I read a quote today….”This moment is more precious than you think.”
Today was not anything special, in fact looking back it was probably far from it. I’m still recovering from the past month, giving birth and then having three surgeries has not been easy physically. My face and neck are swollen and bruised, I’m wearing yoga pants and one of Trav’s old sweatshirts, I smell like baby spit-up, and I have a headache that makes me wonder if a semi-truck has been sneaking into our room and running over my head every night for the last three weeks.
Travis got the kids up and ready for church all on his own again today while I laid in bed counting down the minutes until my next pain pill. I probably got the better end of the deal this morning, it’s little things like making Lexi wear tights or the razor that mysteriously goes missing that make 9:00 AM church seem impossible. But, my amazing husband fought through it and made it to church with the kids.
Travis has been working so hard and I am so grateful for him. Taking care of a newborn and a wife who is physically and emotionally exhausted is rough. I have been trying to help when Lexi and Hunter push him to the limit, but I have not been the tag team partner that he is used to. On top of everything else we have had going on, he started a new job and everyone knows how?draining that can be.
The house is in better shape than me, but it is definitely showing the effects of a Mommy who is not feeling well. The office is decorated with stuffed animals, because the kids made a petting zoo this afternoon. There is shredded cheese and crunched tortilla chips all over the kitchen floor, because we let the kids have nacho’s for lunch…again! There is play-dough stuck to the kitchen table and honestly it will probably still be stuck there tomorrow morning. It’s not like we have let everything in the house go, Ali had a huge blow out a few hours ago so we are doing laundry and all our children did have a bath at some point today.
Today was far from special, but somewhere in the middle of all the craziness I caught a picture of a very precious moment…see picture above! Look at the way Ali is looking at her Daddy, she adores him! When you see her look at him that way there is no question as to why he is already wrapped around her tiny little finger. This small little moment today was precious and if we were not looking closely we may have missed it.
This week is Thanksgiving and this year I am most thankful for the small precious little moments that fill my life.
The last few weeks have been physically painful for me and emotionally I have been pushed passed my breaking point. Stage 3 Melanoma is not a diagnosis that I wanted to hear. I still can’t call it “cancer”, it’s not fair for my children to have that word in their vocabulary. My husband and my children have been through enough with losing Tate, how could we deal with this too? We had some hard moments that I never want to repeat. But, dotted throughout all the pain and tears we had some small precious moments too.
One of those moments was at the kids school Halloween parade. I had already had the first surgery and had a huge bandage on my face that kept bleeding through. I debated on even going to the parade, but I didn’t want to miss being there for my kids. I decided that being there for my kids was more important than what I looked like for everybody else. We watched the kids go by and I sat there hoping that everyone thought my bandage was some kind of Halloween costume and not my real face. Hunter turned the corner in his BYU football player costume, the minute he saw me he ran over and gave me a big hug. I didn’t see the hug coming and it meant so much to me. This sweet first grader didn’t care how bloody and bandaged my face was, I’m his Mommy and he was going to show me he loved me.
Ali gave me one of her first real smiles the night I came home from surgery with my head completely wrapped up. She has spent hours in my arms and when she looks at me I can see Tate’s eyes and it reminds me of the angel I have looking out for me.
Lexi has not wanted me to miss out on any fun and has even built a carnival in her room for me to go play at. She has put on many shows and performances to entertain me. And she has also assured me that even with all my bandaids I am beautiful.
It’s probably no surprise that the person I have had the most precious moments with the last few weeks has been Trav. We had the huge great moment of Ali’s birth and that will be an all time favorite for both of us. But this post is about the small moments, like Trav washing my hair gently in the kitchen sink. Or him holding my hand as they walked me into surgery for the third time and watching him try to hide the worry in his eyes. It’s the moment when I told a nurse that maybe she should let Trav re-bandage my face, because I know he will do it better than her. It’s him surprising me with new sweats, because he knows I will feel better if I look cute. It’s kneeling together and praying for things to be okay even though they feel like they are not. It’s him driving me to the hospital and letting me listen to Taylor Swift the whole time, even though he hates it. It is the moment when he touched one of the breast implants sitting on the plastic surgeons desk just to make it so I would stop crying and start laughing. It is any one of the million hugs he has given me during the last few weeks that lets me know that we are in this together. I feel lucky to be the one who gets to grow old with him!
Losing a child changes you. I cherish every memory I have of Tate and I?would give anything to have that little boy?back in my arms, even if I knew it would only be a small moment. I am constantly thinking about how I should be the best parent in the world to my other children, because I know the pain of losing Tate. I know how bad it hurts that he is not here to hold, so that should make me treasure moments with my children even more. Then I feel guilty when I get upset with Lexi and Hunter for all the imperfect moments that we have.
Hearing the word Cancer changes you. Waiting for lab results to come back makes you think about things even if you don’t want to. All the “what if’s” I thought about the last few weeks scared me. Thankfully my scans came back clear and all the melanoma should now be gone, but you never know? None of us really know? Our little boy passed away in his sleep, the night before I had sang songs and giggled with him. I had no idea what the next morning would bring. Life is precious and we need to cherish every single moment, but how can we really do that?
The fact is this is life and life is not a Facebook or Instagram highlight reel. Life is painful and sticky. Sometimes it hurts. Even when you think things can’t get worse, sometimes they do. The trick is to find those little moments that are more precious than we think and rely on those to get you through the crazy days that are far from special.
I have been scared to write on this blog because I have always been the happy optimistic girl and?with the way our life has been the last few years I don’t want to seem like a downer. But, this is our life and it is real and by going through the pain of last few weeks we are going to LIVE STRONGER TODAY.
I know you dont think you’re as optimistic as you used to be but the fact that you can still see all the good mixed in with the crazy and hard times is pretty positive thinking! Such a good post and a good reminder for us all. Love you guys!
You are strong Sweetie…..very strong. And you are such an inspiration to so many. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks thinking how brave and beautiful and strong you are. Today….no matter what life throws at me I will know I can get through it……because of you. My love and prayers are with you and your sweet family….always!!
I want to reach through cyberspace and give you a great big hug! The ability to see all the wonderful little blessings around you is remarkable and has reminded me to remember and be grateful for the small, everyday miracles. Thank you.
Wow. You and Travis are heroes of mine. Your faith and strength are truly inspiring. Thanks for being strong enough to share this.
Words are usually my friends…but I’m just sitting silently in my chair, feeling the warmth of my tears, or maybe the tears are yours. When I was your teacher, I remember thinking what a beautiful woman you would become in body and spirit. You were like happiness, goodness and unselfishness swirled into one. Somehow, our lives, experiences, sacrifices, pains and joys have come full circle and you are now teacher. I hope to live stronger today. I hope to embrace every precious moment. I hope to develop an artist’s eye in seeing my world. We have the power to write the definition of every step we take. Love
You have always been my hero sis! I love you and your whole darling strong family!
Trav and Brand,
It’s hard to put into words how much I look up to you and all the lesson’s I’ve learned from you. Your light shines brightly even in the darkest of days. Thank you for sharing your strength with us. Because of you, I will live stronger today. I love your beautiful family.
My sweet baby girl! You are all grown up and facing challenges with determination, strength , wisdom and all with a smile! I don’t know how you do it. But we all watch and want to be like you and be are best! You truly are an a amazing woman , and a bright light to me and everyone! I love you always and forever. And you are my baby girl forever! I will always be there for you!
Brandi, you are so loved by so many, certainly including Heidi and me. You are, and always have been, such a bright light in the world. Thanks for being you.
I know this was written a while back but I just want to thank you for writing this. I feel we all try to overlook heartache and sorrow until we are suddenly confronted with it. We all have our struggles and trials and instead of ignoring them, I wish we would confront them together. I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you are going through right now and I just hope and pray its all uphill from here on out for you.