Thursday, December 29, 2016

Stories of Hope - Jodie's Story 21

Life continued, healing continued and grief, too, continued. Most days were good despite my struggles to stay in the here and now… here as in the real world with real people not the online world of TTTS support. It was a struggle I had, almost an obsession or compulsion. I felt so drawn to the groups and message boards but could see that they were taking me away from my family. I just tried to put it in balance, especially when I went back to work, and prayed that I would find my way to helping others, helping my family and helping myself.
A very concrete validation to this immense time spent online came just before my boys first birthday. I began to discover one of the reasons I was drawn to TTTS mom’s and the sites I visited….because I did make a difference and so did my boys and the story of their journey. I made a connection with a woman in England named Tara through facebook. Her boys were not doing well, she was only about 22 weeks and had had the surgery but it was believed to not be a success. It looked like TTTS was reversing and it also looked like her donor, Noah, would not survive. When we first connected (she requested my friendship) I had no idea what to say to her or to her comments. She was blunt about how hard my life must have been after our loss and still was and that she didn’t know how she’d go on if, and when, she lost Noah. She didn’t understand my faith and didn’t really believe in God. She felt that He couldn’t be great if he allowed these things to happen to us. 
This is an actual message she sent me….
I’ve noticed you speak of God a few times. I have had mixed feelings on the subject of if I believe or not and even to what side he really plays with us. I have to ask, am I being tested? What could I possibly have done that makes my babies have to pay the price? Did you feel like you were being played with? Dangled hope in front of you and having someone threat to change everything. I can only imagine that after all you have been through you must have a huge hole in you somewhere or that to look as strong as you did you fill that whole with some short term answer? Thats what I’d do. I’d be fine from the outside for so long convincing the people not only am I getting better but moving on too. but in time I’d end up being a loaded weapon aimed at myself. if God is real he must by now know thats what I’d do. I don’t see what God is doing with me and matt as pro active. You could realy lose yourself in this kind of talk couldnt you. sorry :) i know i sound so negative on the subject of God but I believe we go somewhere when we die. I dont know where but I believe we do go. I noticed someone wrote a comment on your pics. saying that her boy and Cole are playing together. I need to believe that so much. if my boys don’t get to meet there mummy and daddy I need to believe that they didnt just stop existing. I need to believe that they get a second chance somewhere safe and loving. 

I explained how my faith grew because it HAD to. That I had to believe that Cole was in God’s arms, that he was at peace and that I would see him again. I told her that I knew Cole had kept Cameron safe and that I felt that Cole and God wanted me to continue my TTTS journey through the support of other families.

We continued to chat frequently and really connected. One night in late February we chatted on facebook and she told me that she planned to name her donor, her little baby who needed the help of my angel, Noah Cole. And yup, I cried, and continue to get misty eyed when I think of what an honour it is to have a baby named after your son in heaven. And a few days later, on February 26th 2010, at less than 29 weeks gestation, Noah Cole and his twin Jack made their arrival into this world. What a birthday gift for my boys that was. They had their struggles, life threatening struggles in the case of Jack, and their NICU journey was long. Tara didn’t have time to message me often but she would ask me to send Cole to watch over her boys and even had a friend message me when Jack needed to be transferred to a different hospital and was in critical condition. She later wrote me a letter to tell me just how important my friendship and my guardian angel was to their family. While the boys were in the NICU a hospital chaplain would come to visit them. She spent hours talking to him and sharing the ‘coincidence’ that happened when her boys were born on my boys birthday. She shared my faith with him and asked questions. And she allowed him to pray for her boys. She told me that if anyone had told her 6 months prior that she would spend time with ‘a man of the cloth’ she would have told them they were crazy but she welcomed the time with him.

And now Tara is a believer…or atleast she was in the months after her boys were born.
She and the father of her twins truly believed that God sent Cole and I to be there for them…Cole to hold their boys hands and me to provide comfort and strength. Their boys were born on Cole and Cameron’s birthday and one of their boys is named after Cole. You can’t tell me that isn’t God’s work, that He didn’t intervene and bring our families together. I made an impact in their lives but they made one in mine too. I had not been able to really face moms of identical twins that were survivors yet but Tara and Matt and their boys touched my life too. Many things have changed for both Tara and I since I originally wrote the above post but nothing can change the bond between us and I consider her to be dear and special friend.

And so that is why I was and am the TTTS mommy I am. I need to be there, I need to make a difference and I know Cole does as well…he has a purpose and a job too!!!

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