Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"Folding the whites"


Somedays it hits me more than others that Teagan is really gone. I pulled out some pictures this weekend- looking for pictures to scrap. Coming across some of the ones of me and Teagan just seems so unreal to me. The fact that I never wanted kids- ever! Then I had Teagan and I did a 180...I couldn't imagine anything I'd rather do than be a mom. Especially to Teagan. She was such a fun-loving little girl. She had unstoppable energy and was full of hugs and kisses- no matter the time of day. I look at these pictures and it makes me wish I could just scoop her up and give her some love- the fact that I had nearly four and a half years to do that at any moment of any day was a gift. I loved it- but I realize now I didn't take nearly enough advantage of that gift when I had it in my life.
One of the hardest things I had to do in the days and weeks following her death was fold the laundry. I couldn't even breathe sometimes when I pulled the whites out of the drier because I was overwhelmed with not having her days-of-the-week underwear in the loads, and also because it was one of the things we did together. I would dump the warm clothes out on the bed and she would help me sort and fold...or jump in the pile- especially towels- when they were hot and fresh.
Not having those moments to share with her just socked me in the stomach. I would end up sobbing uncontrollably wondering how I would ever go on in life- when something as simple as folding clothes brought me to my knees.
Flash forward to today- and I ended up with tears in my eyes as I folded the laundry again. This time I was still folding fresh clean days-of the week underwear and seeing little butterflies with the word 'Tuesday' all over them just hit me in a new way. It's been a long, hard and winding journey, but I found myself unable to breathe- not out of grief, but instead I recognize that God has given me a gift. A real life gift of beauty out of ashes- of simple joy out of deep pain- of finding reason to hope and live again, where once I felt only despair.
I still wish more than anything, that I could wrap my arms around Teagan and rub noses and pinky promise to love her forever...just like I used to do each day. And there is always a part of me that clings to the memories of the 'life we used to have'. But the gift of new life, new Hope and new Joy is one that floods my soul in the most ordinary moments of my life now. A gift so amazing, that I can't help but thank God for showing up in my life and I find myself folding my hands and saying 'thank you' in the middle of a pile of laundry. Today and everyday, I am grateful that God sustains me and even showers my life with beauty and gifts. In the most humbling moments sometimes. My prayer is for others to be open to His amazing grace- at any turn, in any circumstance you may find yourself. For those who need encouragement for the journey today, may you be blessed with His mercy and beauty- as you need it- today.

15 comments:

Wade, Melanie, & kids said...

I hope you have a wonderful week!! Thanks for the post!

Jamie said...

I definitely need encouragement and you are providing that for me today. I am a Christian and a stay at home mom for the first time. As much as I joke about missing my life before kids, I know how empty and lost I would be without my son. Yet, in the midst of the day it is so easy to get frustrated, aggrevated, and lose my patience. I am so thankful I am surrounded by a forgiving husband, son, and Father because I am on my knees a lot, especially at the end of the day. Thank you for your heartfelt reminder that these days and moments do not belong to us. They belong to the Lord and they are His. We are to thank Him for them and not take them for granted...even the frustrating times.

melissa said...

can i say I see a scrapbook page from this post. I see a picture of white's in the actual dryer or on the bed and a simple picture of teagan and of course your words from this post. Everything is so beautifully put into our lives, but you got the greater gift out of this tragedy. You got the ability to see this gift and find appreciation for it. Your words strike me today!!! thank you for sharing

Kate said...

Jody, you humble me every single day. I have been consumed with stress lately...I lost my wedding rings and it has enveloped my life for the last week. No matter where we look, they have not turned up. Yes, I remind myself (and have been reminded by others) that they are merely treasures on earth but not until I visit here does that truly hit home for me. I will stop stressing, keep praying and squeeze my little man, instead of asking him countless, COUNTLESS times "Where did you hide Mummy's rings?" Because if he wasn't here to ask, I wouldn't be a person. Thank-you for that. From my heart.

Anonymous said...

I just heard a Christian therapist talking yesterday saying that mom's go through the longest days of their lives but it's the shortest time as well (does that make sense?). We don't know what we have in our kids, until they are gone (not in the sense of Teagan) but out of the "nest".

Then I think in spiritual terms of God living in "Eternity" and we live in a rhelm called "time". Why does he do that? Time seems endless (think of being a kid before Christmas). But yet scripture tells us that our lives are like "smoke"...a wisp that's here now then gone.

As I get older I sometimes think about eternity and that we'll be together (we who've trusted Jesus as Savior) once again...and this is a blessed hope!!!

Blessings to you today Jody! You and your posts are a treasure. Thank you!!!

Christal said...

oOkay Jody, while I find myself crying from this heartfelt post, I also see Joy in it! Thanks so much for these words today... AND Yes I needed them! With the situation my family is in I find myself on the crying wagon one day and off the next! Hugs! Christal

Anonymous said...

Jody: I'm sorry for your pain today. Grief can sneak up, grab you and throw you to the ground when you least expect it. I hope you find peace and know that this too shall pass, for now. I know it won't ever go away. Fondly, Jody
(The other Jody who saw you at Meiers Gardens). PS Jody, what do they do at the Gardens in the winter?

judith said...

Hi Jody, your words touched my heart and I can imagine you miss Teagan this much!! But you also found the courage to go on and write such beautiful words to encourage others. Thanks to you am | finding a new way to take this journey :) thank you!

The Bouceks said...

You've truly got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in your heart, Jody. You don't let awful, Earthly circumstances strip the eternal joy offered to all of us through Christ's love. You are a true inspiration to the rest of us, and for that, I am forever grateful. Thanks for being so real!

Lusi Austin said...

Your post really encouraged me and touched my heart today - thank you Jody for you honesty and raw love for God - it is so beautiful to see what He can do with when we put our lives in His hands.
I am so dry and *thirsty* and i just drank Him up in your post.
Thank you!
With much love,
Lusi x

holly said...

Tears in my eyes, lump in my throat. What a blessed little girl Teagan was to have you for a mommy and how wonderful that Brock, Wyndam, Ava and Bella will reap the benefits of how you've grown through this tragedy. Blessings to you today.

Anonymous said...

You always put things in perspective for me! Thank you! Erika Allison in MS

Bonnie in CA said...

I imagine myself feeling as you do should I should suffer such a loss. You make me hold my daughters closer and really think about my present. thank you for being so real and for taking the time to write it all down.

Anne Marie said...

Thank you for your never-ending stories of hope, courage, and belief in the wondrous power, mercies, and love of God. My family is going through a hard time right now (feel free to see some of my recent posts on my blog), and I can definitely needed to read your reminders that God is all-knowing and merciful.

susan said...

Your post brought me to tears but was such a wonderful reminder to enjoy every second of your day and your children. Thank you. You are an inspiration.