Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why WE Love Dakota…Jodi

Each person I post about, I can’t seem to say enough good about them to give you a true description of what amazing people they are. Jodi is definitely one of those people!!

Jodi is for sure on my top list of “heroes” even though she is one who I have never gotten to meet and hug in person!! Jodi reached out to me through my blog but with a perspective that most people don’t have. Jodi suffered a stroke very young…after the birth of her third child.

Because of this trial and the miracle that she survived it…she is able to relate and understand Dakota in a way that no one else can…including me!! After her stroke she was in a similar physical condition as Dakota…unable to even sit up on her own with a trach and a g-tube. Because she has struggled to relearn SO much like Dakota is doing, she has a deep compassion and strong understanding of his day to day struggles.

She has allowed me to ask her TONS and TONS of questions about her experience…what it felt like to have a trach and have it suctioned out of, what does a g-tube feel like, etc. To read just a few of them go here Dear Tessie. She has helped me to understand my little boy so much better and has given me hope through her successes to not ever give up!! Often times when I am tired and frustrated at doing the same things over and over with Dakota and not seeing much or VERY slow improvement…I think maybe I should just stop wasting our time….but Jodi is a constant reminder and example to me that it is ALL worth it! No matter how long it takes…no matter how many times we have to try…you never know how far you will get…especially if you quite trying!!

Another cool think about Jodi is that we are related!!! I had no idea until I wrote a blog post about her and my great aunt emailed me after reading it that she is my cousin. Her father-in-law is MY dad’s cousin!!! Small world and I am honored to call her my cousin! ;)

To learn more about her crazy hard journey through life go to her blog
She is a true inspiration!!

P2080006 tessie
Jodi holding Ana Jain a few days before her stroke.  This is a recent pic of these darling two.

Here is what she had to say about Dakota:

On my sons soccer team is a boy named Dakota and every time I hear them yell his name, I think of Dakota Friedli and a little smile comes to my face.

This may seem like an odd reaction to thinking of him. One would assume sadness, anger, or some other negative emotion might be more appropriate. But, if you have ever met, seen, or heard about him, happiness only seems the  natural reaction.

This is a boy who can't even tell his mom if he has an itch,  or  can't express his fear at trying new things, things other kids take for granted like getting on the bus or meeting a new teacher. It must be terribly frustrating to him. Yet, almost every picture or video of him he is wearing the sweetest grin or laughing the funniest laugh! He seems to have a talent for finding ways to be happy and for making those around him happy as well.

Dakota also shows such strength and determination.  It is my honest feeling that when he had his accident, he had the choice to stay or return to Heaven. It would have been sooo much easier for him to go but he chose to stay. Now, although he may not be able to say so, I am sure that every day is a struggle. I never understood until recently, how difficult being handicapped is. Just BEING. Things such as going to church or attending a family get together are exhausting! I imagine his brain telling his muscles to do something and it taking all of his mental and physical strength to do something (relatively) huge like pushing a button to start or stop music.  

I am constantly amazed at this boy and truly feel that when we all get a chance to meet him in the next life, we will be speechless at his greatness.

Of course I can't talk about Dakota without mentioning his parents. The whole reason he is so happy and most likely reason for his choice to stay on the earth, is because of them. His struggles are their struggles and his triumphs are their triumphs. I am awed by their strength, courage, and choice to be happy. They are a true example of a good mommy and daddy.

I recently read a quote that seems perfect for their whole family.
"By taking Jesus’ yoke upon us and enduring, we learn most deeply of Him and especially how to be like Him. (SeeMatt. 11:29.) Even though our experiences are micro compared to His, the process is the same."-- Neal A Maxwell

This world is a better place because they are in it!

Thank you SO SO much Jodi for being a part of Dakota’s birthday month and for being the great example you are to me and everyone who knows you!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment