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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Letter to the Crandells

My Dear Crandell Family,

This is a letter from your mom. Oh what? You don't remember me? I'm the tall one with the dark hair. You know, the one who gave birth to you, took care of you when you were sick, read lots of great books to you, cheered you on at each and every game you've ever played in, made you practice the piano even when you screamed bloody murder, required you to do homework before playing video games or watching TV, and tried to teach you how to be good human beings. Remember me?

I can understand if you've forgotten me lately. I seem to be gone all the time. Oh I'm there in the morning when you wake up...just long enough to yell at you to brush your teeth and pick up your messes and be good at school. Then I'm off to work. I get to see my 30 students more than I get to see my own 3 children. They get to have me for 6 whole hours a day. But you?  You pretty much get me for 20 minutes in the morning, and (if you're lucky) 20 minutes at night.

Usually, though, night time finds me at the gym while you are doing homework, eating dinner, taking showers, and saying your prayers. I'm running, or swimming, or riding a bike. I'm thinking of you LOTS and LOTS...but it's just that I'm not there to show you that I'm thinking of you. Spending 4 hours at the gym gives me LOTS of time to think. I think about you, Cooper, and I wonder how I can get you to understand that making good choices really will make you happier than making all those bad choices. I remember spending an entire year waking up early with you to read scriptures and talk about Heavenly Father and the good choices He wanted you to make...and how I would do anything to be sure you knew how much I loved you. I think about you, Carter, and wonder how it is that the boy who's supposed to only be in 5th grade (but is in 6th) can possibly be so tall and handsome. And how sad I am that next year you won't be at Zaharis with me. And I'm so impressed with how you can be friends with SO many different kids - and are so easy to get along with, that they all want to hang out with you. I get it. I want to hang out with you, too!  I think of you, Brooklyn, and wish I had more time to listen to you sing in your karaoke machine at the top of your lungs, and read stories to you, and take you shopping and out for pedicures. Those are my favorite times with you!

I wonder if the obnoxious attitudes, and the sibling rivalries, and the tensions in the house are all my fault. They might be. An absentee mother is a hard thing for a child to deal with. I know I'm missing out on time I'll never get back again. But I also know it's temporary. This Ironman thing is a one time deal. Oh I may do another one someday...when you're grown up and I don't have to leave you alone. But for now? It's a one time deal. We have 3 more months...90 more days to put up with this. After that? I'm all yours! I'll still exercise. I'll still train for races, because I need goals to reach to keep me focused. But not during the precious hours of the day I get to spend with you. It's not worth it. You guys are only going to be young once...and I don't want to miss a thing!

And I hope that even while I'm not home, I'm teaching you lessons. These are the lessons I hope you're learning:
  • You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to
  • Diabetes doesn't have to stop you from living a full life
  • Hard things require determination, dedication, and commitment
  • Hard things require work, time, and effort
  • But it's the HARD that makes it GREAT
  • When you work your buns off to accomplish something you NEVER dreamed possible, or that someone told you you couldn't do, you will feel AMAZING. And you will have EARNED that feeling.
  • Never quit. Never give up. Work until you get what you want.
  • You can inspire others to greatness
  • And...your mom loves you more than anyone else in the world. She's doing this for you as well as for herself.
  • Oh...and you have an amazing dad that has stepped up and taken over things at home so that I could teach you these lessons and achieve my dream. You're lucky. Appreciate him. I do.
So Cooper, Carter, and Brooklyn...don't forget about me while I'm gone. Remember how much I love you. Remember how hard it is for me to leave when you're home. Think about the lessons I've taught you before now, and the lessons I'm teaching you still. Then when May 7 comes and I'm crossing that finish line in St. George, be the loudest ones there cheering me on. Be there first to hug and kiss me and tell me you love me. And I promise I'll do the same for you each and every time you accomplish one of your dreams. You have it in you to do great things. Thank you for helping me to accomplish something great, too. But you know what? Even when I cross that finish line and I am "an Ironman," it won't be better than when I got to hold each one of you in my arms after you were born. You ARE the greatest accomplishments of my life. And I love you more than you'll ever know.

Remember that. 90 more days, and Mom will be home to stay.

I love you,
Mom



10 comments:

Smith Family said...

Tears in my eyes right now!

Emily Lauren said...

I seriously cried while reading this too. Such a sweet letter to your children. And what a cool lesson you're teaching them by accomplishing this. So, so great.

Allyson & Jere said...

Well THAT made me bawl like a baby! You are teaching them amazing things about determination and endurance. But, even I look forward to the day that you get to spend more time with them. This time does fly by so quickly. And now I must go and blow my nose.

Crandell Memories said...

ugh jenny.... I needed one of your enthusiatic pump me up blogs instead i had a good cry and now i am off to bed.:) you're so amazing. I love you

DianD said...

I'm adding my tears to everyone elses! There are always trade-offs aren't there. Hopefully, all of you will be able to put this one year into perspective and survive. But I know everyone will be much better off and happier when Mom is back in their lives once more. Thank goodness for "Mr. Mom, Troy" during this time! He is to be appreciated and loved for his sacrifices, too. I always remember the line in your blessing that says, paraphrased, that the most important things you can do is be a mom... So true! They need you!

Dana said...

*lots and lots of tears* Add to your list of accomplishments--writer. That was a really wonderful letter. Perspective. I'm reading Driven, I read about Chinese mothers, I'm watching you train to be an Ironman, I'm working, directing, losing (lots)weight, and thinking about all of these things that make up our lives. I think it really is all about the hard work we put into things and simply about "doing". Thanks for being a great sister. I love you.

Amanda said...

There is a time and a season for everything. Aside from recovering from surgery, I haven't had 4 hours to myself all month let alone in one day but that's the stage I'm in right now with little ones. What ever you do, you're in 100%. Once this is over your next stage is your family. Good luck finishing your training!!

victriabetes said...

Nicely done Jenny - I can totally relate. Keep working hard!

Blair said...

I love you Jenny. I'm not a mum, but I'm a daughter. Your kids know how much you love them, because of how you are when you are together and that you tell them you hate being away. Thank you for your sacrifice. I can't wait to stand with them at the finish and be beaten for the first time in my life in a loudness battle ;)

Bryson Jones said...

Wow, powerful. There may or may not have been a glisten in the eye there for a sec ;) But seriously, all I could think about as I read this was how AMAZING our family is. There are some seriously Powerful individuals here (and such writers too!). Every person brings such a unique dynamic, and though I'm not one of your kids, I'm just grateful to be related to you and watch your experiences unfold. Love you!