Sunday, January 04, 2009

One last day of partying-

Wyndham turned 8 today and she was happy as can be. The kids all enjoyed their last day of Christmas break before school starts back tomorrow by helping Wyndham open her presents and blow out her candles. We kept it fairly simple and went to church, out for lunch and then kicked back all afternoon. As you can see in these pictures, Wyndham was very happy to be the center of attention and she was so proud to blow her candles out too. She even picked out her cupcake decorations and was "helping" me with the frosting of them.
This day is actually a bittersweet one for me, to be honest with you. I tucked Wyndham in bed last night and told her it was her last day being 7. She has been signing birthday and cake and she knew it was going to be her special day today. But even as her happiness was so infectious and I marveled at how much she has grown and changed and overcome, my mind still went to the place I try so hard to avoid so often. That is the place in my heart and mind where I wonder about all of the hopes and dreams and things she may never experience because of her injuries sustained in our tragic incident. It hurts for me to look at her knowing so much was taken from her, and although she is doing so well at this point, there is just that knot in my throat that hits me full-on when we mark big occasions like today.
I wonder if she will ever get to tell me with her voice all the thoughts that must run through her head each day; I wonder how she really feels inside. I asked her what kind of cake she wanted- chocolate or white and she just smiled at me. She finally pointed to white, but I wondered if it was because of the sprinkles on the package that she wanted most of all. I know it sounds like a little thing, but I'm really feeling the hurt tonight after recognizing what it is.
Sometimes I forget that we have any ongoing "issues" as a result of our tragedy. We live each day with so much "normal" and ordinary that it doesn't seem to affect us all that much anymore. But my mind went there today- to the wondering of how things might have been or how they might continue to be in the future.
Don't get me wrong. You can see from the photos that there was a lot of love and happiness in our home and lives today. We are blessed more than many to have love and happiness in our lives each day. But there is still a sense of something not-quite-right in my heart. Special days make me miss Teagan too. Wyndham is now twice as old as Teagan ever got to be. It's been a long struggle to get her (Wyndham) here too. I was thinking how Wyndham has had hundreds of shots, 2 medical helicopter rides in her life, 3 ambulance rides and more hours of therapy than I can count. Yes, she's been through so much and she has come so far. She's nothing short of amazing and I thank God for the way He has healed her even when we weren't sure of her prognosis. We still don't know what her future holds- I don't know how many birthdays any of my kids will celebrate, and I try not to take any of them for granted. As hard as it is, I know that choosing to celebrate and be happy in life even after all we've been through is the best gift I can give to my family and everyone around me. Today I am reminded that it's not an easy path, but there is reward in the effort for choosing to rise above. And in the long run, choosing vanilla cake over chocolate is really not a bad choice either. Even if it was picked only for the colored sprinkles that were pictured on the box.
Happy birthday, my dear little Wyndham. I love you with all my heart!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on another milestone reached! Hope the bithday girl had a wonderful day with her family!! We are back to the crazy hectic school life tomorrow too! It seems to go by faster and faster with each year.

Kim B

Al's World said...

I don't know you, but I found your blog before and just wanted to encourage you. You are so normal to feel all these things and more. It was a tragic accident, an accident that took your child's life, and the normalacy of another. You do look so happy in those pics, so there is happiness in your home, don't ever think there's not! You are a wonderful mommy and have a beautiful family, allow yourself to feel those things, and then wake up the next day and smile and choose joy!


Grandma Karen said...

Happy Birthday to our Wyndham! We were so happy that you all got to spend Christmas with us at the new lake house. This has been a hard year for our family but having the children here with us helped us sooooo much.
Wyndham has come so far and will continue to go far. She has a huge family cheering her on. It just takes her a little longer. And we can wait.
Blessing to you Wyndham.
Grandma Karen and Grandpa John

Anonymous said...

Sending love and hugs to Wyndham - and to you too Jody.


Laura said...

wow, thanks for sharing all that and being so honest. I struggle with the same feelings with my youngest daughter... pure joy mixed in with the 'what if's' that come with having a little one with differences.
She's just as blessed to have you as a mom as you are to have her as a daughter.

Canadian Cathy said...

Thank you for your honesty. It is okay to feel sad sometimes, that is what this blog is for to have a supportive place to verbalize your feelings. We know you feel blessed and you are proud of all Wyndham's accomplishments. This is the normal side of you and we love her too.

jsprik said...

i know how you feel!! we had a great Christmas and New Years, but we often think of our son and miss him when we have family get togethers and such!! i guess he will always be a part of our lives even though he's not physically here!! please tell Wyndham Happy Birthday from us!!!! God Bless!

Belinda said...

Please tell Wyndham Happy Birthday from Miss Belinda. I am specifically praying for a "healthy" year for Wyndham (and all of your family for that matter). I hope there will be no setbacks for her, and that her therapy will continue to help her show improvement.

You are a huge inspiration to me, Jody. I know we've never met, but I admire you greatly and I understand (just a tiny, tiny bit) how some otherwise happy milestones can also cause pain. As always, you've expressed yourself WITHOUT sounding ungrateful or bitter... and that encourages others. It's a gift.

Have a good January 5.

P.S. The pictures you've been posting of your Crew are too precious. That is one cute baby. He's got some really sweet little outfits, too. I love babies and I love baby clothes!

jennie said...

Such an inspiring and special little girl, Happy Birthday Wyndham!

Thank you for sharing the"realness" of the bittersweet milestone. I feel we have to let out some the negative(going to that place)in order to appreciate what we have that is so good.

Jody, thank you for always sharing all sides of your story.

And Yeah for snow days! (actually, you guys might not have gotten one,Oopps!)
Jenn in Muskegon

Nancy Peacock said...

I have a daughter with special needs who turned 21 several months ago. I can very much identify with what you wrote Jody. Sometimes the sadness of seeing her tackle life without the same potential her "normal" brother has causes a day of mourning for me too. But I am so thankful that we have God's faithfulness to lean on, for her future. Also, her life is more "joy-filled" than most peoples, so in this we are blessed.
Happy Birthday Wyndham! You're a gift!

our family said...

Happy Birthday sweet Wyndham. You are a precious loved amazing miracle. Your mommy and daddy and family are so proud of all you have accomplished and we join them in praying for all of that God has yet to come as you continue to grow and learn. We can't wait to see all of the fun new things you do this year. Happy 8th Birthday!
Hugs an Prayers
Rachel in PA
PS Sprinkles always make the cake!
PSS Maybe your mom can help me come up with a name for my new baby coming in June.

Lisa A said...

Hi Jody
I am a regular reader of your blog and have been since just before Crew was born, and look at him now, but this post is about Wyndham.
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear WYNDHAM
Happy Birthday to you
From: Lisa A (Down Under)

Anonymous said...

Jodi you are such an example to us who haven't gone through half the heartache that you have. And yet, I can see the Joy of the Lord written all over your face and the faces of your family, especially Wyndham, in that birthday picture. Thank God for another yr. for you Wyndham. May you continue to give joy to your family and to all of us who see your innocence and your beautiful smile. Love on your birthday and always, from a grandma who reads your mom's blog and is touched by all 8 of you. Mim Clalire, Ma.

Melissa said...

As a mother of a child with autism, I understand completely what you speak of - and the bittersweetness of milestones reached. You have the added sadness of tragedy marking a moment in time when everything changed, so I can't even comprehend that aspect of your situation. I do fully understand though watching a child grow and struggle to become what this world wants to call "normal" and added to that the not knowing what he is thinking or on what level he understands what's going on in any given situation - (I've had so many of those "Why'd he pick that frosting...and did he really?" moments). The joys are bigger, the sadnesses are bigger, the milestones more significant - everything is magnified. It makes me more thankful for everything while still giving me moments of such profound sadness, that I can't even express it. But, as with you also, most days are just normal - our normal anyway - filled with love and laughter and siblings that really get so much more what life is about than other kids, who would fight to their dying breath to protect or help their brother. And Aaron is just so much himself and so beyond precious to us. Our life is so much richer and so much more focused (most of the time) on what's really important in life, for having shared it these 15 years with him.

And that's a pretty long, probably incoherant rambling way of saying that I understand so much of what you are saying. I pray many wonderful blessings to you and yours this new year and especially for Wyndham as she continues to stretch and grow toward all those new milestones I know she'll conquer this year.

And by the way, Crew is such a little doll. He's growing so fast. Thanks for sharing life and your sweet family with us.

Erin Merryn said...

Judy I am curious what do you tell Wyndham's teachers? Do you tell them about the accident each year when she gets a new teacher? Is she in regular classes with special help?
I am curious is she at the age level of a 8 year old but just cannot verbalize because of the accident or is there sever brain damage that she is lower functioning. Who knows maybe her voice will be heard one day when she writes a book. Anything is possible!

Anonymous said...

It is understandable that you'd feel the way you do. I just hope that you also remember to pat yourself on the back for choosing to make your house a happy one and focus on the good. Nobody can do that ALL the time though, so on these days it is understandable that you'd be having these thoughts.
I love what "Grandma Karen" said in her comments...
" Wyndham has come so far and will continue to go far. She has a huge family cheering her on. It just takes her a little longer. And we can wait."
Perfectly said. You are all so blessed to have each other.
I'm wishing Wyndham her best year yet. I'm sending you big hugs Jodi. And, just for the record, Wyndham has a HUGE blog "family" who are cheering her (and you) on too.

Nieman Family said...

That post was special. I love, Love, Love your blog. Thanks for all the inspirations.

pam at said...

It takes great courage to share your honest thoughts and so many of us appreciate it. You minister to us by showing both sides--the amazing, happy joyful side and the doubting, troubled side.
You are a wonderful blessing, and I'm so glad I found your site.
Thank you!

Yarnmomma said...

I never thought when I started reading blogs that I would find one as REAL and inspirational as yours. As a mother you are just an amazing women to me. You have so much courage and wisdom to share with each of us.. I can say as you have talked about God.. You have made me draw closer to that in my own life and I thank You for that..

A big thank You.. Stephanie in Missouri

Jennifer said...

Beautiful post, my heart aches for you! Happy Birthday to your precious girl! She is so blessed to have such a wonderful Mom!


Lisa & Gerald said...

Happy Birthday Sweetie!
Hugs to you!
Im so happy that she doing so wellsmiling and having so much fun on her Birthday!
Im sorry that I don't comment all the time on our blog!But I do follow and read your blog every day!
Big Hugs to you and your family!

Paige said...

I just found your blog and I'm so glad. I once heard that someone's true character really comes out through tragedy and heart ache. You look pretty amazing to me. I'm sure everything you think about and feel is what anyone else would do in the same situation.

Happy Birthday to you dear daughter! She is one blessed girl. : )

Tabitha said...

Happy birthday to your sweet girl!
What a lovely post ~ my thoughts are with you!
Love and hugs Tabitha XXX

Rachel E. said...

Happy Birthday, Wyndham! She looks so happy in the pictures. Jody, you are such an inspiration to me! Hope your New Year is off to a great start.

Anonymous said...

your family is so beautiful. and that new baby boy is the spittin' image of his daddy!!

Amy S said...

AWE You are soo special! Your entry made me have a lump in my throat--I cant even begin to imagine yours! God Bless you and continue to give you strength to get thru these "bittersweet" days!!TFS!! <>< Amy

Anonymous said...

I am so sad and happy for you at the same time! So amazed and encouraged that you are choosing Christ and His will! But, along with you, so sad that the hurt is so real and raw during this time of year! Weird how after so many years it is still just like yesturday... May God Bless you and Keep you and your family close to His bosom!

Adrienne said...

THanks for sharing your heart...praying for you, Jody. xoxox

patterns of ink said...

A friend of mine is the administrator of a school like ours in Indiana. I learned this morning of this sad event for one of their alumni, Drew Pearson. He and his wife had their first child on December 28, 2008. Drew left the hospital in the morning to go home to shower and change and come back. He never made it back. He was tragically killed in an auto accident....just hours after his daughter was born, and while his wife was recouping from c-section surgery.

Thank you for lifting up this family in prayer.

Tom K.

Jane-Jane said...

your blog is always an encouragement to me. today, is no different.

through life's trials, we have to choose to love. today, i just realized that i have to choose the path of celebration. that i have to choose to accept the happy life that God has planned for me. i am by no means saying that there won't be valleys amongst the hills. (...a hill would not be a hill without the valley) what I am saying is that while in the valley, I choose to walk in celebration with my Lord, my Savior.

thank you for sharing your life and family with all of us in blog world. through your sharing, many lives and hearts will be/have been changed.

lusi said...

hi Jody, thanks for always sharing your heart with us. I don't have the right words but I send my love to you.
Happy belated birthday to your very precious princess Wyndham!
Blessings in Christ to you,
Lusi x

Abbie said...

Thanks for the reminder of how precious each moment we have with our kids is - it's often too easy to get bogged down in diapers, feedings, snacks ... and forget this is where God has me now, to serve Him by caring for my sweet kids.