Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Faltering.

This is one of those posts. The kind where I just lay it all out there- the stuff that's been heavy on my heart and mind for the past week. The photo above is of Wyndham's feet. She has traded her pink casts in for these ankle-foot orthotics {otherwise known as afo's}. I will use the term afo's in the future, just so you know what that means. Wyndham has worn afo's in the past, but never before have they been so big, bulky, thick or as unflexible as these. She is required to be in them 24/7- only having them removed for showering. They are basically keeping her foot in alignment and giving her feet high arch support. When we asked how long she will be wearing these at her doctor appointment a week ago we were told likely indefinitely, but at least 6-12 months. There could be revisions done for growth or other needs along the way, but this is it- these are the supports Wyndham has to learn to walk right now.
Needless to say, Chip and I left very disheartened for Wyndham after all her patience with her casts the past 2 months. She has been about as easy-going as we could ever expect her to be given her circumstances. I have nothing but admiration for her attitude through this whole experience.
Which is in part why it is hard to see what has to go through now. I will be totally honest here. I have been mad, angry, discouraged, frustrated, immature, unreasonable, stressed out, and a whole host of other not-so-nice things as a result of this surgery and recovery the past 2 months. I ended up pouring out a lot of my feelings in a letter to my sister last week and here's just a portion of that- because it was raw and real and part of me still feels this way. Here is, in part, what I had to say:

I am tired of facing each day knowing it brings more struggles and no matter how hard I try to look for it or create the joy just seems to have vanished from life. That's the truth of where I am at right now. The day before Thanksgiving.
I feel like the most pathetic person on earth. The bitterness that is taking root in my heart seems like the only thing that's thriving in life right now. I don't feel like 'fighting' for something better anymore. I really hope you can pray for me because I'm not sure I know what to say or if the prayers of my heart can even be answered right now.
Wyndham was fitted yesterday for some ankle-foot orthotics that are hard plastic and go from the whole bottom of her foot up to her mid-calf. Now after 2 months in casts she's supposed to relearn to walk in them and wear them 24/7 for 6 months to a year or more. That means she will be in knee socks and tennis shoes and even sleeping in socks and these supports... and that is where my anger and frustrations lie right now. All I can think is this-UNFAIR! I am already thinking of how she can't go to the beach and put her feet in the sand. I am thinking of how hard it will be to not bend her foot as she attempts to walk. I am thinking of how much she has had to take in this life and now, instead of some sort of reward for her patience and endurance, she is getting dumped on once again. I admit it, I am angry for her. I know she will overcome the obstacles placed before her but I am disgusted and down-trodden that this has become her lot in life. I am tired of seeing her rise to the occasion only to get knocked down time and time again.I t just doesn't seem fair.
I am tired of having to support her and watch her struggle. I wish I could just take on all her pain and challenges and make them my own. It hurts me so deeply to see her never able to reach her full potential because of the path her life has been forced to take.I am sorry to say when I look in the mirror of my life I don't like a whole lot of any of it right now. I know I have been optimistic and hopeful for a long, long time, but I feel like I've finally had enough. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I'll admit it, I am struggling with what I am feeling inside right now. I know there are blessings in my life and things could always be worse. I do have a pocket of gratitude in my heart somewhere, but honestly I don't feel like wearing it right now. The hurt of everything in my life over nearly the past 10 years has surfaced all at once the past 2 months and I am ready to sit and wallow in that hurt. Wyndham's daily struggles have become, dare I say, a 'visual reminder' of the pain I feel from Teagan's death and a constant roadblock to experiencing happiness.
Wow.
That's a lot for me to unload all at once.
What are your therapy fees?! =)
I know you can't change a thing for me- for Wyndham- for all of us, but I do appreciate that you would listen and care. I hope life starts proving me wrong and I hope that some glimmer of goodness starts glowing in life again too. I don't know how or why we've been dealt this hand that we've been given. But I do want to find my place back to believing that it's worth the struggle and to keep pressing on. Thanks for being in my corner when I need you. Thanks for praying our family through yet again. I hope you have many reasons to give thanks this year.
I'll look around and try to find my rose-colored glasses for tomorrow.
And if for some reason I find them, I might just start wearing them like Wyndham has to wear her afo's... 24/7.

* * * * *
I have been thinking so much about life's pain and hurt and challenges and I'll admit another thing. Sometimes I wish our "suffering" didn't have a name. Meaning, I get frustrated knowing that there is a person responsible for what Wyndham has to go through and has gone through for almost her whole life. I have been dealing with anger inside knowing that Wyndham's life challenges will follow her all her days, while the one responsible for her disablilities will walk away from her 'sentence next summer'. That reality has been dragging me down and while I still believe in my heart that forgiveness has been given and claimed in this situation, I am having to remind myself of that day after day. It's not an easy thing and I feel like my faith is sort of being chipped away at a little bit more with each new challenge our family has had to take on. Sometimes I think it would be 'easier' if all this just happened randomly- or accidentally- rather than intentionally, and that is proving yet another challenge to my faith.
So while Wyndham is still in her wheelchair all day long and has yet to take a step, I feel like I am the one with my feet bound and the one needing to learn to walk all over again.
Our family continues to be so encouraged by many of you who email and send notes on FB and pray for all we have gone through and continue to go through. We did have a very nice Thanksgiving with Chip's parents here with us. We DO have much to be thankful for and I am trying hard to not look too far into the future, but instead just focus on what the needs are in front of us one day at a time. I know that Wyndham has the fight in her to get back on her feet and walk again... I just feel like I'm not her best support system anymore and she deserves nothing less than the best right now. So, please feel free to keep praying her through this and to pray that I will find a way to lift my eyes and heart up even though it's an enormous task to look on and cheer her forward.
I am hoping to falter less and to triumph more.
And should I fail and stumble and fall, I am grateful to my family, friends, and God for giving me another chance to get back up. I've never claimed to be a superhero, or even a person of superfaith. It's in these times of trials that that is so evident to me. I am nothing on my own and I would have fallen apart by now. But thankfully God is rich in mercy and strength and He continues to hold me up and see us through. If anything good can come from Wyndham's suffering, it is this: it makes me believe more and more in God and His ways. Even when I can't see one step in front of me. I am humbled to know God has it all in His control.

34 comments:

Amber said...

Aw. I think you and your daughter really are a bright spot in so many people's lives. Even if all you feel is darkness. I read often, and rarely comment, but pray for you all frequently. I think sometimes it is ok just to feel bummed, totally let down, discouraged. And just let yourself feel that, for as long as you need. Sometimes giving yourself that time, is therapy in itself. And writing it in your blog, makes others know how real you are. Life stinks sometimes, and is totally not fair....We will continue to keep you in our prayers!

Patti said...

No profound words of wisdom or encouragement here...nobody but you knows the pain you have felt and the hard journey you've been on, and I am so very sorry for that pain:( I just cannot imagine what you have been through. And what person WOULDN'T struggle with bitterness, you know? It would be unthinkable that you would never have those thoughts of hopelesness or blame. Life is hard...but God is good. I know you know this- it is so obvious in everything you write:) You have my utmost respect and admiration for being the woman that you are.
And I hesitate to say this- because I know you know this- but really, Jesus does know, and has felt your pain, and the ugly sting of the unfairness of it all. Thank God we have a Savior .. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses." I only said that to say- He is probably the only one who knows the deep pain you have gone through.
One more thing: Every time I come to your blog I just want to yell, "Can someone please give this woman a CROWN!!" Seriously, your faith is beautiful, just because it is so real- discouraging thoughts and all.
Praying for you..

Heather said...

Showering you and your family with love and prayers. You are an inspiration, even when you are down. Thank you for your honesty.

Hales said...

You're in my thoughts today. :] You are such an example to me. Also- Whats your address?

Jan said...

Oh, Jody, I don't pretend to know even one iota of what you're going through. I just can't even imagine it and I pray it will never be a reality for me.

Honestly, though, for anyone having experienced not only the loss that you have, but the daily reminder of it, I would think you'd be doing them a disservice to pretend like you're never affected by it.

I KNOW you're an amazing woman of faith. But that doesn't mean that you can't honestly express the feelings that you're having. God certainly knows that you're having them.

I can only imagine the grief that you continue to wade through. And, like you said, as you see in front of you the daily struggles that your darling daughter will face as a result of the tragedy you've been through, and as you think about her future struggles, you are faced daily with the reality of what has happened. Over and over you are forced to come to terms with it. I think you're doing an amazing job of doing just that. And I thank you for sharing with us the raw reality of what it feels like.

I think you absolutely MUST express this anger. I would think it would eat you up from the inside out if you didn't. And, as you cry to us, and your family and your Heavenly Father, I know you will work it out and continue getting through each day.

I will continue to lift up you and your amazing family in prayer. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to plead with God for you. I can't do anything else, but I can do this. And I consider it a privilege.

Love and hugs...
♥♥♥

Vicky said...

Ohhh, my heart just aches and I don't even know what to say. Surrender is the word that I keep coming back to. Just surrender and lay it down. I am reminded of Needtobreathe's song, Lay'em Down.

I wish I could just pick up some of that heavy burden and stand in your place for awhile if only to give you respite and reprieve. But I do know He is there with you, and He knows your pain and troubled heart. Keep resting in him.

I am lifting you in prayer, and precious Wyndham too.

Love and hugs, xoxo

My name is Amee said...

Jodi, I've been reading your blog for months now and you are such a an encouragement to all of us.
You are human!!!!! You are real, honest and just plain normal.
You and your family are in my thoughts & prayers and I hope you can find some peace soon.
(((Hugs))) to you....

Andrea said...

I just want you to know that your story inspires me, even (especially?) when you share your heart and your struggle. I am praying for you, for Wyndam, for your family. It isn't fair what you are going through but God is with you, holding you close.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jodi,

Is there a problem with what I posted?? I would never want to offend you!! I thought it was a great devotion. I've typed it twice and it disappears!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Ok?? Sorry.

Jenny said...

It hurts my heart so badly that things are so rough, and especially that Wyndham faces yet another challenge. I think you are only human Jody, so your frustrations or bitterness or anger or down-troddenness (is that even a word?) are normal. I can't imagine what my outlook would be in your shoes. I think we just have to embrace each emotion and feeling as they come and pray that God helps us handle them in the best way we can. I honestly have no words of wisdom or a quick answer to any questions your heart may be asking. I just wish Wyndham would get a break and that your family could just have some peace & happiness for a while.

Still praying for each of you with much love,

Jenny

Janet said...

PRAYING FOR YOU~!!

Jody said...

Just echoing everyone before me,
I think you are amazing.
Every single feeling you have is justified, please don't beat yourself up.
Wyndham is such a blessed girl to have such a loving mommy.

Anonymous said...

It. sucks.
You are usually so positive and I know that will come back. You are human, you have the right to be angry, annoyed and frustrated. You don't have to explain it or justify it - don't feel guilty on top of everything else. We know you know that it could be worse and that you are thankful for many things. Sometimes you just have to "feel it".
Love from Canada!
Canadian Cathy

Annie Duckworth said...

But dont you see that you HAVE triumphed? You have a victory each and every day. The fact that you get up everyday, and go for it when it (also a SN parent here) is just SO darn easy to stay in bed and forget the world all day, is a victory. Wyndham gets up, and plays her hand with the cards she was dealt. The biggest thing we've overcome as a couple is we have to realize our daughter doesnt know any different. She just knows what she can, and cannot do and that is it. She doesnt look at me and say " I wish I could go run with those kids" she just shuffles and giggles with her cousins, friends etc. She had AFO's on, and it was just " the time I wear these things". She isnt sitting down at the end of the day sulking, she is signing or PEC exchanging about her day, and what she got done. She doesnt know that could be different. She is playing her dolls, computer and zooming around in her chair, and she is smiling. She doesnt have our knowledge, which is such a gift. The innocence of children is one of their greatest gifts. She just wakes up and does what she can and loves every second of it. I admire you even more for being such an amazing mom that you do what we do with our SN kids, plus youve got 5 other childen. You have to understand that THAT IS AMAZING. Your amazing Jody. And somehow you find the time and the heart to write such things that literally saved my life, and my faith over the past few years. I dont remember how I found your blog and im convinced it was GOD himself leading me to you. I thank him everyday for you and these trials Jody will pass.

I find the greatest victories come when I close my eyes and hear laughter. When I look around and see them all asleep. That moment of snuggling on the couch when he pulls me in for a closer cuddle. Sometimes victories can come in the smallest of ways, and they stack up to surviving that day, which a tremendous victory in itself.

Sometimes ostomies,therapies and sickness run together and Mommies also ramble (see "right now") but I do hope that something I said makes sense.

You are an angel, You are incredible, and you are loved.
Annie Duckworth.
(we are FB friends if you ever need another person to talk to just holler anytime)

Kathy said...

Jody, when you are feeling really down, this blog is a very quick visit and a quick pick-me-up. Or you could get the book. Check it out - it is uplifting.
http://1000awesomethings.com/

Southern Gal said...

Nothing I can say will ease your pain. I will pray for you and I know you will feel the love of the Lord over you. Those times when words won't come? Jesus is interceding on your behalf. The Holy Spirit is in your groanings. Rest in the Father.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine what you go through everyday. I think you are an amazing woman, and I have thought about you and your family often this year. I have been battling breast cancer this year and whenever I would feel overwhelmed by it all, I would think about you, what you have been through and how you deal with everything. You are such an inspiration to me and I'm sure to many others, with your courage, honesty and the love you have for your family. I love what your reader, Annie Duckworth, wrote to you too. I hope things get better for you and your family! Hugs!!

Allison (Sydney, Aus) said...

I'm so sorry for your pain Jody, Amber is spot on though - you are a bright spot in many lives, whenever I'm feeling down your blog gives me some much needed perspective. You are an astonishing woman, and a fabulous Mother, and I feel blessed to have you share your struggles. I have faith that you will find the joy, and get back to 'you' - but for now, don't feel bad to just let yourself go through whatever you need to.

Sending special thoughts and prayers for you and your family, today and always.

xxx

Dianne said...

I only know you through your blog, but this morning I prayed for strength for your family...physical, emotional and spiritual strength. Know today that someone in Hampton, VA is lifting your family up to the Father who knows exactly what you need.

Sara said...

Jodi,

You have to know that I look up to you and your family so much. I've been silently following your blog for over a year now.

I just read this quote this morning and it seems fitting, so I'll share (you may have heard it before): "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Praying for you all! You are an amazing woman, mother, and wife!

ABCDH said...

I think you have every right to be angry and want to just scream from the mountain tops that you can't take it anymore.
It isn't fair.
It is sad.
However, as a perfect stranger to you I think I should let you know that you give me inspiration - and probably many, many others.
For what it's worth, I think you're an amazing woman.

Ruth said...

Jody,

I think you are a strong and loving woman who has been both delighted and hurt by Life's happenings. I would title this post "Human" because I think that is what you are - I do not feel you have faultered. I am sorry for Wyndham and at the same time so happy that she has you and your husband for parents! :) I also think that you continue to hold alot of unresolved hurt, anger, frustration, sadness, etc. around Teagan's death which is so understandable. I would encourage you to seek some professional help to work some of that through. It has helped me tremendously in my life.

Blessings,
Ruth

KatieButler said...

Oh, Jody. It isn't fair. It isn't right. To see your child suffer has to be one of the most difficult and frustrating things. I know I would be very bitter, and angry, and lots of other things.

Please know that you and your family remain in my prayers.

Madeline said...

I think about that woman all the time. No, I think about what kind of person you must be to have forgiven her. I don't know how you do it, Jody. Is she in jail? Was she ever punished for what she did to your family? You are an amazing woman.

Keshet said...

Just wanted to say I am thinking about you, and that this time--and the way you feel right now--won't last forever, no matter how endless and dark it seems right now.

Anonymous said...

I am learning that suffering is a part of the Christian path. God uses suffering to produce growth and chacacter in us. It purifies us and makes us realize how fallible and weak we are as humans. I don't know why some people experience so much more of it than others. The early Christians were tortured and fed to lions. We know nothing of that. It's hard to watch your child suffer I'm sure, but I'll bet Wyndam surprises you over and over again. God uses the weak to confound the wise. I suffer everyday with a grown son who will not respond or speak to me and another son who is in Heaven. The why's of why it happened to me when so many others have it made I don't know. I think of Joni Earkson and all she faces on a daily basis with her parylasis, but she has been used mightily by God, she is one of the most Spirit filled women I know. Try listening and singing hymns when you feel discouraged, they help to refocus and God uses the words to strengthen us.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jody. I don't know that I can say anything to make you feel better, in fact I'm sure I can't. Just know that I am thinking of you, and hoping that tomorrow brings you some relief in whatever way you need.

Love,

Jane

Anonymous said...

Man's inhumanity to man started way back in the garden of Eden. Jesus experinced it when he was beaten and tortured. None of this will be righted until we are in our heavenly home. You still have many blessings....your husband still has a job, you have medical insurance, food on the table, a beautiful home and you have a beautiful large family! We forget how blessed we are in this country. Holdiay time is still hard for me after my loss 18 yrs ago, it creeps up on me when I'm not expecting it and I get those angry, "not fair", why's again.

Veronica said...

Jodi,

God never gives you more than you can handle. Although, the tasks may seem huge, over powering, and you may feel like breaking down...there is a purpose for everything under heaven. And, we simple humans, can never really understand that purpose...and we often question that purpose....God is LOVE and He offers us His Grace!! and we can find comfort in that! Praying for you and your family!

Veronica

PS Kids are a lot more resiliant than we give them credit for!

Liz@Violet Posy said...

Jodi,

I read your blog from across the ocean and you never fail to amaze me with your energy, bravery and love for your family. Please don't beat yourself up for getting down, you have more on your plate that some people have in a lifetime. Sending you and your beautiful family love and healing thoughts.
L x

Anonymous said...

Jody, My heart just felt like it ripped apart for you. My eyes are pouring. You are in my thoughts, and my prayers~ Love Christal

darcie said...

Sending you strength & hugs and wishing I could make it all better -
xoxo

Christine Middlecamp said...

Hello Jody - I did receive your note - quite honestly, like yourself, I've been sulking and trying to manage a life I didn't ask for. College has been more than can I bare at times and trust me, you are not alone in your sufferings and questions. I to wonder why this has been put upon me..I feel alone so much of the time and yet, I still push forward and hope, that at some point, peace and happiness will find me. All we really can do is endure and give ourselves but a small piece of praise each and everyday..we must Jody because no one else will do it for us. It's the least we deserve - i believe God would want that for those of us enduring an alternate life dissimilar to most. I send prayers your way - thinking of you and your family and of course, I wish upon you guys a happy holidays filled with joy and pleasantries! -Feel free to call me anytime Jody! I'm now on break from school for four weeks :) It's a much needed break