Saturday, November 08, 2008

She's four...

and she asked me how to spell "intact" the other day. How does a four-year old girl know about the word intact? More importantly, why does she need to write it down?
I have no answers for you. That's my Ava.
Ava was writing random letters on some lined paper, as she loves to do. Sometimes she asks me how to spell family members' names, or how to write a letter to Grandma. The word 'intact' came out of nowhere and she has yet to tell me why she needs to spell it.
Funny girl.
I love the age of four so much.
Mostly because Teagan is forever four in my heart and mind.
I was head-over-heels for her always, but especially loved her personality, quirks and charm at age 4 when she was killed. Teagan was my little shadow around the house and she entertained me all day long. She sang and danced and talked non-stop and in between those things she giggled and laughed. She played so well with Brock, and showered Wyndham with love for a short time. I never dreamed I'd have her taken from me at such a young, glorious, full-of-life & potential- age.
But it happened.
Now, if you've lost a loved one, you know you "never get over it". Death and loss becomes a part of you. The tragic, sudden way we lost Teagan, in addition to her age, impacted me deeply. Forever.
It hit me a couple of times this week.
Once, yesterday, as I left a dr. appointment. I was sitting at a stoplight waiting to make a turn when suddenly an ambulance came up alongside me with the lights and sirens blaring. I got a sick feeling in my stomach and my throat tightened instantly.
I couldn't help but think of the person/people waiting at the other end for emergency help.
I've been "on the other end" a few too many times in my life and the sounds of those sirens just hits me so differently now. I never take my health for granted, in particular, at moments like that- just knowing someone is in crisis makes me thankful for what I have.
I had another moment a couple of days ago when I put Crew down for his nap. I was planning to get a few things done around the house as long as he slept when Ava called to me from another room asking me to come and play Barbies with her.
It hit me hard.
I couldn't help but think, at that moment, of all the times I had longed to have my 4-year old just call for me to come join her in playing Barbies while her little brother slept. I had prayed and begged God more than once to give me that back.
As I sat down on the floor with Ava and picked up one of Teagan's old Barbies, I realized that I was living an answer to my own prayer. I held back the tears and thanked God for giving me this moment. Yes, it took seven years to get answered, but God honored my request. It didn't necessarily come as quickly as I would have liked, and it certainly didn't 'look' the way I had pictured it in my head, but still, here I was playing Barbies with my 4-year old as her little brother slept peacefully in the next room.
It was reason for me to give thanks to God yet again. For seeing me through so much, and giving me some of the simpliest desires of my heart. Not that they come without a lot of suffering and patience and endurance, because there has been a lot of questioning and heartache through the years. There have been high costs and times when I've wondered if God could hear me or even care, but I was quietly reminded in ordinary ways this week, that God is at work. He does care. He does hear our prayers. He doesn't always work in the ways we would hope and pray, but He IS always faithful in all things, if we put our trust fully in Him.
It's these types of life-lessons I am so grateful for in life...and I never want to forget.
*For you scrap-readers, we have a new Fashionista challenge blog called "The Haute Spot". The first challenge was posted today. You can take the challenge and maybe win a prize and also see more pages/inspiration there. It will be fun. I promise...I already made my page. You can see that here... another moment I never want to forget.


staceyfike said...

oh jody! i love you!!!
happy birthday to your sweet girl!!

Shannon said...

Before reading today's post, I already knew (from your blog) the story of Teagan, but in your sharing again today it felt like hearing it for the first time... I cannot imagine that loss.

Your answers to prayers. It is neat how God can use the simplest moment to remind us in deep ways that he's heard every prayer. That dichotomy is intimate and beautiful...

God bless you and your sweet family.

Anonymous said...

4 and gorgeous - both of them.

I get a tightness in my chest as well when I hear an ambulance. I can't imagine how tight your's must feel in comparison to mine.

Love to you,


Anonymous said...

Jody - I've read your blog for several months now but have never commented. Thank you for sharing your life. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better mommy. Praising God with you that you got to play Barbies today. What an awesome answer to prayer. God is so gentle with us, isn't he?


today is the present said...

Sounds like Ava may end up being a writer!

Because of your post and your willingness to share, there are a lot of mommies, and hopefully daddies, out there reading who will sit down and play with their child today.

Yesterday my youngest daughter (6) was begging me to play and I had a house to clean for visitors coming tonight. Because of physical issues I am having it takes me days to do things that used to take just a few hours.

But I stopped and we played. We played games that I really do not like so much BUT I love her and I love her smile and her laugh and because of reminders like your blog, that there are not always tomorrows, I enjoyed every second of it!!!

Just think, Teagan is making women into better mommies, and ultimately giving children better lives because I KNOW there are families out there who because of your story, give more to their children than ever before in TIME!

That said, I know it doesn't make you miss her any less. Many prayers for you and your family!!!

I haven't posted on here in a while but have been reading and adoring the pictures!!! Thank you again for sharing,


Joy said...

I know exactly what you mean. Every time I hear the sirens and see the ambulance go by, I pray for the people waiting for it, and for the men and women responding to the emergency. I too have been there a few times now, and now how L O N G that wait can seem when your loved one is in such desperate need. I'm glad to hear that i'm not the only one who thinks that way!

Thank you for today's entry. I hadn't thought about the gift my younger daughter will be when she reaches age 8 1/2, the age that her older sister was when she died. What a blessing!

Happy birthday Ava! Keep learning those words!

Amy said...

you always amaze me with how you have handled the sufferings in your life. you are such an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to dear Ava! What perfect timing for your post Jody. This weekend I had friends visit from PA who were grieving as it is the one year anniversary of their sons death. We attended a dinner where they were presented with a beautiful portrait of their son (see it was so emotional for all of us to hear of so many tragedies, and of young lives cut too short.
Your words always touch my heart, but I just wanted you to know that this particular post on this particular weekend really, really hit home and I wanted to THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Hugs to you Jody! {{{{{{{}}}}}}

Kristy said...

Thank you for your post. Your post was just the reminder that I needed from the Lord to keep on praying the big prayers that seem impossible. I'm thankful for your story and reminder that sometimes it's a long wait and not without pain however the Lord hears our cries!

Jennifer said...

what a beautiful post and beautiful scrap page!

happy birthday to ava!

Denise said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Ava!

Nieman Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nieman Family said...

You are such an inspiration to me...I love that your prayer was answered. and agree with shannon's comment that God can and DOES use the simplest things to let us know he is there. We just have to open our eyes and realize that.

Anonymous said...

You have truly been an inspiration to me to take time with my girls who are 4 & 5. I am a full time working mommy so life get's busy and reading your blog is a gentle reminder of how short life can be. Thank you so much for sharing and being honest, because of that I do not take my time with the girls for granted, even on the busy days.

I am so happy that you were able to play Barbies again with your 4 year old. What a sweet answer to prayer. Happy Birthday Ave...4 is a fun year. :)


Melissa said...

I've read your blog for such a long time but never commented. But I thought I should finally tell you how much your blog encourages me and makes me smile and cry. You're quite amazing, to tell you the truth. And you have a beautiful family that is so fortunate to have you. I pray God sends many many blessings your way today!!

P.S. Happy Birthday, Ava!

Anonymous said...

I can hardly see through my tears to type. I am so happy for you to have an answered prayer such as this. How awesome and loving is our God?

Laura said...

What a beautiful post and tribute to Teagan!

Jody said...

Oops! I apologize for the misunderstanding to those who wished Ava a Happy Birthday. I meant it just as a statment...that she is only 4 and was asking about the word intact. Her birthday is actually March 14th.
But she would love me to whip up cupcakes and celebrate her today anyway! =)
Thanks for your encouraging comments. I may have to make cupcakes just because. I appreciate each of you and how you continue to be touched by what I share here.
Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a long time now and have never commented. I am a 37 year old mom of 4. I worked in the nursery yesterday at church and held a baby girl named Teagan. I thought of you and how through the wonders of the internet I would pray for a mom I don't know but care very much about. God Bless, Holly in Indiana

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for several months now and wanted to tell you that you are such an encouragement to me as you see God's work in your life and share it with us. It is God who helps us through difficult things and you share it so beautifully with us. It doesn't always make it easy, but with God it is possible to get thru each day. thanks for encouraging us as moms to make the most of each moment we have with those we love so much.

So Blessed said...

This post really blessed me...thank you. I continue to pray for you as you have prayers answered and blessings poured out on you by our loving heavenly Father.