Thursday, June 19, 2008

The polls...

I find it hard to follow posts in which there is controversy or misunderstanding in what I write, so I have literally taken time to think and process and pray before I came back to share my thoughts again.
Each blogpost here at Nitty.Gritty. surprisingly gets on average 1100-1200 views. I'm not sure who you are or where you are reading from, but I find that interesting, to say the least. I really don't consider myself that exciting or thoughtful or well-written or even that controversial of a person. Really. If you were to meet me at line in Target having never read my blog, you would think I'm just another ordinary mom. Or maybe you would see me ride the cart out to my car and think I was crazy...but certainly you wouldn't point or whisper or think anything outstanding about me. =) And I wouldn't expect you to, nor would I want to stand out.
I have been very happy to just sort of 'blend in' with people around me- never moreso than since when Teagan died. There was a time in my life when our town was small and everyone knew me as "the lady whose daughter was killed in the restaurant accident". They watched me at church and at Wal-mart and when our family went out to eat. It was hard to be 'on display' knowing that whatever I/we did people would have an opinion about it. It would either be 'too early to be doing that' or 'I could never do what they do' or just the quiet, watchful eyes waiting to see when and if Chip and I would split up or any number of other things.
The first couple of months after our tragedy I found I couldn't even shop for groceries without crying or falling apart in the parking lot as I loaded bags into our car. Then one time I was so determined not to cry- I didn't even want to think about what happened- I actually wanted to pretend it never had happened. And hardly three steps through the front doors, someone who had been at the scene came up to me with a big hug and started crying- and I just stood in that embrace and tried to forget.
And maybe it was that moment, but I realized that 'it' was always going to be with me- a big part of me- a part that would affect how I think, how I feel, how I act, how I respond, how I live. Every single day.
But I also determined at that point, that I didn't want to live with that 'banner' over me. I wanted more out of life than just a dark tragic incident. I think I spent some time yelling at God about "how could He let this happen to me- to us?" where we didn't have a choice- even though my heart was longing for change?! I was confused and I didn't know how to 'live with grief'. I'd never done it before...I'd never read a manual on how to do it- much less do it well.
I guess maybe that is my disclaimer for sharing my story. I never signed up for or wished to have "grief" be the 'big thing' in my life that shapes much of what I think, say and do. I never thought I would grow up and be "a mom who lost a child at a young age and as a result also has a child with special needs". I never thought this would be my life. But it is. And how I choose to journey through life with it, I guess, may not be 'popular' or fit with the way others would choose to do it. I respect that. But I would also expect others to respect my way of doing it...and the fact that I share as openly as I do doesn't make me 'dark or obsessed with death' or in need of therapy as some suggest. I also don't believe that grief is something that will lead my kids down a road wrought with mental and emotional scars all their lives. I think it is one aspect of our lives- but it's just that. One part of it.
Just as others have their 'thing'...we have ours.
Yours might be financial burdens or alcoholism or divorce or abuse or depression or addiction or compulsive behavior or any other number of emotional and mental problems that are out there in our world. None of us are immune from the hurts in this world. No one. But it doesn't automatically make us and those who share our lives victims of that- we can choose how to respond. And that, I believe, is what Chip and I are doing in our lives- in our family.
We choose to remember Teagan and to share some of the stories and memories we have of her...but we also have spent years and energy to create new, happy memories and let our kids personalites guide us as to how much we talk about Teagan. I have never been concerned for them 'picking up on nonverbals'- which I believe would be the occasional tears we shed, or the way we smile as we tell them our memories. We have never made them feel guilty or ashamed or scared of death. I have no concerns for our children to grow up and read any of these blog posts. I think it will more likely help them understand and hopefully it will be something fun for them- to remember more clearly- not just Teagan, but their own childhood and antics and they will see their personalities grow and develop. I worry about my kids watching Prime-time network television and other things far worse than anything I have ever written or posted here.
All that to say, I appreciate the comments. I enjoy the dialogue and many of you choose to email me and encourage me and share your own thoughts and stories. I have gained deep friendships as a result of writing this blog, and I have also learned so much about myself.
I have never worried about 'writing for my audience'...as I said, there are more than 1000 of you and I have no clue who most of you are- so it would be impossible to tailor my posts for you anyway. What I do know, is that I enjoy writing. I enjoy sharing. I feel very strongly that God has a purpose and a plan that far exceeds anything I could dream up for my own life and by noting some of the ups and downs on a blog, I literally can 'see' how God is in control. That gives me peace and great assurance. At times some of you say you can 'see it too' and to me, that is only by the grace of God.
There is a lot of 'fluff' out there in the world and the media seems so full of negativity. I try to balance some of what I share with fun and depth and meaning, because that is what I seek in life. I seek to live a life of purpose- but a life with Joy and Hope...and with so many kids and a great husband, I would be remiss to not post fun, light-hearted stuff. It's just a part of my life.
So although I may not get the 'best ratings' when I post on certain topics, I have no plans to change the way I write, the things I write, nor be ashamed or intimidated by those things. I'm not in this for the glory. I'm just being me.
Thanks again to so many of you who choose to share your thoughts with me- both in comments and by way of email. And sometimes by phonecalls too...Mom. =)

69 comments:

Kyra said...

Thank you!!

Kim said...

Jodi~
I never for a moment would have questioned your wanting to keep Teagan's memory alive. I have a friend who lost a daughter and she loves to talk about her! It makes her feel as though she is not forgotten. While I've never been thru that myself (thank goodness!!!), I can understand the need to keep those memories alive.
I know we only have this cyber glimpse into a small portion of what is your world, I think all of your children look happy and loved more than any child could ask for! While I think we all have days where we feel we've made parental mistakes, if you can go to sleep at night and feel confident and secure in what you've given them on any given day, you've won the battle!
Thank you for the inspiration you've given me over the last year or two I've been reading your blog. You inspire me as a women, a mother, but most importantly you inspire me to work on my walk with God.
Keep up the good work and don't change A THING!!
Kim
Grand Rapids

Tina Vega said...

I, too, love what you do here Jodi. Death does not change the fact that you are Teagan's mom. It is so healthy to talk about her! The fact that her loss impacts every aspect of your life is understandable; your world was turned upside down in the blink of an eye.

Yet, despite all of that, you have hope. I see nothing but light shining through this blog!

*kim* said...

good for you for sharing your feelings.
Obviously there are 1000 plus who are getting something out of what you have to say. The way I see it, you are doing exactly what God instructed by sharing the Gospel in so many of your posts.

God bless you and your family. I, for one have gleaned so much wisdom from your blog...both the tragedy your family has suffered and the fun stories of your kiddos and your hobby of scrapbooking.
~kim

Kristi said...

Hi Jody - it is me, Kristi from Cropper Hopper. I have not been able to catch up on blogs for a while, but I happened to read your post tonight.... I am never one to jump in the middle of other people's business, but I had to take a minute to tell you that I think you are amazing. Honest and true and you talk from your heart. Your love for all of your children always warms my heart. I will never be able to express how reading your thoughts and view on life helped me heal when my family experienced our tragedy. THANK YOU for being YOU and for being real. Congrats on your new baby. I hope to see you again one day.
Kristi

mel said...

Well said Jody! You rebuttal so well:) Thank you for your graciousness and kind words in dealing with standing up for the things you choose to share with your readers. Keep on writing:) Melissa

Kristen said...

Said perfectly!

Pavla said...

Hi Jody, my name is Pavla, I am Christian, Iam from the Czech Republic and I founded a link for you blog in Angie´s blog. You are very strong woman and you are good example for me. Thank you very much for your words.
I am sorry for my English, but I hope you understand me.
You have very nice children!
God bless you and all your family!
Pavla

clg0513 said...

don't ever stop writing and remembering. Your writing speaks to the heart and I admire you so much. This is the way you choose to mourn your lovely daughter by all means do it... I love hearing Teagan stories.

Dana said...

I love the way you remember Teagan. Don't ever stop writing and don't ever question what you write. All of us love your stories!

Sasha said...

You are a strong woman .. I admire you for that.

Sasha

Michelle said...

As I said in my email, the other day after reading the story of Teagan, when I put my daughter down for a nap, I held her a little tighter and appreciated her a little more, and a little more intentionally. What you are doing is a ministry, not only to the women who have lost children, but to all mothers, and I'm sure I speak for a lot of us when I say that we are grateful. I'm sorry that some people are insensitive to your process. The grace of God in your life is so obvious, and it is that way only because you are so transparent. Please be encouraged.

Katy said...

Thank you for sharing your story and for finding the strength daily to do so. You could keep it all to yourself but you don't. As one of the many that reads your blog but doesn't comment, I find great strength and admiration in the way that you have chosen to respond to your new normal. I had a sister that died at 4 and I was only 1 or so. I don't ever remember her, but my family was sure to share her with us. I always knew I had a sister and that she was now an angel. I felt lucky knowing that. Keep sharing Teagan and keep her spirit alive.

Ramona said...

Jodi:

I love your perspective, your honesty and a gift that has been given to you to express yourself so clearly. Thank you for responding to my personal email even though you have no stock in what happens to me or my family. Most of all, thank you for sharing your stories and memories, I love hearing them.

Misty said...

You have to KNOW why people are drawn to you. It's because of Him and the way you share about Him. People need to see regular everyday people living a life dedicated to Christ. I think that perfectly describes who you are.

angi said...

You continue to amaze & inspire me! BIG ((hugs)) and keep writing :)

MandieGirl said...

Jody-


Keep doing what you're doing! I love reading each and every new post from you, and have really appreciated your openness and vulnerability. :)

THanks! Mandie

Joy said...

Jodi,
I have been reading your blog for a couple of months. I feel the need to comment for the first time. I love to read your blog. I feel your pain and your happiness.Do not change what you are doing!I lost my sister in a car wreck when I was young. I am now a grandmother.It never leaves you it just heals over an empty spot and life does go on in a different way. The thing I really wanted to say was that back then you did not talk about it. You just went on and I am left with many scars that still affect me every day. TALK,TALK,TALK. Pour out your feelings so that your children can know how you felt. I long to know how my Mother really felt once I became a Mother myself. All these years later I am considering getting some help to work through something that happened years ago because nobody talked about how they felt!
Name suggestion: Teague

Krystal said...

I can't imaine anyone wanting you to not talk about Teagan, even for the sake of your other children. No one should ever expect people to forget loved ones they've lost. Life does go on because it has to, but it is a little different. You see things through different eyes. Through the eyes of your own grief. Through the eyes of your grieving husband. Through the eyes of a little girl who should be 8 or 9 or 17, and you wonder what she would be. I'm so glad you don't apologize for remembering her, and I'm glad you share her with your children. They need that.

Sara said...

My best friend lost her daughter to brain cancer 5 years ago when she was 11. Her younger daughter is now 13 and we talk about Kate all the time in normal converstation. She is still their daughter and still a sister. The only thing I ever said to my friend through all of this is that there are no rules. There are no timelines.

I just wrote a blog about this to post tomorrow that follows the belief that the only thing God expects from us is to live the best life you can with what you are given. You were given Teagan. You were given beautiful children. You were given loss and you were given joy.

And you celebrate it all with us beautifully. Thank you.

walkingbyfaith said...

I LOVE this post!! :)

I love how you're not afraid to be you and speak your mind. I am encouraged by your ability to keep going, yet still keep Teagan's memory alive. :)

carriex3 said...

Jodi-
You go girl. My blog states, God is good, life is hard, I am blessed. All is true, and your blogs are heartfelt, and real.
Please know I appreciate that...
Blessings,
Carrie
NJ
www.creativeandblessed.com

Anonymous said...

Jody,
Just keep being yourself, that is why you get 1100-1200 hits! I have also lost a child, and it seems the public has an idea of how you should act and live your life after their death. Because everyone is different we have to deal with things differently. No one has any right to judge how you deal with things or what you talk about. People can be so insensitive and sometimes do not think before they say things. I am so glad that you blog the way you do. When I am having tough time, I go to your blog for inspiration! I think you are wonderful person for sharing your life as you do, because you have helped so many people that you don't even know. Keep on blogging on whatever subject your heart tells you to!

Amy
Arkansas

Rays Family said...

So very with you Jodi!

Thanks for sharing with all of us and in turn helping those you don't know personally.

Anne

Julie said...

This blog is one of the greatest gifts your kids will ever receive from you!!! I began blogging as a grieving mother myself and in no way will I ever force it on my other kids later in life, however, I have a pretty strong feeling that they will reach a point in their lives where they may want to read it as they will eventually have more of an interest in how we chose to react to such a horrible situation. I really believe it will help them later in life to be able to read about your journey even though I'm sure they already know what a strong and inspiring mother you are! Keep blogging!

jm said...

Hi Jodi~ i don't even know how exactly I stubbled on your site, but I am so glad that I did. It is your site, you can write about and say whatever you want..goodness gracious. Don't worry a bit about it. Teagan is part of you/part of your family, so to include her is only natural, to ignore her would be very un natural. Three of our four kids were adopted and we speak about adoption a lot, some people say that we talk too much, it will confuse the kids...I say whatever. They are well adjusted, wonderful incredible kids and they are OURS! They know that, they belong to our family to each other and to God, but to deny that they have another history/a birthfamily would be to deny to obvious...so we don't...kind of the same thing you are dealing with. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and introduce myself sort of...here is my blog if you are interesed...www.writerwifemonstermom.wordpress.com

Kristin said...

I have been "blog stalking" you for several months. I REALLY enjoy reading this blog. I feel that you are very honest and I appreciate that. I also take some of your "lessons learned" and try to learn from them myself. Most important, enjoying my children. There are days when they OVERWHELM me(5 year old twins and a 3 year old), but at the end of the day I am so thankful for them. They complete me.
Thank you for your honesty and being you.
Keep up the "great blog" and congrats on the baby! Love to keep up on that as well.

Jenn at Casa de Castro said...

Jodi, I honestly can't remember how I found your blog, but I'm glad I did. My family has experienced tragic loss as well, and I find your writing gutsy and honest and encouraging and.... FULL of hope and joy and love. You are example of Romans 8:28 and allowing the Lord to work ALL things together for your good. Our finite little brains cannot begin to imagine how the loss of a child can work for good, but God's promises are yes and amen, and they are true. Undoubtedly your sharing is ministering to many, many others and helping them to perhaps fight their way out of the fog of new grief. THAT is one example of how God is using your loss for good.

Please keep writing and being exactly who God created you to be. May He bless you and your precious family richly.

Lisa said...

Jodi,
You just keep right on doing what you're doing...there are no rules, there is not a plan that is laid out for one who loses someone that they love...just whatever works for you. I think (not that it matters what I think...because you do just fine on your own!) your children will be much better off "knowing" their sister and knowing that you still love her and think of her often. Pretending that Teagan never died and it never hurt is not a well adjusted way to live. I think that your children also know that they are free to talk about Teagan and what she would be like now...something that is not going to happen in a therapist's office. Keep being real and keep knowing that God loves your family and for some reason it's led many others to follow your story. God is good and you are a shining example of walking the faith.

God bless you and watch over your beautiful family.

One of the 1000's,
Lisa
Wisconsin

Anonymous said...

Jodi,
Thanks! Thanks for allowing Him to use you to tell the story He is writing in and through your life. It's a life of grace, love, mercy, joy, and compassion. How sweet...the way you tell it!
Many stories of His work in the lives of us as His children tend to go untold. That's sad to me when I think about it! How refreshing to read your words and allow my heart to praise Him... adding my praise with yours.

Loving you in Him and through Him!
Sue
One of the 1000+ who are thankful to know you in this way

Neil & Kelly said...

Jodi -

I found your blog through Angie Smith's blog to Audrey. I love your writing. Please don't change a thing!

I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose a child. I love that you keep Teagan's memory alive. My sister lost a child and we still talk about him too!

Thank you for being so candid, both in joy and sorrow. As humans and as mothers, we can all relate.

May God richly bless you, Chip and your precious children. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your life and your faith. Thanks most for showing your hope in life. That is what I see most in here. Your hope.

Love and prayer!
Kelly
Spokane, WA

Jodie said...

Jody,

I'm sorry that people feel the need to say such things to you. I guess it shouldn't surprise us...didn't Jesus say we'd be mistreated/persecuted? You have had a desire to be a light in this dark world for Christ, and you are doing that. You have touched many lives here at Nitty.Gritty. It has been obvious to all of us reading your posts over time how much you treasure each and every child of yours, considering them blessings!!! That's far more than the world usually thinks of children. It makes me feel sad for these people. Truth be told, I was irritated and aggravated, as well. But mainly sad.

You have always made clear here on your blog how much you adore your kiddos, and I'm glad you were transparent in this last post about how HE has worked in your heart, even using this awful accident to grow you! I have a dear friend who never ever wanted to have kids. She now has four and longs for more. She couldn't love being a mother more. It's been amazing to see it - sometimes we laugh when we consider how she didn't want to have kids - it's hard to believe! I thought the same thing when I read that in your post - it's hard to imagine because of how much you obviously now adore your kids and love being a mother to them! What a testimony that is - God's grace truly is amazing!

Thanks for sharing from your heart, and as the Lord brings them to mind, I'll pray for the hearts of the people who have judged you. You just continue to be you, honoring the Lord as you are, and He'll keep doing the work in the hearts. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Blessings in Christ,
Jodie

Jess in Nebraska said...

Seriously, I am SO IRRITATED right now. I'm a brand new reader, I just recently found your blog and spent literally hours reading it. It is AMAZING. I can not even believe the issues in life you have endured, and endured with grace, forgiveness, and the eveident love of God. For someone to post the things they did yesterday seriously TURNS MY STOMACH. I have NO IDEA why people can be so ridiculous. Honestly, I do not mean to sound "un-Christian-like" but honestly, I feel like I have a little righteeous anger here. To live through the loss of a child would be absolutely escruciating, the thought haunts me, and yet you ahve lived through it and continue to clearly be a fantastic wife and mother. How amazing for your kids to read this blog someday and read the words of someone who held onto the hand of God through the worst of it. You are obviously very strong in your faith, and have been through enough in life, that someone's negative words - for whatever reason probably barely phase you. However I was compelled to write and tell you that I absolutely love your writing. your words resonate with me and through reading it encourages me to live life to the fullest, every day we have here. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you also for keeping it for the "public" to read....because otherwise I would never have had this opportunity.
Many blessings to you....
Jess in Nebraska

redeemed one said...

The reason that people read.... for me it's your love for Jesus that shines through the ordinary, the impossible, the mundane, the difficult... it's an inspiration. You are a light that shines for Him.

Devon Rene said...

please keep sharing your heart.

for me, so new to this grief, it gives me hope but it also makes feel "ok" to trudge through this world of grief. sometimes beautifully, other times down-right ugly.

we buried our twin boys in march after they struggled for 2 and 3 days to fight their prematurity.

this was never something i planned and yet deep down i know it is part of plan and while i dont like it right now, maybe one day i will be "ok" with it. one day...

just know you are appreciated.

~devon

Becca said...

Jody-
For those of us who have lossed a child, you allow us to see your greiving process and how life does go on. I can say, for myself, that reading your blog makes me feel like I'm not the only one and I thank you for sharing!

Debi B. said...

Don't ever stop writing and don't ever stop being YOU. I can't even remember how I found your blog (thru another scrapbooker, I'm sure!) but I visit you a few times a week because I love what you write. Whatever you write. Your kids are young, mine are teens. You have a wonderful supportive husband. I don't. I've not lost a child, you have. (We are both scrappers, tho! Love that!) But, you touch me in an amazing way with your honest, loving, searching, knowing, powerful words. Hard to explain... you, someone I've never met, encourage ME to be a better mom. A better person. To always have faith... oh, do I envy yours. To love. To live. And, somehow... I just don't think I'm the only one who is empowered by your writings. So, no... do not stop writing. Do not stop telling your stories, whatever they may be. Each one is your life, your way. And, each one truly touches others in this world... thank you, Jodi.

Susan said...

Another one of the 1000+ reading and also a mom who lost a child. It made me a little sick to read the things you said because I guess some people might think the same things about me. What does anyone know about continuing to live your life after a loss of a child unless they have been there? Especially if they have other children. I so appreciate your blog - you are much further in time in the process than I and so it is helpful to me to see an example of that. Furthermore, your discussion of your faith as a grieving mom is enlightening to me as well.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those 1000 who view your blog but have never commented. I stumbled upon your blog a year or so ago and have had read the whole thing. I have laughed and cried at different post but have so enjoyed your honesty and willingness to share your life so openly. I just want to say thank you for the person you are even though I only "know" you from what you write. You have inspired me to embrace life, enjoy my kids to the fullest through the fun and the trying times. I could never imagine losing a child and by you sharing your story, I think really hard on my bad days and how I want to react to the situation because life is short. Again, thank you and keep sharing because I love reading your blog. Maybe someday I will run into you at Target...and I'll know that you are a fun and loving mom who is a wonderful person. :)
Denise

Tracy: said...

Thank-you for sharing your thoughts and your heart. It's amazing how people want to give their opinion on something so deep and personal to you. Your story is an beautiful testimony of God's faithfulness in the midst of tragedy. The strength that HE gives you is so evident and encouraging. KEEP SHARING!!!!!!!! It's your gift!

Maggii said...

I am one who reads your blog often but rarely comments....I want to say I have always loved reading what you have to say ...and I think it's inspiring how you've managed to go on with life after all you've been thru...to see your faith in God kept strong. I like to hear about your daughter Teagan..and all of your kids...Your family seems very strong and happy inspite of what you've all been thru. I love seeing that although yes there is grief....there is also joy...

Anonymous said...

Jody:

I seldom comment on blogs but I have to tell you that I love yours for one simple reason - you exemplify the joys AND struggles we all experience as a mommy. I became a mother later in life than many of my friends, having my children at 32 and 36, and find every day to be both a blessing and, to be honest, a trial. You also serve as an example for others that you may think "have it all" when, in fact, you don't know the demons they wrestle with or the sadness and grief they have experienced. I am not a religious person or a faithful person but even I know there is a higher power at work in all our lives but WE still have to make our choices.
Keep up the work - loving your children and blogging about it. We are all just voyagers in this world, trying to leave it a better place in some small way.

Elizabethanne

Debbie (kitleen) said...

you know me from Adam... =)

and your tragedy isn't who you are. It doesn't define you.

You're lovely for so many reasons.

I love reading your blog because you inspire me. You inspire me as a person...but, not because of how you came out of your tragedy. Because of who you are through it ALL.

I still have to talk about my mom ~ though she's been gone for 18 years. But, if I don't talk about her, it's as if she never was. And that hurts more. I'd rather keep her memory alive for everyone, probably mostly me.

I didn't discover you because of your tragedy. I didn't read your blog from recent all the way back because of Teagan. I read it because of you. I think it's wonderful that Teagan is still so alive in you.

I love how you get such pure immense pleasure from the smallest things. I love that you document Wyndham's progression...her smiles.

You love life. That would be a big part of the reason I stalk your blog. Keep up the stories. Write what you want to write. Keep it coming from your heart. You inspire me to be a better person all the time.

Kelly said...

Jodi, I am one of the many readers of your blog. We have never me met and may never meet. I just "found" you blog one night and have been a regular reader ever since. I just wanted to say thank you for posting your thoughts and feeling on ALL areas of your life. I do not know the pain of losing a child. God has not seen to bless me with children. Of couse that brings pain all of it own. However, your blog gives me hope and reminds me of God's wisdom and love during all the times in our lives. Good and bad. I love how honest you are about all areas of your life. You help my faith to grow by just showing me that a family can go through something so horrible and still hang on and KNOW the truth of Jesus love for us. Thank you for not hiding how hard it is somedays and how great it can be other days. Reminding me that God carries us through it all. So please keep telling me stories about your life which includes all of your children and helping me in my walk with the Lord by sharing yours. Have a great day!! I will keep you all in my prayers :).

touchofglory said...

Jodi-
I have commented before but it's been a while. I'm very irritated by the way people have chosen to use your blog as a way to express their own opinions about how to deal with feelings. I am one of the thousand or so people who read your blog every day to see what's new in the land of "Nitty Gritty" and I thank you so much for helping me to find a much deeper appreciation for the children God has given me. You are such an inspiration, and I hope you continue to write from your heart!
Melissa H.

ScrappyB said...

Jodi,
I am saddened over the comments people have left in your blog. I am a woman that had lost a child. I love talking about him. I don't want people to forget him. The giref that I live with everyday defines me. It makes me more patient with my living children. My oldest daughter knows she has a baby brother and talks about seeing him in heaven. I love reading your blog. It is real life. It encourages me and I know God is using you to reach the masses. Keep it up girl.

Love in Christ,
Brenda

Our Family Adventure said...

I enjoy reading your blog and I love that you are real and honest when you write.

Jodi

LAJJmom said...

I am not sure what you said to cause controversy, but keep doing what you are doing...just what you promised "keeping it real". You are who you are because of what happened to your daughter and if you want to share that we should all be grateful! I think you are an amazing woman and mom. I think your children are lucky that you share memories of the sister they won't know here on earth. She was here and you will always be her mom.

I love hearing about your beautiful family and can't wait to meet the newest member! Ignore the negativity and keep doing what you are doing...being yourself!

Brandi

Julie said...

Jodi,

I have never lost a child, but I have 2 friends who have--one from SIDS and one stillbirth. Both of these children were supposed to be the last children for both families. BUT...after losing their children, they realized what a GIFT children are, and they realized they wanted more and more! I completely understand what you mean when you say that you probably wouldn't have one or two of the children you have now if it hadn't been for Teagan. It is not because you wanted to replace her, but because God touched your heart in a way that made you want more "gifts". Please don't get discouraged just because of a few hecklers. The vast majority of us see you for who you really are.

Julie

Robin, Tommy, & Manze said...

Well said!!!! I love reading your blog and feel you are such an inspiration for so many people! Don't change! I love hearing Teagan stories and I think by being so open you allow your children to feel like they can always be open with you about a number of things. it is good for you to talk about Teagan and such a great healing process! Keep talking girl!

Mae said...

As a Hospice nurse, one thing I learned is that everyone grieves in their own way. How you handle your grief is unique to who you are. No one should ever question that. I can't imagine living through such a tragedy.

You have a wonderful way of sharing your life. You opened yourself up and God is certainly using your talents.

Write on, sweet lady, write ON!

Allie said...

Hi Jodi,

I sure don't understand how some people feel compelled to sit in judgement on your feelings and manner of processing your grief. I have been inspired by your story Jodi! I just discovered your blog a couple of months ago and started from the very beginning. I didn't want to read any current posts until I was all caught up on your story...it's like reading the last chapter of a book first, and I am such a stickler for not ruining the endings of books or movies or TV shows, I can only do it in order! I was so TICKLED to learn of the new baby coming a few weeks ago! Congratulations! So thank you for such a candid glimpse into your world. Because of you, I now have Reddi-whip in my fridge (oh, my 3 kids LOVE you!) and tried and love coconut creme coffee-mate! Most importantly, you've inspired me to have a stronger, deeper, more dependant relationship with God and have taught me a myriad of lessons about faith and peace and TRUST in Him. You keep diggin' girl, 'cause you've got a lot to say and it's relevant to all!

God Bless,
Allie in AZ

Anonymous said...

Jodi and Nitty Gritty readers ~ I was just checking out Jaymun's Web site (www.jaymun.com), and I wanted to suggest that those who feel led pray fervently for him tonight and in the days to come as he faces the latest challenges of his treatment. Thanks, Jodi, for "introducing" us to the Kaat family through your blog. My hope is that we can lift Jaymun and his family in this difficult time.

~Laura in Ohio

DJones said...

Hi Jodi,
I have read your blog for some time now, and honestly, I cannot recall if I have commented before. Given that you get so many hits, I thought that I would "introduce" myself! I enjoy stopping by! You have such a lovely family. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'II say it again -

WHAT A WOMAN!!

Love to you,

Jane

Cassie said...

Your words always amaze me...Honest, true, and I always look forward to reading...Life is hard sometimes for all of us...and reading about the faith you and your family have blesses me tremendously....Our God is an AWESOME God...and we are his children...thanks so much for sharing your heart...God Bless...

Anonymous said...

Hi Jody
I have been reading your blog for a while now. Not sure how I came across it. Maybe from the Scrapbooker of the year contest. I usually only read blogs and don't comment because it's your blog and quite frankly I real lucky that you have shared your story with me and many others. We don't know each other I live in California and the chances we would ever meet except for here are great. Please continue to write and share your story. So many people in the world are kind, but with that being said there are also people who attack everything... espically what scares them. So thanks again for sharing.
Denise in California

Anonymous said...

Jodi- I may be a quiet reader, but my 'take' on you is that you are a woman who is deep and spiritual and filled with life experience that I can learn from.
Keep on.
You are amazing.
xox Laura Solomon

Wendy said...

I've never commented before, but I would just like to say that I enjoy your writing and check for new posts every day. Your courage and faith are amazing to me. You handle everything so well...it is very inspiring to me.

Wendy

Pretty Brown Girl said...

Yesterday, we celebrated our young adult ministry at church. The guest preacher lost his father as a teenager. He talked about being at the funeral and walking into a hallway and sobbing until someone walked up to him and told him to stop, shake it off, and move on. So, he did. He said that he never truly grieved his father's death, until probably 10 years later. And that not doing that possibly hindered his growth.
When my father died, I was 11, I remember my uncle telling me to stop crying at the gravesite because I was crying for myself not for my father. That hurt me to my heart, and here is it 16 years later and I remember it like it was yesterday.
But I said all of that to say, people grieve how they grieve...what is odd or strange to some may not be to others. Grief is a process that takes time.
I've told you that I refer to you as my cyber angel because having discovered this blog and reading your story, you've blessed my life. This blog is a ministry that God has placed in you. God has worked through you to heal people, to bring the message of redemption and forgiveness, and to share the story of God's love. God bless you for allowing yourself to be used by the Master!

Jeremey and Jessica said...

Jodi,
I am one of your 1000's. I enjoy your blog! I have some friends who have lost thier children all to young and one of their hurts is that nobody will say their angels' name. Your family is so blessed to have you!
Love and Prayers,
Jessica

Anonymous said...

Oh Jody...you truly are filled with grace. Your response to some of these comments have been wonderful.

I know that blogging has changed the world a whole lot. Yes...those of us who blog put it all out there. I would suggest though, if something that someone is blogging about is disturbing to us...we should not read the blog. Simple...no?

I have never lost a child...so I cannot imagine the pain. I will say that I gain much wisdom and insight from you...and your writing has taken me on a huge search. I read you and Angie Smith faithfully...and something wonderful is happening for me. Thank you so much Jody...you do so much good.

Laurie

Kelly said...

My best friend lost her 15 year old son in a car accident 2 years ago. People continue to ask her how she functions every day. Her answer is simple. She has to. She has 4 other children at home with her. She will never ever forget Zach and everyone needs to understand that no matter what you say to them, life will never be the same. But with God's help, she can continue on knowing she will see him again.

Jen H. said...

Jodi,
Thank you soooo much for sharing your story. You have helped so many (including me!) through the message you have shared of faith and hope through the tragedy you have faced in Teagan's death. It really saddens me that people can be so mean and negative when you are choosing to share your heart and your precious Teagan with us (STRANGERS!) and they are CHOOSING to read!!! ugg Hang in there, girl! I love your blog and am blessed each time I read. I am praying for your family. Bless you as you welcome a new little life into the Ferlaak home!!
Hugs,
jen

*Jilly* said...

This is YOUR blog.

This is YOUR therapy.

I LOVE reading YOUR blog..and I think you are an inspiration to others.
I have the link to YOUR blog..on my blog..under {Inspiration}. That is where it belongs.

It is YOUR faith that keeps readers coming. I really believe that. The negative readers that visit..just pray for them..but I am sure you already do that.

Stay beautiful..the Lord shines through you:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jodi,
Your blog always inspires me to hopefully be a better person. Sometimes when taking care of my mom with Alzheimer's, I get so down, and then I see the strength with which you go through life, and you give me hope and courage. Please continue to write (you are awesome!) and be yourself.
Thank you for being you.
Joanie

Anonymous said...

Hi Jody I am number 389 out of the 1000 that read your blog.... hahaha and I am sending you hugs all the way from a cold wintery New Zealand... I cant remember how I found your blog... but I LOVE IT. DO NOT CHANGE and as for the people who are leaving 'Constructive feedback' ....this is an outlet for grief and it is ok... it's better than having it bottled up. I feel sad that you feel that you need to judge someone else's style of grief... through a blog ... would you say it to SOMEONE"S face if you heard their story on the street... I know you mean well, but maybe Jodi doesn't want to be fixed..... she just wants to vent..... even if you think it helpful.... if you can say something nice (encouraging...) dont say anything at all..... move onto the next page.... let a family who loves their children heal in the best way possible!!!!!
you just be you Jodi - we love the stories and cry with you often.....hugs to you at this time
mandyb

LizG said...

Hi Jodi,

I'm in the UK and I've not left you a message before even though I read your blog pretty much every other night on my iPhone whilst I'm waiting for my daughter to go to sleep (which can take an hour so I get a lot of reading done!).

You make me smile and I admire not only getting through all you did with Teagan but your day to day life now. I have no idea how you do it? You inspire me as a mother and woman.

You have a lovely family and you should be very proud.

Keep up the good work xx

Ashleigh said...

Jodi~

My mom actually is a regular reader of your blog, and only told me about you about a month ago. Last year my husband and I (who have 3 daughters) lost our firstborn son when I was 17 weeks pregnant. Even though I've only experienced the tiniest, tiniest bit of what you have, your "realness" and honesty make you cry daily...just knowing that I'm normal, that missing my baby is normal, grief is a part of life, and thinking about Ethan often is okay....I appreciate you so much and never for a moment have I thought you should somehow "forget" or "move on". How is that possible? No one can walk away from their children, alive or in heaven. Thank you for being a blessing and for being used by God in my life. :-)