dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

Just…WOW!…

As I have written many times, my hubby is a retired Navy man.  He served for almost 21 years and it was a great part of our life together.  I stood by and watched him re-enlist many times and each time I felt such pride well up in me.  There is just something about watching someone raise their hand and promise to protect and defend you.  It is a remarkable thing to experience.

Yesterday hubby and I drove over to Atlanta, GA.   We spent the night there in anticipation of seeing our son-in-law re-enlist in the Navy.  He had the opportunity to do this at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA.

This morning we gathered at the aquarium to witness this ceremony.  He was going to re-enlist underwater.  His family gathered together as well as several of his peers who came up from the Navy Dive school.

The entire experience was remarkable.  The facility is the best aquarium I have seen, and I have visited many aquariums.  This is a beautiful place to visit.  If you are ever in the area, go, you won’t be disappointed.

We were given instructions as to the time of the ceremony and at the appointed time we went to a viewing area to see the divers swim into view.  We waved to our son-in-law and took pictures, it was all very exciting.   Then the divers made their way to the area where the re-enlistment ceremony was to take place.

We went into this gallery area that overlooked a large tank filled with fish and sharks and sting rays.  The view was breath-taking.  Then in the distance we saw the divers appear.  This moment took my breath away.  You could see the bubbles from the divers and then you saw these men swimming towards you.  What spoke to me the most is that these men do this for a living.  They do this for this country.  My heart swelled with pride in seeing them in this tank.  These are the heroes of our country.  They protect us on land and in the sea, literally.   Tears fell down my face as I saw these young men having a great time.  The contrast of seeing these men among the fish in that tank.  It was all lit up and you could see everything going on in there, but, these men do this when there is no lit tank and the fish are not used to seeing people in their domain.  They have a dangerous job and they do it willingly.

After a staff member introduced the divers to those assembled in this gallery, our son-in-law took his place along with one of his commanding officers.  They stood at attention and because they were equipped with audio equipment we sat and watched as our son-in-law raised his hand and swore an oath to protect and defend this country.   He did this willingly and without hesitation.  I watched as my daughter, who has been to many of these ceremonies in her life,  beamed with pride as she watched her husband repeat the same words she heard her father say.   We cheered and applauded as he concluded his oath and then stood with pride and tears as a staff member sang our National Anthem.

The day was one that will be etched in my memories.  I am a flag-waving person.  I love my country, but today, I was reminded once more how deep that pride of our country and our military is in me.

For those who have never heard the words of re-enlistment here it is.  Men and women freely and proudly speak these words daily.

The Oath of Enlistment (for enlisted):

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” 

Congratulations dear son-in-law, thank you for your service that you give so freely.  Thank you for allowing us to share in this special day.

Thank you for stopping by my blog,  Cathi (DAF)

 

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Good-bye Dear Friend…

Each person has a ‘first’ friend.  Those childhood friends who are neighbors or children of family friends, but there is a connection to somehow make you friends.

My first friend lived close by.  I would go out our back door, walk by the neighbor behind us, cross an alley, and end up at the bottom of the steps of her house.  We didn’t knock on the door and ask politely if they could come out to play.  No, I stood at the bottom of the steps and hollered, “Hey Peggy!”  Several times, if necessary, until she either came out or her Mom or older siblings came out to let me know she couldn’t play.  She would yell at my door also, “Hey Cathi!”.    It was a crude way to begin play, but it worked.

Peggy and I loved being together.  We played on her swing set (it is where I learned to flip myself over the bars), or we would catch butterflies or bees in jars, or we would roam the neighborhood, making certain we ran past that scary house on the corner because we just knew a wicked witch lived inside.    It was heaven.

My family moved in August before my first grade year.  Peggy was no longer in walking distance and the shouting from each other stopped.  We went to the same elementary school, but, her last name began with a “C” and mine with an “M”, so we weren’t always in the same classroom.    We played on the same basketball team and she came to my birthday parties, but, it wasn’t the same.  We went to different high schools and lost track of one another.

Years later, when we both had two daughters who were mostly grown, we met up at our husband’s class reunion.  Hubby and I had gone with our forever friends and everyone found someone to talk with.  Everyone, but me.  My friend, noticing me standing alone not talking with anyone, came over and pointed out that Peggy was also standing alone, talking to no one.  I went over.   Instantly, it was like we were once more roaming the neighborhood talking and sharing with one another.  It was the best!  We took some pictures together and a piece of my heart was put back in place.

Thankful for Facebook, we messaged each other, sharing our lives and pictures of our girls, and grandchildren.   She talked about her daughters and how proud she was of them.  I got to know them through our talks.  I heard about her grandchildren and smiled and laughed with her as she shared her stories about them.  We always said that everything we learned about friends happened in kindergarten and somehow we knew our hearts were joined in friendship there.

Two years ago I realized that I hadn’t heard from Peggy in a few weeks.  I wrote her and let her know she was on my mind.  I asked her how she was.  Her answer was like a punch in the stomach for me.  She told me she had ovarian cancer.  I swallowed hard and tried to write something positive to her and I closed out Facebook and sobbed.  Her news hit me hard.  She told me her dates of chemo and I put each one on my calendar in my phone, so I would remember and know to pray for her.  I knew I couldn’t be with her, but, I felt that if I could pray for her during those times, I would be doing something at least.

In July of 2016 she wrote that she was cancer free!  I rejoiced!  I was so very happy and thrilled.  She even talked about possibly coming to visit, asking which airport was closest to me.  I started to imagine sitting on my screen porch visiting with her, watching the lightning bugs flicker in the night sky and us laughing together, sharing stories of daughters and grandchildren.  They were happy thoughts for me.

Four months later she wrote to tell me her cancer was back.  She would undergo more chemo and testing until she couldn’t anymore.  In between, her youngest got married and she was able  to be there with them and celebrate.  The pictures were lovely and I was so happy for her.

The past few months have been a time of travel to hospitals only to receive news that was not good.  She passed away this past Sunday.  Her daughter called to tell me.  When I saw her daughter’s name on my phone, my heart sank.  I knew it was not going to be a good call.

I heard this beautiful voice on the other end of my phone.  I heard the tears.  My heart broke.   Peggy was such a dear person.  She saw the best in me and made me laugh.  We had been friends most of our lives and I knew there would be a void in my life when she went.  But, my void would be nothing like what her family now has.  Their Mom, his wife, was gone.  I know that words cannot heal that hurt.  Words cannot fill the spaces that used to be filled with her laughter.  Words cannot replace the ‘looks’ that only a Mom, Wife and Grandmother can give.

But, for me, I had to write about her.  She will be remembered.  People will get a glimpse of this person.  This person who used to holler for me.  This person who once challenged me to pick up a snake(I couldn’t) or catch a bee in my bare hand(I did).  The one who had the mumps and I got to play with her daily in hopes that I would catch the mumps and get it over with.  I never caught the mumps….

So, good-bye dear friend.  I miss you already.  I will miss our late night chats on Facebook.  I will miss hearing about your news and your family.  I know you are now pain-free.  You are able to be as free as we were as children.  Rest well, you have fought the brave fight and you taught me how to live.

Thanks for stopping by.   Cathi (DAF)

 

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Baseball Adventure…

I was born and raised in Northwestern Pennsylvania.  Since this is a fact, I also was raised to believe that I am a fan of three teams ~ Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins,  and Pittsburgh Pirates.   I am perfectly fine with this.  All three teams are excellent teams and deserve my fandom (is that a correct word?).

Now, I have never been to a Steelers game, although I would love to someday.  I have gone to a Penguins game and loved every minute of it.  Nothing has truly compared to  that hockey game for me, it was magical!

My first professional baseball game that I went to was in November of 1978.  I was seven months pregnant and a group of us took the train and bus up to Yokohama, Japan.  We sat on wooden bleachers to watch the Yokohama Whales play the Cincinati Reds.  We basically tail-gated by taking thermoses filled with hot chocolate and picnics of American food that we would get if we were in country.  It was my first baseball game ever.  Not one of my finest moments though, as in the bottom of the third inning I asked when the game was going to start.  Everyone turned to look at me, and without thinking I said, well, they haven’t sang the National Anthem yet…   Yes, it was not one of my finest moments, I chalk it up to pregnancy brain…   I thought that this was going to be my only time seeing a baseball game, and I carefully tucked the memory away so that it could be remembered always.

A few years later, we moved to San Diego.  San Diego, the home of the San Diego Padres.  This is where my love of baseball really came to be.  I do not follow the stats.  I wouldn’t know an error if I saw one (which, by the way, I know I have seen several in my life)  I can follow RBI’s, but I can’t explain it to anyone.  All I know is, I love the game.  I love watching the players,  I love the atmosphere of the game, I love the crowds, I love baseball.  I especially love the Padres.

Padres games fill the memories of raising our family.  We would go several times a summer to see our boys play.  When the girls were young we got the cheap military seats in the nosebleed section of the stadium.  We would smuggle food in so that we could eat during the games, since buying the family tickets was close to breaking the bank at that point.  I remember holding our youngest on my lap as she would cheer for her favorite, Tony Gwynn.   The girls grew up watching the Padres.  Our seats changed through the years, as did they.  One of the last things we did as a family was a ball game together.  I love my San Diego team.

We lived in San Diego for 27 years.  During all that time I never saw my Padres play the Pirates (who remain my 1.5 favorite).  I don’t know why I never did, but, I didn’t.  I know hubby took his father to a Pirate/Padre game one year, but it was just the two of them who went and I stayed home watching and listening on t.v..   I never missed an opening game, I would make certain I was watching on t.v. or listening to the radio.  I never did make it to an opening day, as that was when school was still in session for the girls and once they graduated, I was just in the habit of catching it like I always did.

Three years ago I went to my first Pittsburgh Pirates game.  We were in our hometown and we went with our friends.  I was so excited to see them play for the first time.  We had since moved from San Diego and I had not seen a ball game in five years at that time.  The Pirates lost that game, but it did not diminish the thrill of seeing them.   It was a childhood dream come true for me.

So, when we knew we were going to be home this summer, I went online to see the Pirates schedule.  In our time frame of being here, we would not be able to see a Pirates game since they would be on the road.  I was disappointed, but, I did realize that the Pirates would be in San Diego.  I packed my Padres shirt.  I knew I could watch it on t.v. (hubby and I do not have sports packages on our t.v. at home).    Last week I donned my shirt and watched as the Padres beat the Pirates two games.  I was a happy girl.

During those games there were advertisements for the games this current weekend. The Pirates would be home and they would be playing the Padres.   But, we would be on our way home by then, or so we thought.  Our trip was delayed and last night, after all these years, I got to see my favorite team play my next favorite team!

I proudly wore my San Diego shirt (I counted and saw three other shirts!).  I was so thrilled to see my team on the field!   They scored first and I smiled.  They ended up losing the game, but that did not matter to me.  I don’t know if I will have a chance to see them live again, but, for now, my heart is content.  I saw my Padres play.

This of course was an adventure in itself, as there was a rain delay of two hours before the game started, so, from 7:05 to 9:05 we waited.  The time was spent watching those in the good (uncovered) seats scramble out of the rain,  watched the rain, looked at the lightning and talked with our forever friends. The time passed quickly and the game ended around 12:30 a.m..  We of course, stayed to the end, not that we are that die-hard fans, but there was a concert following the game.  We saw Chicago perform.  The concert started shortly after 1 a.m., and it was incredible!

We returned to the house around 3 this morning.  I was a great adventure. one that I won’t soon forget.  Together with lifetime friends, we laughed and talked and yes, she and I even cried…  even though “There’s no crying in baseball.”

Thanks for stopping by…  Cathi (DAF)

 

 

 

 

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One Liners…

Last night while on Facebook, there was a post that caught my eye.  I actually ended up sharing it.   The meme asked to name a movie quote that gives away the title without actually mentioning it.

It was fun to read the comments and I realized reading these one liners made me smile.  Made me smile and remember.  Times of our lives are marked by movies and by music.

As I read comments, memories of where I was and who I was with came into my mind. It is an interesting journey when you stop and think of things like this.  Someone mentioned the need for speed.  Of course, that is Top Gun.  Great movie for eye candy there.  It’s amazing any lines were remembered by women.  Hubby and I saw that movie after a get away to a bed and breakfast in the mountains in San Diego.  We had a nice breakfast and were lingering over the table talking to each other and to the owner of the bed and breakfast.  She asked what we had planned next and we realized that we had planned on going to a movie that started in thirty minutes and we were forty minutes away.  We grabbed our bags and threw them into our car and raced down the mountain.  Luckily the highway patrol was nowhere to be found and we actually had time to get popcorn and find a seat and see some of the previews.  I will always remember that time.  I think my heart was racing so hard from the trip down the mountain that the scenes in the movie were easy to take.

I was amazed at the response this post got on Facebook.  But, as I mentioned before, people begin to think of favorite lines of movies and it begins memories of several other movies.  Those that we remember lines from, are those closely tied to events, times and people in our lives.  They were usually the great movies we have seen, not those that we struggle to remember the name of the movie we saw last week.

Some of my fondest memories are those I have of watching movies with my girls and hubby.  Those are the times we have snuggled on couches under blankets, eating popcorn and junk food while suspending reality for a few hours.

What are some of your favorite movies?   I love Hook, Beauty and the Beast, all the Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, most of the old musicals, and the list could go on and on.

How about you?  Thanks for stopping by today.  Cathi (DAF)

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I can’t be that old…

Last night as I was waiting to go to sleep, I started to think of my oldest daughter.  Her birthday is tomorrow.  Her birthday gets to me each year.  It gets to me because she is getting older and I know that I cannot be old enough to have a daughter her age.

Yes, this is a personal post.  I am truly feeling sorry for myself today.  You see, when I think of my darling daughter, I see her with her Shirley Temple curls falling down her back.  I see her with her tiny tap shoes tapping with her Grandpa, laughing with him.

I see her standing in front of our full length mirror talking to herself.   I see her poking chubby fingers into the side of the crib talking to her ‘seester’.    I see her many ways.

Today, she is the mother of Little Miss.  A good mom.  A partner to a Navy man.  She has done what I have had to do.  Hold down the fort.  Keep the home fires burning.  Take care of the house and it’s occupants.  She does it well.

Yes, I am very proud of her, and yet, with each passing year as I watch her grow in grace and maturity, I feel a bit older.  So, my dear daughter, my first-born, Happy  Birthday!  I am proud to be your Mom, but, this making me feel older has to stop!  I still feel like I am your age, not mine!    I pray your day is filled with the very best.  Laughter with Little Miss and her Daddy and lots of hugs and kisses from them too.  Thanks for being you and for teaching me what motherhood is about.  Love you.

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A Time Honored Tradition….

It is almost daylight here.  I sit here wide awake, thoughts flooding my mind.

Hubby, who is in San Diego, texted me about an hour ago asking me to pray for Little Miss’ daddy.  I immediately began to pray.  It was nothing serious, but it was a request given out of love for his future son-in-law and I understood.

I understood because thirty-one years ago tonight I prayed the same prayers for my hubby.

Thirty one years ago tomorrow I was part of a ceremony that hubby and my daughter will take part in tomorrow.

Little Miss’ daddy has been promoted in the Navy.  This is a special promotion, for he will become a Navy Chief.  Technically, it is just another enlisted grade in all the other services, but, in the Navy, it has special meaning.

A Navy Chief is an awesome achievement.  In hubby’s day there was hazing.  A lot of it.  But, it was what made you a chief.  These days the initiation process is different, but, the result is the same.  It is a tiring process, a long process and it wears you down physically, mentally, emotionally.  But, when it is all said and done that is what happens when you are a chief.  You wear many hats and a normal response to most sailors with questions is, “Go ask the Chief”.

Hubby was asked to pin one of the collar devices on his uniform tomorrow.  Our daughter will pin the other device on.  Hubby was honored when he was asked, and, of course he wanted to be there.

Hubby spent the day today with all the new chief selectees.  He stayed there for the entire process, and I know this has forged a bond between hubby and LIttle Miss’ daddy.

So, after praying for him, my mind became overwhelmed with memories and thoughts.  We have almost been out of the Navy longer than we were in now.  Hubby retired at 21 years in service.  That time sped by and was just one chapter of our lives.  But, that chapter was filled with traditions that have always been a part of the U.S. Navy.   I am proud of the time we were part of the Navy.

I have had several texts in the past hour.  The last came from LIttle Miss’ daddy thanking me and telling me to get some sleep.  When I finish this cup of tea and this post I will try to get some sleep.  I will think to myself  something that I taught my girls when they were little and heading to bed.

I see the moon and the moon sees me.  God bless the sailors on the sea.”   Yes, there are still parts of this great country that continues time-honored traditions, and I am proud to have been a part of that.

The third verse of Anchors Aweigh says,

Blue of the mighty deep:
Gold of God’s great sun.
Let these our colors be
Till all of time be done, done, done, done.
On seven seas we learn
Navy’s stern call:
Faith, courage, service true,
With honor, over honor, over all.”

So, I close this post with hearty congratulations to our LIttle Miss’ daddy, you done good kid, thank you for your service.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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Long Distance (S)Mothering….

The mother of Little Miss, my oldest daughter, is 2450.92 miles from me.  We are on the opposite sides of this country.

This presents its challenges.   The love of her life is away now, serving this great country of ours.  It is his job, his privilege, and his duty.  I understand this, as I am a retired military wife.  This also sucks.  Especially when you have a six month old.

I have tried since he is away to chat online with her daily.  We Skype so we can see her and talk with her and the baby.  Last night, we were able to Skype with her, Little Miss, and her step daughter who is 8 years old.  We had a good visit.  We gooed and cooed with the baby and I made faces with her step daughter.  It was all fun and games.  We blew kisses and hung up.

My evening was continuing for about another hour.  My phone rang and on the other end of the phone was my daughter.  The one I had just Skyped with.  I hear her voice.  I know something is up.  “Mom, how do you know if a toe is broken?”  This is always a good way to start a conversation.  My mind immediately raced.  Okay, I thought, it won’t be Little Miss, she is too little for anything like this to happen to her.  I was right.  I then asked who the toe belonged to.

My daughter eked out a painful, “Mine.”   I take a deep breath.  Okay, I can do this.  I ask the right questions.  What happened, what does it look like, can you move it, are you in great pain, are your neighbors home?  I ask her to take a picture of her foot and send it to me.

Now, I am not a nurse.  I do not own a  medical license.  The only credential I have are the stretch marks and grey hair that show I have survived motherhood.

I look at the picture of her feet.  The first picture was of both of her feet.  I thought that was smart so I could look at an uninjured foot along with the injured one.    I show hubby the photo.  We look at it and say, it may just be a good stoved toe.

We write back and tell her what we think may have happened.  (Like we would know…)  I then tell her that most people I know who have broken their toes usually end up just having it wrapped.  I tell her I really don’t think that there is much to do for a broken toe.  A broken foot needs a cast and possible surgery.  A toe…   well, in my medical opinion….  (Yes, that and a few dollars will buy you a coffee at your favorite shop).

So, thus began a 24 hour session of (S)mothering her.  I tell her to put ice on the toe.  20 minute on, 20 minutes off.  I tell her to elevate it.  I stress the importance of her staying off her foot.

She went online to see what needed to be done.  Since it was a Friday night, all the neighbors were out.  She was in the house with a six month old and an 8-year-old.  My mother’s heart and mind went into overdrive.  I offer to wake friends and have them come and get her.  I have a list of friends I know that would love to hold the baby and others who would drive her to the emergency room.

I suggest everything I could think of.  Hubby, meanwhile keeps reminding me of her age and her ability to figure this out for herself.  He is worried, but he is also confident that she can handle this.

In my mind, I am in a panic that my baby girl hurts and I can’t be there to kiss it and do something!  Anything!  Get her a cup of tea.  Make her toast.   Prop up her foot.   Anything.

I finally stopped chatting with her and let her get on with her evening.  It was a painful evening for her, but she survived.  I am proud of how she has handled it.  Today, the verdict was in, it’s broken.  It hurts.  But, she will get better.

Meanwhile Little Miss is working on her first tooth.  So both of them are in pain and miserable and me?  Well, I really dislike not being able to (S)mother her up close.    Isn’t there a time when you stop worrying about your kids?  I noticed a few more gray hairs today…  soon I will no longer have gray highlights, it’s just going to be all white!

Thanks for stopping by… DAF

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Sharing Some Lunch…

The past couple of days there have been some texts and Facebook messages and last night there was a phone call.  All of these talked about the possibility of meeting our firstborn for lunch.

Now, to  most, this is no big deal.  For hubby and I, this was something thrilling.  Our oldest lives in San Diego.  Her boyfriend is from Georgia and they are visiting his folks and family for Christmas.  They fly back home on Sunday.

Today, we met halfway.  We each drove a couple of hours and met for some lunch together.  It was more than nice.  It was lovely.

To be able to see our oldest walk into the restaurant  with her guy made my heart race.  I was thrilled being able to see her and hug on her.  To feel her and know that she is, in fact, okay.

I forget how lonely my arms get for a hug from my daughters.  Yes, I hug my hubby, and hug friends and hug people at church.  All these hugs are nice, and comforting.  But, nothing beats the hug of your children.  There is something there that makes your heart melt.

We sat for a little over three hours together.  We talked about Christmas and their visit.  We talked about some things in San Diego.  We laughed together and shared a meal.  We were family for three hours.  It was nice.

Tonight, I am grateful for being able to see my firstborn.  I am thankful for today.  It was a good day, a day that will hold warm memories for me until we can see her again.

Thanks for stopping by today.  DAF

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Daughters…

I have two daughters.  They are the joy in my life.  They don’t live close to me or to each other.  One is on the west coast and the other the east coast.  We are a seven hour flight away from our oldest and a seven hour drive from our youngest.

I never thought of our family being spread out like this.  When they were little, I often thought of Sunday dinners around our table, picnics together in the summer and camping trips together on weekends.  I figured that the house we raised the girls in would be the place that grandchildren would know.

 

Things don’t always work out like we planned them.  But, one other thing I wished for my daughters would be that they would be happy and live the lives they wanted to.  I wanted them (and still do) to discover their possibilities, to have their heart’s desires come true.

 

The girls are different from one another.  Their personalities sometimes seem to be the direct opposite from each other.  They have both said that they do not look like sisters.

 

My oldest is tall, elegant (well, sometimes she can be a klutz, sorry sweetie) and is outgoing.  She brings a burst of life into any room she enters.  She knows very few strangers as she makes friends easily.  She will talk to anyone and will be able to talk about any subject brought up to her.  She is a history fanatic.  She loves anything to do with history.

 

My youngest is not as tall.  She is quiet and reserved (unless around her good friends and I have heard she will dance on a table or two).  She is a lover of literature and a teacher of children.  She observes things around her and then will make a profound statement of what she has seen and learned from.  She is the mother of Little Man and the wife of my dear son-in-law.

 

Both of the girls have faced challenges in their young lives.  My oldest knows what it is like to be bullied.  She had a year of middle school that was the equivalent of a year in hell.  She was impacted by that in ways that I will never know or understand.  She is a fighter and a survivor.  I admire her ability to go through difficulties with grace and strength and then to succeed.  That year flavored her life to a degree and has made her into the woman she is today.

 

My youngest was diagnosed with fibromyalgia during middle school.  It did not stop her.  She went through the rest of her school years with energy and enthusiasm.  This too, made her into the woman she is today.  She often reminds me that she is affected by fibromyalgia, but it does not control her.  I am amazed at her endurance and tenacity in life.

 

Yes, my girls are different from one another.  But, there are similarities in them.  They love dearly and fully.  They laugh often, especially when they are with each other.  They have each other’s backs when it is needed.

 

I have thought about my daughters a lot recently.  I have thought about who they are and what they have become.  I have thought about the joy they have brought my heart and spirit.  I am thankful for them.  They are the true gifts in my life.  They are the ones who bring tears to my eyes easily.  They are the ones that prayers are uttered for throughout the day and night.

During this month of being thankful, I wanted to share with you the two whom I am thankful for.  They have made me into the woman I am today.  They have made me into the crazed woman who is gray and has laugh lines galore.  They are also the ones who helped me become a woman who prays.  I have come to know why a badger is protective of it’s young from my girls.  I have learned that tangled hair hurts when being brushed out, and socks are uncomfortable if not put on the right way.

 

So, girls, I know you have read this.  Forgive me for exposing some personal things about you, but those things have only caused me to admire and love you more.  You are incredible women and I am thankful and proud.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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Thirty years ago….

When we think of what happened a week ago we sometimes think it was a long time ago.  Lately, my husband and I tease one another that we are lucky when we remember each other’s names let alone what happened yesterday.  It’s not that we are that old, it’s just that we sometimes just put the earlier days into the pile of days that had nothing remarkable happen to us.

Today, thinking it was the 10th of September, I woke up thinking what I did thirty years ago.  Unusual?  Well, yes, but this week marks a milestone.  Thirty years ago on the 11th, my baby came into this world and changed the lives of everyone she has met since.

Thirty years ago this past week, I moved into our first home.  It wasn’t the first place we lived, but it was the first home we were buying.  I was nine months pregnant and the weather for San Diego was incredibly hot.  Dear hubby was doing his job in providing and securing our freedom, so he was not able to be with me during this season of our life.  But, that’s another story to tell.

We didn’t have much furniture or worldly goods at that time, but there was enough to keep me occupied.  I was helped by a group of friends that are still good friends.  Daily, they would drop by to help me out and move boxes to rooms so that I didn’t have to lug them from room to room.

Our oldest daughter was 4 at this time.  She was adorable, long strawberry blonde hair that hung in long Shirley Temple ringlets.  She was my helper and my cheerleader.  She knew she would have a little sister (although at that time we hadn’t a clue).  She knew because she prayed for one and her young faith was enough to assure her that what she asked for, she got.   She was excited for the new house, for seeing toys packed up weeks before and for the impending arrival of the baby.

I, was stressed.  Buying a home should have been a wonderful time.  Instead, the process that should have been short, was extended and I ended up finishing it all while hubby was floating on the waters of the world.   That was enough for a 20 something to do.  Add to it, having to let my oldest go to some new friend’s home while being in the hospital overwhelmed me with concern.  My helping group of friends all worked and could not watch my oldest during the day, so instead some very nice people offered to watch our girl while I was busy with our youngest.  It turned out to be a great experience, but today, thirty years ago, it caused me anxiety.

So, with no family around, friends who cared and love me, we had an adventure.  We moved into our home.  It was not my dream home, but it was larger than any place we had lived and it would be home for the next 27 years.

Thirty years ago today was a Friday.   I got the bedrooms downstairs finished.  I finished the kitchen.  I propped up swollen feet.  I revelled in the joy and excitement of our daughter.  Her excitement can be contagious, still.

Thirty years ago tomorrow we did the family room, my friends and I.  We had a cookout with burgers and hot dogs and beans and macaroni salad.

Then, thirty years ago on the 11th, which was a Sunday, our little girl arrived.  She had wonderful facial expressions that I have seen her precious little boy mirror. She would be the child to teach me laughter.  She would be the child to teach me joy, inexpressible joy.  She has taught me several other things in her life, but these two are paramount.

When she was eighteen, her birthday was overshadowed by the events of 9-11.  From then, her birthday would always be something more, something mentioned on the news.  A national day of horror.  We have tried since 2002 to make her birthday a time of celebration with a time of solemn remembrance.   It is sometimes difficult to talk about the celebrations when the day marks other events.

But, she is our joy, my special gift from our Father in heaven.  I have told her this often.  I believe in telling our children a statement that is a truth.  A statement that will echo in their minds when everything is screaming at them otherwise.  She knows that she is my special gift from Jesus.

So, this day, two days before her thirtieth birthday, I begin to honor her.  She has blessed this world in many ways.  She continues to do so.  She is my gift, and my joy.

I just can’t believe I am old enough that my baby is 30 years old… when did that happen???

Otherwise, I am fine.

(as a sidenote, my oldest daughter has taught me love, unconditional and permanent.  On one of her birthdays the Challenger blew up. So, there is also a news story or memory on her day of celebration also.  Her statement? You are precious in the sight of Jesus.)

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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