There are certain times of the year that provoke a sense of reflection in me. I write about these times often, for I believe that writing them down etches them in my mind more clearly.
The days leading up to the 11th of September is one of these seasons. Tomorrow is Grandparents day, a holiday started in 1978. I had no idea it was even a ‘thing’ until 1983 when I saw the first cards celebrating it. I don’t even know who buys those cards, but each year I see them.
Tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of 9/11. It is amazing to me that it has been 15 years. It seems like yesterday that the horror of that day happened. The images and repugnance reverberates to this day. I will always remember and I will never forget.
But in the middle of these events is a sweet dance of my youngest daughter’s life.
In thinking on all of the above, it is amazing what stands out in vivid memory. I can remember seeing those Grandparent Day cards being almost nine months pregnant, thinking I should buy one for my in-laws. I thought I would send it from my oldest daughter, having her sign it and how they would love that. I also thought that maybe my second child would be born on that day. I never got the card, and my baby did come on Grandparent’s Day.
I remember when she was born, looking at my sweet baby, a time that is burned into a mother’s mind. Each child, so unique, so beautiful. Seeing that baby for the first time and knowing that this look is the look you will cherish until your dying day. I was handed my sweet child and looked down on her. No sweet expression, just this scowl on her little face. Staring up at me as if to say, “Lady, I am not happy.” Literally, a scowl, one that still appears on her face this day, some thirtysomething years later… I looked down at her, laughed and said as only a mother can, “Well sweetie, you are the one who decided to come, I really had nothing to do with it.” Yes, those sweet , sweet life moments I will never forget.
That morning fifteen years ago that sweet baby was up before me. Hubby had already left for work, and her older sister was living on her own and on her way to work. I came downstairs and wished her a happy birthday. We were going for her driver’s test and I asked if she was ready. She told me to turn on the t.v. and horror hit me. Last night as I thought on this, I thought of this child of mine. She was basically alone when she first heard all of this on the radio. I never thought of how any of this affected her. What was going on in her mind, how did it color her birthday then and how does it affect her to this day?
Yes, it is funny how certain things stick out in your mind on different days. Those are my thoughts this weekend. The thought that comes most readily to mind is this. I have been blessed with this child, now a grown woman. Her life has filled mine with laughter. Her life has brought me joy. I asked the Lord early on what life lessons my children have taught me. I wanted to know when they were young, so I could truly grasp the gifts they are.
My oldest has taught me unconditional love. A lesson we all need to have. To love , no matter what happens, how easy or difficult is may be. That lesson has not only been for my oldest, but she taught me that for all areas of my life.
The birthday girl? She taught me laughter. I really do not think I laughed purely or openly until the day she was born. She gave me the gift of mirth. She has blessed me with being able to see the joy in all things.
So, happy birthday dear one. Thank you for being you. You truly are my special gift from Jesus.
~Mom ~ Cathi (DAF)