" and inspiration. You sure make me see life from a different perspective and I appreciate that. I will indeed try not to take life for granted and cherish every waking moment with my children. God bless you~
~ Tammy in Michigan

laura said...

(((hugs)))

Brad said...

The tapioca pudding reminds me of "Cheerio Moments". It was a show on Oprah about a little girl losing her mother to cancer. They had gone on trips together to Disneyland and many other places while her mom was battling cancer. But when asked what her favorite memory of her mom was it was eating Cheerios at 3am late one night - just her and her mom.

You and Teagan had tapioca moments.

And that's a good thing.

renee said...

So, so true - I could not agree with you more. Enjoy every second, with kids, family, friends - even the the smile of a stranger is a gift.
God bless...

Christal said...

Thinking of you Jody and Chip, amd hugs to you from Indiana... Look for the purple balloons this saturday!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Jody! I'm sitting here weeping as I type. YOur entry today really moved me! As a mom who really really wishes for a do-over myself for different reasons, reading about your heartache and memories almost is breaking my heart! Teagan really was blessed to be your little girl!! Your blog is such a wonderful testimony to me and I want to thank you! ((())) Lots of hugs!!

Jenny said...

I know there aren't words for you to read that could ever replace Teagan, but I hope they will fill up the hole in your heart just a tiny bit.

I love reading your stories about Teagan and your family, and how you really have found joy in so much around you now.

You will never truly know how many other mothers you have inspired to be better moms.

Thank you Jody!

a grateful and thankful army wife with two wonderful kids said...

I came across your blog from a scrapbooking website.....I continue to lurk and read because you put into words so much of what I feel! I can't imagine losing a child. With each word you write it pounds into my heart how I want to live each day! Thanks for taking time to do this journal, you can't know how many people you are impacting!

a grateful and thankful army wife with two wonderful kids

dede said...

you absolutely deserved her, and to be her mom. who else besides you would? if you have faith, and i know you do, then you know as i do that she was meant for you, all of you. and you for her! peace and comfort to you, my stranger friend!

Deena said...

Jody, Thanks for sharing that beautiful post. I will make a point to read your blog more often. I have two little girls and one of them just pushes me to the mommy edge everyday. I find myself so fusterated its hard sometimes to enjoy her but I love her desperately. I'll think of you during those times and remember to focus on all the good times. Thanks for remining me to be thankful for my two blessings.

Kristy said...

As a mother of a 2 1/2 yr. old and a 10 mo. old, I often have to remind myself to slow down and cherish these times. I may not have the cleanest house, but I want my kids to remember Mom playing with them, singing to them, dancing with them and making a cake, just because..not a Mom who was too busy for them. Your writings just bring that home even more. I am new to your site, but am truly touched by your experiences. God doesn't give us anymore than we can handle...you have proven to be a stong, wonderful, loving Mom. Thanks for reminding me to not take anything for granted.

luikens@netins.net
theluikens@blogspot.com

annette said...

Jody, hold fast to your memories for they are all yours...and keep sharing your sweet, beautiful daughter with all of us...we need the reminder of how fragile life really is.

~~hugs~~

K :) said...

God bless you and your family. Your words always seem to touch me and leave an important mark on my day. I am grateful for that. Thank you for sharing your words and your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Jody,

I have never posted before but your story has really touched my heart. I am awe of your faith and desire to bring glory to God in all your struggles. You truly inspire me. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this weekend. May your sweet memories of your beautiful Teagan bring you peace and comfort knowing that she is enjoying heaven. What a comfort to know that she is in a wonderful place. Imagine the memories she will be able to show with you when you see her again.

God bless you and your beautiful family!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have been praying to God to show me the way to enjoy motherhood more...I love my toddler girl more than anything, but I often mourn the loss of my easy, pre-parenthood free time, or I actually long for day when she is a bit older and needs me less - being a parent just hasn't come easily to me. I think my prayer answer lies in your blog post - I need to just BE. I need to just live in and appreciate the present moment exactly how it is. Thank you for all of your inspiring posts and God Bless you during this especially difficult time of the year.

Becky said...

Jody,

You more than deserved to be Teagan's mommy.

Coke Floats and Pinkie Promises....

Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing those 'everyday memories' that you have of Teagan's last days. What a blessing you've been to me, and we don't even know each other! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm past parenting now,
but in reading the posts here I so relate to the lady who shared that "parenting doesn't come easily". It didn't for me as well. It was a total surprise to me~that~ as I'd always dreamed of motherhood and babies. In looking back, I wonder if there was an element of depression.

I think I could have done a whole lot better with my mothering role but it's in the past and can't do a thing about that now.

So when I read your blog I really admire your devotion to ALL of your kids and how you also still honor Teagan. I admire your zest of life, your creativeness and also your humor.
I would say that mother-hood is a "high calling" and the community of family isn't as it once was to give support etc. I know, from reading your blog though, that you have that support! But it seems so many who read it don't.

I just want to encourage all you mom's, and say look for support when the going seems to be going hard. If not with your family (ie. moms, grandma's, aunts, sisters etc.) then look to your friends, neighbors and people at church. God is also the most excellant resource (that I wish I'd had back when)!

Jody, my prayers are with you in the days ahead!

Anonymous said...

caI'm past parenting now,
but in reading the posts here I so relate to the lady who shared that "parenting doesn't come easily". It didn't for me as well. It was a total surprise to me~that~ as I'd always dreamed of motherhood and babies. In looking back, I wonder if there was an element of depression.

I think I could have done a whole lot better with my mothering role but it's in the past and can't do a thing about that now.

So when I read your blog I really admire your devotion to ALL of your kids and how you also still honor Teagan. I admire your zest of life, your creativeness and also your humor.
I would say that mother-hood is a "high calling" and the community of family isn't as it once was to give support etc. I know, from reading your blog though, that you have that support! But it seems so many who read it don't.

I just want to encourage all you mom's, and say look for support when the going seems to be going hard. If not with your family (ie. moms, grandma's, aunts, sisters etc.) then look to your friends, neighbors and people at church. God is also the most excellant resource (that I wish I'd had back when)!

Jody, my prayers are with you in the days ahead!

Nicole said...

She's smiling at you, Jody, as you write these beatiful words that help and inspire so many of us who have stumbled onto your blog. My heart aches wishing you could hold Teagan again right this second. What a amazing mother and daughter you are. She is still right there with you.

Cris said...

That was very beautifully written Jody, and I'm sure that Teagan couldn't have asked for better parents than you and Chip.

(((((((((((HUGS))))))))))