Wednesday, August 27, 2008

For Nie Nie

In December 2007 I bought these shoes. A few weeks later I broke my foot in a bad way. I've never worn these shoes. My life was turned upside down for a time after my injury. I was no longer able to do the everyday things I sometimes dreaded and complained about. After being parked on the couch for months, I would have given anything to get up off of that couch, drive my kids to school, make their lunches, and vacuum the floors. When I recovered I vowed that I would never again complain about washing the dishes, scrubbing the kitchen floor, folding laundry, or changing another poopy diaper. I really have tried to live each day full of gratitude now that I can get out of bed unassisted and walk to the bathroom, take a shower, and drive to the store. When I talked to a good friend of mine shortly after the incident she said that she would be grateful that day and every day that she could go run her errands that she didn't want to do. She got it right, that is exactly what she should have said and done to make me feel better.
Over the last week I haven't been able to stop thinking about someone who I don't even know, but who will be aching to do all of the things she was once able to do, but can't until her body is able. My friend Gabby, has declared Thursday August 28, 2008 Nie Nie Day in honor of Stephanie. That day I will do for Stephanie what she cannot do for herself. I will get out of bed and shower and dress myself for Stephanie. I will wake four sleepy little heads and fix their breakfast for Stephanie. I will make the beds and pick the clothes up off of the floor for Stephanie. I will drive my children to school and pick them up at the end of the day for Stephanie. I will run my errands with a car full of screaming kids for Stephanie. I will happily make lunches for my children and snacks and dinner for my family in honor of Stephanie. I will scrub my toilets and wash and fold and put away mountains of laundry in honor of Stephanie. I will scrub my floors and dust the cobwebs in honor of Stephanie. I will answer phone calls, e-mails, walk to the mailbox and pick up the dry cleaning in her honor. I will load and unload the dishwasher many times for Stephanie. I will pick up toys from the floor for the 13, oooth time that day for her. I will change lots of diapers and brush little teeth for her. I will clip tiny fingernails and toenails, bathe little ones, and comb knots out of their hair for her. I will help children with homework and read stories to them for her. I will tuck four little ones into bed at the end of a long day, for her. I will do it all over again the next day and the next... full of gratitude for what I can do. I will savor every minute of the day and no longer look at those tasks as mundane or too laborious because I know if she could she would give anything to be able to do just one of the things on my list today. Today I will wear my red shoes for her, maybe when I am vacuuming!

36 comments:

Shauna said...

I LOOOOOVE your perspective! Thanks for posting!

acte gratuit said...

What a very great post! And a great way to re-enter the blogging world! I also love this idea of a way to honor Stephanie. And I have been feeling a lot more grateful for my health these days.
So very happy you're blogging again...even if it is only temporary...?!

:)
Emily

makemineaquad said...

What an incredibly beautiful post. And a tremendous reminder.

With 4 kids also, it's one I often need.

Peace.

katieo said...

Fantastic.

Thanks for writing it. So glad I read it this morning.

Mary said...

Beautiful thoughts! I vow to keep this perspective as I go through the routines of the week. We have so much to be thankful for.

Kirsty said...

Weeping here! So beautiful! I have had this same thought since the news of the accident, that the things that were drudgery to me now, I would ache to do if I were physically unable to. I have thought so much about Stephanie, so energetic, devoted and committed to really LIVING her life and not being able to fully do so and it has inspired me to put extra energy and joy into my tasks. I did not consider dedicating my day to her as you have though, and I think it is a beautiful idea. So I shall steal it :) Thank you! Off to do lots of lovely dusting, toilet scrubbing and laundry folding. So blessed.
thank you

Deirdre said...

Beautiful. You just made my To Do list something to be grateful for rather than overwhelmed by. Thank You.

Becky K said...

I found my way to your blog, and I love your tribute to Stephanie. I'll appreciate the things I get today a little more, I think.

Thank you! This was beautiful.

sara said...

So lovely; thank you! Now I'm off to feed four sleepyheads myself. And then bid on some of auctions...

michelle said...

Beautifully said Jenni, I have missed you in the blog world!
Michelle (Tif's childhood friend)

duckmomma5 said...

Thanks for the perspective check... I have 5 kids myself and fell upon nienie through a friends blog... my heart has ached and prayed for this family since then... someone I don't even know. thanks to your post I am now jumping off the computer to enjoy this day in honor of someone who can't... and to make every moment count as I don't know when it will be the last. Who knows.. maybe I will pull out those dusty heels while I am vacuuming!

Sugar said...

I had a similar experience. All that has changed in my life, for better or worse, has come from that horrible accident. I call it the Break Heard Round the World. 'Cause you know, I think the world revolves around me. I worked LONG and HARD with my PT to get back into my three inch heels. And just when I was ready to strut again, those cute little ballerina flats took over. Oh well...

Rosalie said...

Amazingly well said.
Thank you.

Leah said...

very nice. very nice indeed.

Amy said...

wow, you made me get all teary eyed. This is great... and you've just motivated me to turn my frown upside down. Thanks!

Doty Family said...

I stumbled across your sight from a post on My Little Gems. You made me cry! Your right, we have much to be grateful for! My prayers are with Stephanie and Christian. Thank you for sharing that beautiful post.

Alisa said...

Thank you, Thank you. This summed up exactly what I could not put into words myself.

Andie said...

Thanks for adding my little one to the list of things today as well. You'll never know how much your support has meant to me.

VERY cute shoes!

You know I TOTALLY subscribe to the theory that you can never have a bad day while wearing red shoes.

Coveiter said...

What a totally inspiring post. It is so amazing how so many are uniting over this common cause. Thank you for the inspiration and congrats on your recovery. I hope Stephanie will experience the same joy you have.

{ Lindsey }
www.coveiter.com

liz said...

nice post jenny. exactly how i should be thinking about every day!

Amy said...

This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Loraine said...

I have goosebumps.....

thank you...

Cathi said...

We are all daughters of God and kindred spirits. Through your words and Stephanie's example on her blog, we will all become better mothers, wifes, friends and neighbors. Thanks Jenni, I'm a friend of your sister Shauna's.
Cathi

Yvonne said...

That was so inspiring. Thank you so much for the reminder of how blessed we are and that we should take nothing for granted.

Sharon said...

yes.

jennie w. said...

Gorgeous post. Why is it so easy to take things for granted?

Navylangs said...

I love your way of celebrating nienie day.

Lucky Red Hen said...

Sweet.

Vanessa said...

I needed to hear this today :) What a great post

Becky said...

Jenni - I am super glad I read your blog today! You are right - we should take nothing for granted - appreciate all that we have been blessed with even if it doesn't seem like a blessing at the time! I totally miss you! Love you!!

Nammy GeNee said...

Jenni you have always been sweet and grateful. You were that way before you broke your foot. What a great mother you are! And that was a beautiful expression of knowing what life is all about.

linda said...

My daughter linked me into your site - I have had trauma to my left leg twice in the past 20 years and experienced some of these bitter sweet feelings. I will never be able to wear my red heels again BUT I CAN walk and I DO! It is a choice every day! I walk and I do what I can today - I refuse to give up or give in. Twice I have been told I won't walk again - I may not wear red heels but I do walk - to get a drink of water - to the bathroom - to fix meals - to play with my family - to wipe away tears - to my garden - to my mailbox to send and get letters (oh how I love letters) - etc, etc, etc and I have even been able, with practice, to kneel again. I kneel every day and pray for all who need God's help. God is real and loving and only through the grace and blessings of a loving Father in Heaven have I found the courage to continue each day. Thanks for your post HogieWogie - it summarized what my life was like the first time with 6 children age 2 through 14. You are eloquent and 'upside down' is such an understatement. I choose to live. I choose to love. I choose to do! and just for fun I chose a paisley cane - sometimes we just need a bit of steadiness until we can be more independent. For the past several years I have been able to choose to leave it behind. PT is a daily choice - live it or lose it - thanks but I choose to walk!

love.boxes said...

You made me cry Jenni. What a beautiful post. Your experience has always made me grateful that I can do all those things to.

Jacquelyn Sherry said...

Jenni, you are amazing, and you make me want to be a better person. You are the very model of a modern major mommy, and that's what I want to be. Oh man, and I also totally love those shoes!

Denise said...

Jenni, I miss you. I loved your thoughts and your perspective.

American Pen said...

Well said. Wow. I am so glad you shared this.