Yesterday morning I came home from exercising in this beautiful place I have to live and I started walking around our backyard and picking weeds and admiring some of the beauties in our landscape and cringing at others. I grow weeds REALLY good. I was in awe of the beauty of the plants and the trees and thinking about the miracle of it all. I took a minute to stand and admire and to be grateful for the beautiful blooming rose bushes and I gave them some extra water (don't tell anyone, we are on water restrictions!). They just made me smile.
I went down to our garden and I was thrilled to see some tomatoes and peppers and raspberries and even a little squash. Our fruit trees are all starting to get their fruit. It is a beautiful exciting time in the growing season.
Then I walked around to the front yard and looked at my flowers there. I planted those flowers and the garden on the day that we brought Tatum to the hospital for the last time. I am having a love hate relationship with them. I was so anxious to put flowers in, because I knew they would make me happy every time I drove into our driveway, and they do. Until I remember that I spent two hours out there planting them when I should have been sitting with Tatum. I am trying to look at them as her gift to me because she knew they would make me happy. I am grateful for them and their pretty bright pink that make me think of my sweet Tater bug every time I see them.
The rest of my day was a little sketchy with the teenagers. Everyone seemed to be grumpy yesterday. Maybe because we feel like we live on the surface of the sun right now? I decided that I probably needed to go ride my bike down to Lance's work and ride home with him so we could all have a little break from one another. As I started my bike I couldn't help but cry. Thank goodness we professional bikers wear sunglasses. (can you sense the sarcasm?) My emotions are so crazy right now. I thought about how grateful I was for my body, that I can do the things I love. Poor Tatum never got to experience so many of those things. Tates has also made me remember how very grateful I am for each of my kids. They are each a true miracle. Tatum has secured that in my heart forever. Had she come at any other time to our family, some of these kids would not had a chance to be in our family. I know that each of them are here at this time, in our family for a reason. Some of them I think came to drive me crazy, but that is OK:) I promise to always be grateful.
I have started thinking about "Thank You's" for people. The task is very daunting to me. Every time I think about it I am overwhelmed with emotion at what has been done for us. So many acts of kindness. It is truly a gift from Heavenly Father. We are all so grateful.
I am grateful for a brilliant husband who purchased several of the hymns that we were listening to on Pandora as we were with Tatum those last weeks. I have listened to them over and over and they make my heart feel close to her. So grateful for good music.
As I have begun working again I have been even more grateful for the beautiful year that I had to spend with Tatum. I am grateful that I knew for those last months that she would not be here much longer. I am grateful for all of that special time with this amazing daughter. This is not everyone's good fortune.
I am grateful for prayer. I know that I am heard. I know that my Heavenly Father and my Savior hear me and feel what I am feeling. I know they care. I know that they have used people around me to answer those pleas. I know that. There is no other explanation.
I am grateful for eternal families and the fact that we will be reunited with Tatum and Trevin.
My list could continue for a long time. I think you get the idea.
Tatum lesson #1: Be grateful. She has taught me that in a million different ways. She was always so gracious even in the worst of times. I could feel that she was grateful to be here with us, in her crazy little body. Always a joy. I will be forever grateful for her example.