Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sometimes I don't know if I should laugh or cry...





To most of you reading here, these pictures just look like two sisters having fun outside in the grass. And you're right; Bella and Wyndham were rolling down the front lawn when Chip did the weeding and planting and it was just a mellow family night outside for a couple of hours.
What you can't see {and why I post this and make a 'big deal' out of these pictures} is that it really is such a huge thing for Wyndham to be in any of these photos...much less smiling and having fun. But our families know. And some of our close friends and her therapists know.
That this really is a big deal.
Wyndham's brain injury has affected her in so many ways, and honestly, since we have lived and 'grown along' with her special needs for almost 7 years now, they sometimes just seem 'normal' to us. It's not something I point out to people all that often- even though there are still so many issues with her. We have tried to make them a part of our lives and we try to treat her as 'normal' as the other kids and truly it is one of my favorite 'compliments' in life when we can go places and people don't even know she has issues at all.
It has come at a cost though.
Since August of 2001 she has had in-home or outpatient therapy/rehab from 2-4 times per week...from 1 to 3 hour sessions. I don't even know how to begin to add up how many hours that equals. I just know it is a lot.
She has had to try harder to do things that most kids do without even 'thinking'. She has had to overcome fears that don't even cross other kids' minds- like sitting on a swing, or stepping up to an 'automatic door', or even touching grass.
These 'fears' are real to her and there are medical terms for her sensory issues and needs, but I won't go into all of them here. I just had to post these pictures and {especially let our family and friends know} that God continues to be so good to Wyndham and it is in these little "big" moments that I am reminded of His ongoing love and care for us and truly I don't know whether to laugh or cry at times such as this.
I was watching Bella roll down the hill and she was laughing and having so much fun. I had taken a few pictures of Chip and had my camera outside and of course, I had to take some of Bell too. Wyndham had been watching Chip and was just sitting on blanket with a pair of big garden gloves on. She was content to watch and felt a part of the process simply because she had the gloves on her hands.
But then I saw her watching Bella too and she moved off of the blanket and sat in the grass. Now this in and of itself is a big deal. All last summer she wouldn't even put her bare feet in the grass. She wouldn't walk off of the driveway onto the grass- even to go to the swingset, by herself. She has an aversion to the texture and the uneveness of the grass/hill made her nervous too.
I watched her eyeing Bella and then at one point Bella came over to her and said, "Wyndham, you can roll too. It's fun!". And with that, Wyndham laid down in the grass and allowed Bella to help roll her down the front lawn. She seemed to love it as much as Bella! She rolled a few more times and then when she sat for a break, I asked to take her picture and she smiled and signed "grass" for me too.
I know it seems like such a small thing when there is so much pain and natural disaster and tough stuff going on in the world, but for me, at that moment, it was just a wonderful {loud!} yet tender reminder that God is in ALL things. The little stuff and the big stuff. I had to hold back tears, and even typing this gives me that familiar lump in my throat that has come so many times through the years as I have truly seen and felt God at work in our lives.
Sometimes I think we forget He is there- especially in the little stuff- because He just seems like He would be too 'busy' for us in the small things. Yet I am writing this, knowing in my heart that He is real and He cares and He loves and He heals and brings blessing and Joy when we allow Him into our lives fully. The big and the little.
I am sorry for the struggles that Wyndham has had and will continue to have in her life. But at the same time, I consider them some of my biggest blessings and I know that God will never let us down. Through it all. In those moments, I just breathe...because I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

28 comments:

thismngardener said...

nice post, thanks for sharing. I just stumbled onto your blog...bless you.

Corie said...

I found your blog a month ago or so. What an amazing mommy you are, and what a sweet girl she is. Thank you for sharing.

Annie said...

You don't know me, but I stumbled onto your blog a few days ago. I believe I saw you on Oprah several years ago. Anyway, what an amazing mom you are. You have a beautiful family. And Wyndham sitting in the grass, rolling in the grass does not sound like a small feat. That IS a big deal. I can't imagine the kind of heartache you have endured, it has to be the worst nightmare to live through. You have done so with incredible grace. Blessings to all of you.

Disney Scrapper said...

There was nothing small about that moment. And thank you for reminding me of Gods grace and mercy. I needed that message tonight.

mimisherry said...

As always Jody, you are AMAZING!!! I find no reason to apologize for finding joy in the little things in life...no matter what the circumstances. I have a "special needs" grand-daughter and I am just learning how it works to handle all of her special needs...after being blessed with three healthy children I never had to deal with anything like this before. It makes me much more compassionate, more patient, understanding...etc....Your comments about Wyndhams aversion to the textures reminds me greatly of my grand-daughter....I never knew what a challenge it could be to just take a little one out and about...but you have to be aware of fans, certain interactions, etc... My point is that I appreciate YOU, your mothering, your sharing with the rest of us....WIth your insight, your compassion...your sweet spirit! You add so much to the world Jody! I am thankful to have found you here....I feel blessed to be able to come here and read your insights!

Lisa said...

I absolutely 100% without a doubt understand how wonderful those pictures are - we have those moments too. This quote was brought to my attention by a friend - and it pretty much sums up how I think of things now - (I also read the book but it was before we realized the full impact cancer would have on Cole and it just didn't hit me the same way then) - Maybe happiness doesn't have to be about the big sweeping circumstances, about having everything in your life in place...maybe it's stringing together a bunch of small pleasures! :) I hope you have a fabulous day!!!

surfmomma4 said...

Dear Jody, that was a wonderful moment to share with us. Just because there are "big" issues in the world, in your world this was "BIG" I recognize that and thank our dear Lord for the blessings he is bestowing on you and your family...you sooo deserve it. May this just be the beginning of many more "rolls down the hill" for Wyndam

Memphislis said...

I am completely delighted at Wyndham's victory! And I do not think that it is a small thing at all. What a brave girl...and Bella is a good "big little" sister!

Regina said...

Laugh AND cry - I am!!! What a special family you have - I love reading the interaction between the siblings, and how they are helping each other to grow. So glad you had your camera out to capture this moment, although I am sure it is captured in your heart for eternity!

Angie (Angelica Grace Designs) said...

As a special needs parent of a 4 year old daughter with hypotonia and epilepsy, I loved this post. I'm in the battle of my life right now regarding my daughter and her school which you can read about on my blog below. Your post reminded me to keep fighting once again. Funny how God points you in one direction and you land in another. Thus, how I ended up here on your blog. Thanks for your words. Thanks for your reminder.
Blessings, Angie Seaman
www.angelicagracedesigns.com/blog/
www.angelicagracedesigns.com

Amanda said...

what a beautiful moment :-)

Erica said...

Hi Jody,

I've been following your blog from Kansas for a few months. I love your posts and appreciate your sense of humor. I especially love your post about Wyndham's accomplishments. I have been a nurse within the special education department for 7 years. I marvel at the heart and drive that children with special needs have. I know what a huge deal it is for a child with sensory issues to "overcome" that obstacle and try it for the first time. Way to go Wyndham!!!!

DeAnne said...

Hi Jody,

I have been reading your blog for a while now and I have been so impressed with you since I saw your layout in CK about Teagan. I am a mother of 5 children and one has disabilities also. I know how wonderful it feels to see your child grow and take those steps that just amaze you. Way to go Wyndham!!!!!

You are a wonderful mom who I find just amazing that you handle everything with such grace.

You are a very blessed woman.

De Anne

Lea L. said...

Oh Jody...that is just awesome. I am sitting her tearing up just reading about it! That really is such a big deal for Wyndham!

HUGS- hope everything is going well for you right now!
~Lea

scrapnic72 said...

Thanks for sharing this big moment with us.....what a big deal for Wyndham and for your family! I love the glimpses that you give us into her sweet spirit and her experience of the world.

Nicole

Marie said...

Your words bring tears to my eyes. You are so right and its so wonderful to hear you be so positive! I send a big hug to you all and am so happy that all those steps were taken! What an amazing little girl that belongs to an amazing family.

Red Door said...

Jody, that left such a lump in my throat. I am so happy that God gave you that grassy roll moment...

The Nichols Family said...

I too have a lump in my throat. I love reading your blog. I have added a quick link to your blog on mine. I hope that is okay. You have been such a blessing in the little time that I have been reading your blog, that I want to tell eveyone about it and have them read it too. You are such an encouragement! God Bless you and your family!
Leigh Ann Nichols

~j~ said...

thank~you....

Janna said...

That is so incredibly sweet and awesome! God is SO good. :)

Anonymous said...

It's okay to laugh through your tears Jody! Hugs. -Alisa

Sunshine said...

I started reading your blog a couple of days ago and my eyes have been reopened. You have been an encouragement and are an amazing woman who knows where strength comes from.I didn't even know what a blog was until a friend sent Angie's information on her precious baby girl.I have found myself logging on to get updates for both of your sites.
What a precious moment for your daughter to spend with her sister playing in the grass...Thank you for encouraging me to seek Him in all I do and for being such a great example. Sunshine :)

trulyblessed said...

I love to come and read about your day as it shows me what a wonderful God we have in the smallest of moments in our every day. Thank you for sharing your faith, your blessings and your family with us.

All moments remembered said...

Beautiful!!! As always your post inspire me to find the beauty in all moments even the sad or not so fun. Jody thanks for sharing your heart here with us!!

Misi said...

its beautiful and so are you and your family!

Melissa said...

I love coming to your blog often. You make me think and you make me laugh. And since I love scrapbooking and creative stuff, that's fun too. Mostly I like the reminders to savor the joy that every day with my family brings me. I too have a child with special needs. He was diagnosed with severe autism at age 4 and he is now 14. So I totally understand the laugh or cry moments and how completely momentous they are. We've had many over the years and they make me laugh and cry still. We just got our first spontaneous "I love you" from our boy a few weeks ago. And still, since emotions are something he struggles with, we know that more than likely they are words not tied to emotion, but we hope for the day when emotion might be attached, and rejoice in just the words for now. And on a week that had two of our boys in the ER, we just rejoice in each day of life. Our oldest was in a car wreck on Monday which he shouldn't have walked away from (broadsided by a red -light runner - with him in a little sports car and other guy in huge jacked up pickup). There was literally a totally smashed in car with the shape of my boy left inside - just enough room for him. He walked away with a tiny scratch and alot of soreness - a complete miracle. And then yesterday, I heard of the tragedy that Steven Curtis Chapman's family is living right now, and my mind can't even comprehend how one child is spared who should not have walked away and one child is gone who should not have even been in danger. And I go on to think of the child who will forever carry scars for his part in that tragedy. It doesn't make sense and it only brings many why's. And I guess we have to just accept that there are going to be so many why's with no answers for now. All we can do is savor every precious moment, the big and the small and especially those laugh or cry moments that some people will never know the priviledge of experiencing. We are blessed. Keep sharing those precious moments with Wyndham - many of us really get how completely miraculous they are and rejoice with you.

Woah - that got a little more involved than I intended - I guess it's been an emotional week. Sorry I got long-winded.

April said...

brought me to tears.... i love the "littles" for i think they are such big moments in life. thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

a note to let you know I read your blog every now & then...you have a special way with words & reading today weeks after you wrote this entry, I have a lump in my throat-- and every time I read your references to Teagan, it saddens me to think about the grief you've endured--I admire your strength & your faith. AnnaD