Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Mixed emotions.

This morning as we woke early {compared to the past several weeks of sleeping in until whenever this summer} to get ready to send Brock, Bella and Ava off to their first day of school I thought the hardest part was going to be the waking early part. It turns out that it wasn't the hard part at all. The kids were excited, their clothes and backpacks were laid out and ready to go and I simply had to make and pack their lunchboxes and they were basically all set. Ready to take on middle school, third and first grades- respectively.

Chip helped get them into the car with all their school supplies, backpacks and lunch bags and then they headed off. That's when I turned back to head inside and start the day with the other three at home- Wyndham, Crew and Teague. All three of them needed soggy, saggy diapers changed and after I re-tucked Wyndham in for some extra morning sleep time {she loves to sleep in and would do so til noon each day if we let her} and tossed her pull-up in the trash I felt the tears starting to sting my eyes. I finally let the emotions fill me and hit me and overwhelm me and then I let the tears fall. I felt the hurt this morning like I haven't felt in a long time. This time the tears stung my eyes and my heart ached- not for missing the kids I sent to school and realizing how much they are growing up, but instead I hurt for Wyndham and what she will never experience.

In the past I have hurt for missing Teagan and wondering how grown she would be and imagining what kind of backpack and clothes she would have picked out to start the schoolyear. This year I am hurting for two girls who didn't start school with their siblings. I hurt for the dreams that I had for them when they were tiny newborns- like Teague is in my arms these days. I let the tears fall for the emptiness I feel for what will never be, and what I still wish I could change on mornings such as these. I would wish it so different. I ache for once holding Teagan and Wyndham's little heads steady as they started to develop the strength to hold their own heads up, and I wished the world for them- just as I do for all my kids. I always hoped to be the mom who could be there to help mold and guide my kids into the potential that welled up in them from the time they were tiny babes. I always imagined that I would be there for their mountaintop experiences, as well as all the milestones in between.

Today is a day for mixed emotions. On one hand I am thrilled for my kids and the education and opportunities that await them. I once felt like I wanted to keep my kids home; close to me and safe forever, but soon realized that that only holds kids back. What I really want for my kids is a place for them to grow and blossom and be challenged in order that they might become all they are meant to be. Today Wyndham didn't get that chance, and it's yet another year that I face the fact that Teagan had her earthly dreams taken from her at such a young age too. It's a day of mixed hurt and feelings and I simply had to write it down here- just to get it out.

For me, writing it down {It hurts... I hurt... it's not fair... I wish it were different... I ache for Wyndham...} and letting the tears fall is part of the healing process that I find I still need. Especially on days like this. The process of grief goes on- just as the years and seasons change. Recognizing that we have had dreams shatter and change and then accepting the reality of what is now is simply a part of our lives now. I know a lot of moms who are shedding tears today as they send their little ones off to school for the first time... or the 10th. They ache and it is expected. But I have to say that what hurts more than sending a little loved on off to school is not being able to send them off to school. In a few weeks Wyndham will be prepping for her double-foot realignment surgery. Her life is about to take on a whole new level of pain and suffering and challenge and that makes my heart ache so much.

I wish she could have come to the store with Bella and Ava and picked out new shoes and clothes and a backpack for school. But for whatever reason, her life is taking her on a different journey. I let the tears fall today, but my hope for her is to still give her the best this world has to offer her- even though it doesn't look the way I had hoped and dreamed it would be. I don't know that writing this all out does anything for any of you, but I would appreciate if some of you helped share our 'burdens' and prayed with us to be hopeful even on the days that hurt. Especially on the days that hurt.

My heart is still full for the 3 kids we did send off to school this morning. I felt blessed- even as I changed 3 diapers of the other kids this morning, that I had them in my life to love and care for and to hold and show love to. I am a lucky mom and I never want to take motherhood for granted. The mixed emotions are a part of being a parent- as many of you already know. I just didn't expect the wave of emtions to flood over me like they did just now. And I hope that just as tears flow from hurt, I can expect tears of happiness to flood over me in the days and years to come too. True, Wyndham didn't wake up to get ready for her first day back to school. But she is still here and she can hug me and laugh with all of us and I get to brush her thick hair after her bath in just a bit and she dances with her daddy before bedtime each night and she is a bright, shining star in our lives no matter what she does. I can't change what has happened to her and I still wish I knew more about who Teagan would be at this point in her life; but accepting it all as it is is shaping and changing me to be different than I imagined and dreamed I'd be too. I am choosing to trust that despite the occasional tears we're all challenged to be better than what we would have been if our lives had simply stayed on a "safe path". I am choosing to trust- yet again- that God knew all this in advance and He is holding us and guiding us through the challenges and just as a parent to their child, He has big hopes and dreams for us and will see to it that we grow into the full potential He has given each of us. His ways are higher and I'm so glad they are. My mixed emotions are another reminder to me that I need to lean on Him and trust Him fully. Joy or pain... He understands it all. For that gives me real comfort and peace. Even on these mixed up, emotional kind of days.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Jody for sharing these feelings. You always make me step back and re-evaluate my life and be so grateful for the gifts God has given me. You and your family are always in my prayers but will be extra this week as you go through this "mixed" emotion time. ((hugs))

Heather from Ontario Canada said...

Jodi: The tears well up as I read this ..I hope and pray that God will be close to you. You are a strong courageous woman full of love for each and everyone of your beautiful children. I will be praying for you and for Chip as well.

N, Kelly, D, E and Zoe said...

Jody, thank you for sharing these emotions with us. You help me to remember to live in the now. To cherish each moment, even the ones that aren't as I had hoped or expected. The fact that you share your thoughts, as hard as they are, is a true testiment to being in the now with God.

I hurt that your today isn't as you'd expect. I also rejoice that God is here, working in your life and in your family. I pray for you and yours Jody. I know some days are a reminder of what wasn't as well as what is. Probably more days than you express. May God lift you today as He walks beside you.

Holly T. said...

I have gotten in the habit of coming in and turning to your blog as I prepare myself to teach a biology class (at my kid's Christian school)....I enjoy the music on your blog as I do my quiet time plus I always enjoy your words and pics!
This morning during my quiet time, I was came across a quote and scripture I want to share. You are such a blessing to many! Praying for you during this time.

Great faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It's simply taking God at His word and taking the next step. Toni Eareckson Tada

For the very structures of earth are God's; He has laid out His operations on a firm foundation. He protectively cares for His faithful friends, step by step. 1 Samuel 2:8-9 The Message

Jan said...

Hugs, hugs, hugs...

kanitzsche said...


Once again thank you for sharing. Thinking of you as always praying for you as you sort through your feelings.



Lauren said...

I just love you. Thank you for being so real, open, and honest with us. Thinking of you today!!!

Anonymous said...

I am also shedding a tear for your "changed dreaams".
It puts into perspective all the silly parents crying that their kids are old enough for school.I have always felt blessed that we attend a fabulous school down the hill and that our kids are healthy enough to attend. School is an adventure!

hiswife518 said...

"All creation is groaning for redemption..."

I've been reading your blog for a while but I've never posted a comment. There was just something about this entry that struck a cord with me. You'll be in my whispered prayers as I go about my day today...

Patti said...

I have been praying for your family since I first found your blog a week and a half ago. Thank you for sharing this, and giving me something specific to pray for. You are an amazing woman, and I'm so glad to get to "know you" through your blog:)
I go through these emotions on a much smaller level-our 10th baby was born with Down syndrome this past January, and I still find myself letting go of dreams and embracing this new journey we're on. But thankfully it's only moments or days, that I struggle. Writing is my therapy as well.
Thanks for being honest- your testimony shines through the pain of what you're going through.

micky d said...

While I have been following your family for a long time (you are the first blog I followed), I have never written to express how much I appreciate your ability to express and share your joys and sorrows for your family. Your honesty with your struggles has been an inspiration for me in my life. I am praying for you today that you will experience peace at a time of "mixed emotions."

babyrndeb said...

((HUGS)) Thank you for sharing your conflicted emotions. It helps to share and gives us concrete things to pray for. You are an awesome mother - preparing your children to grow and blossom and I know God gave your daughter to you for you are the perfect mother for her...so loving and caring as she struggles with her issues.
Thank you for reminding us to love our own.

April said...

Jody, first of all, thanks for sharing that picture of Wyndham today. Her smile made my day. Secondly, I am so sorry for your loss and pain. Thank you for being so honest with your feelings and emotions. May I suggest a book that I found incredibly helpful to me during an extremely hard situation, "Shattered Hopes, Renewed Hearts" by Maribeth Ekey. I'm going to go and hug my kids... ok, they're teens, but still (and can't wait to hug my little one with Down syndrome that we are adopting soon).

Deb said...

Oh Jody, my heart aches for you today. We all reach the point where it's just not OK. I know a little something about unrealized dreams, and they hurt, usually at the most random times. I admire you, your strength and your inspiration. Wyndham is yours for a reason, and I don't know who is luckier, you for having such a sweet, sweet girl, or Wyndham, for having you for her mom. I'll remember you in my prayers tonight. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jody for sharing with such honesty. I will say extra prayers for you and your family in these coming weeks/months, especially since Wyndham's surgery will be coming. Sometimes life is just so hard! But those are precisely the times when God is so good and helps carry us through. My prayers is that He is carrying you ALL of the days of your life, but especially today.
Great big hugs to you {{{{hugs}}}}

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

I am a long time reader, but a rare commenter. ;)
I so appreciate your willingness to share so openly what is on your heart. Thank you for living out your life for others to see and learn from. God is using you in great ways...especially as you mother those precious little ones of yours.

Keshka said...

What a true, honest, and love-filled post. It just blows my mind what that one act, that one day led to--the ripples of ramifications. Thinking of you:)

Sabrina from Indiana said...

Jodi, your hurt and heartache and honesty are part of your ministry TODAY. Perhaps next year God will ask you to wear a different cape or cloak, but know that as you bear this burden today, you are surrounded by complete strangers being drawn to pray with you, or even being called to dig deeper in their own faith journey. You are a role model and an amazing Christian mother and wife. Thank you for opening your heart and allowing us to share, and to learn, and to reach out.

KatieButler said...

Oh, Jody. Thank you for sharing this. Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I know that you always share just what is in your heart. On Aug 9th, I lost my best friend, who was only 35 years old, after his 13 month fight with colon cancer. He left behind his 9 year old son and 6 year old daughter and a wonderful wife who nursed him through his entire sickness. So many times in this last month I have cried and questioned why he was taken so soon, but yet I come back to the words that were said by our preacher during his funeral, that Keith fulfilled his destiny here on earth. As much as I hurt, and I know Keith's family hurts without him here, I know that his destiny was fulfilled, and his time here was done...and I will see him one day. Thank you for continuing to keep it real, and for letting me see that it is OK to continue to have those days when I can miss my best friend and that the grief process is just that...a process that doesn't really have an end. You are a great mom who has many challenges and many, many blessings!

Kristin Stegent said...

I can't imagine the pain you must feel some days. Thank you for sharing. I pray Jesus wraps you up in his arms and holds you ever close today. I am sorry.

Marie said...

Jodie: I too had tears as I read your blog this morning...thank you for sharing your feelings with those who read your blog...I come closer to God as I read your thoughts and feel your pain and happiness. Know that He has given you special talents that you share with so many. Prayers are heading your way daily.God bless you, Chip and your children.

Jenny said...

My heart aches for Teagan & Wyndham's "could have beens", but I pray that God rains His peace over you as you daily adjust and embrace all the changed dreams.

You are so strong Jody.


Hall Family in MD said...

I think I have commented before, but maybe not. I think you are a remarkable woman, wife and mother. Your family is blessed to have you. I know it is not easy handling the broken pieces of life that God has handed you, but you do it with such grace and love. You are a true example of Christ to others. I know you are not perfect, but I promise you, you shine brightly as one of the most inspirational women I have met online. ((Hugs)) Know that God caught your tears today.

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you Jody...that the healing tears dry and the laughing tears are plentiful. It's not 'fair' and we need to take the time to let the grief overwhelm us for whatever loss we suffer so that we can smile again. Hugs.


patricia e said...

Jody, I think about you often. How overwhelming it must feel at times....I am praying for you and sending lots of hugs tonight ((((((HUGGS)))))))

Andrea :) said...

Hugs to you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, hurts and joys with us.

darcie said...

She is a very very lucky girl to have you as her mother - you are indeed giving her the best that life can offer her -
While we don't always understand why life gives us what it does - making the best of what we get is so very important -
If only everyone could see it like you do -
It's ok to be sad. And angry. There's no road map to life -

Anonymous said...

Your kids are blessed to have you as their Mum. And you are blessed to have them.

Love and hugs being sent your way.


Linda said...

Baby Teague is adorable, as is the rest of your beautiful family. You have forever touched my heart with your outstanding courage in the face of this tragedy. Your family is always in my prayers...

Wish I Might said...

I have been a longtime reader, and I don't think I've ever commented before.

I love reading your blog. This comment won't do justice to describe the amazing, faithful person you are. I love how much you love your children, and I love how real you are when you talk about struggles and times of deep pain. I can't imagine what you and Chip went through, but I love that you keep Teagan's memory alive - not only with each other but also with your children.

I just wanted you to know that your blog is a blessing to me and I appreciate you being open, honest, and faithful.

God Bless.

jennifer said...

Jody, I've been following your blog for years now and this post was the biggest tear jerker ever. As a matter of fact it has been days and I STILL tear up when I think of this post and your family. What a BEAUTIFUL family-inside and out. I was driving along yesterday and heard this song (acoustic version is MUCH better but couldn't find it) and when I heard it I thought of Wyndham. You have probably heard it but I hope you like it!



Jackie said...

I've had you on my mind since I read your post the other day. I've been praying for you. {{HUGS}}

Tracey said...

Jody, I'm sorry for your hurt. I know it goes deep. My little miracle girl is almost 8; her life is not at all what I expected. I mourn that even now, and wish with all my heart that it was different. But God is working in her through this; I see it every day. This is the path she needs, I guess, and I need to remember that He is behind and under and through it all.
One of my favorite songs of all is one you probably already know, but I'll quote it anyway:

The cruelest world
The coldest heart
The deepest wound
The endless dark
The lonely ache
The burning tears
The bitter nights
The wasted years

Life breaks and falls apart
But we know these are
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that's shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke

And every lie that gave up hope
We live in the shadow of the fall
But the cross says these are all
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that's shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But you never know the miracle the Father has in store
Just watch and see
It will not be
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed
~Selah, "Unredeemed"

Hugs and prayers to you from a fellow brokenhearted mom. :)