In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.















Monday, December 6, 2010

Celebrating a daughter

Everyone should be so blessed to have such daughters as I do, as they are each beautiful and amazing women but today I share with you my eldest daughter since it is her birthday today.  Today’s post is her story and I dedicate it to her.

Dear Daughter #1,

Today I celebrate you, sweet daughter of mine, that was first to make me Mommy.

I think back to those early day’s of you…of being so scared and realizing the greatness of my responsibility to you. Here I was, a child myself, holding this beautiful baby girl and just being in awe of you.

To this day, I believe you came to me as a divine and perfect gift, for a purpose that was beyond what my young eye’s could see.

baby_Toni_cropped

You were my first and you taught your mother well. I read every parenting book on the library shelf and it didn’t take me long to realize that while parenting books are great for giving guidelines and  basic information, children are the best teachers. You were a gentle little teacher and with you I grew up.

When one of your first words was “pretty”,and all you wanted to wear was dresses, I remember thinking how can this little girl be mine? You loved everything girl…pink and purple, pretty dresses and shoes(see? even back then you were obsessed with shoes :) , pretty things in your hair, playing house and your favorite pink dolly that you named Lolly.

 

You were so excited about your little sister that came 16 months later but it didn’t take very long before you asked me to take her back to where I got her from. Still you grew to love her too and the best of friends the two of you were. You would nurse your dollies while I nursed your sister and talk to me like you were a Mommy too. The two of you were like night and day and even now when I have the rare opportunity to see the two of you together, I see these differences.

 

One after another as your siblings came, you were the model big sister. You helped and nurtured them like a little mother. You played house with them and of course you had to be the Mommy.

I am sure that as the years went by, you grew tired of this role of being the oldest. I know your siblings exasperated you time and again but you were the best big sister they could have asked for.

When I looked at this picture taken this past weekend, of you with your two brothers, my heart leapt at the sight of the 3 of you all grown up.

toni, adam and jason celebrating her birthday

It seems like it was just yesterday when you were making them play school with you.

I remember watching and listening as you played school with them and of course you were always the teacher. Even then, you were a very good teacher.

At the end of every school year, as teachers cleaned out their rooms, you loaded up the things they were getting rid of and proudly carried them home with you. I would cringe as I watched you walk up the street with your arms loaded and a big smile on your face.

When you came to me at the start of your junior year with news of a baby coming in May, I cried because I feared that you would lose or give up all of your dreams. I cried because I know the price of young motherhood. I am sure in that moment of sharing the news and us crying and hugging, that you might have wondered of my love for you. I am sure that you wondered even more when I drove off after saying I just needed some time to think.

I needed to collect myself…to cry and get out all my personal feelings all out so that I could be the mother to you that you deserved and the grandmother that this baby deserved as well. If you had any doubts at all honey, please know my love never ever left you.  

The day’s and weeks that followed were one’s you made me proud. I know all too well the pain of disappointing family and facing people that gossip in small towns and you handled yourself above reproach. I told you to not hang your head in shame and your didn’t. You faced your family, school and community with such humility. All those people that said your life was over because you had a child did not know you very well at all, because those that did, knew that you are a determined strong young woman and never stopped believing in you. What I would give now to go back to all those judgmental gossiping people and say, “Look at her now!”

Every child deserves to be wanted and celebrated, no matter the circumstances and it was a joy to prepare with you, for her birth.

I made you promise that if you were going to keep and raise this baby that you would not give up on your dreams of being a teacher. You worked your tail off. You participated in school activities and continued to excel in your studies. You did not use this as an excuse to give up and missed very little school even though you gave birth in early May of your junior year.

Experiencing the birth of your own daughter was one of the most beautiful amazing experiences of my life. You made me a mother and your daughter made me a grandmother. As I cried tears of joy in those moments I was beyond proud of you. What a gift she was and continues to be. I truly believe that like you, when you came to me, she came for a divine and perfect purpose for you and her father. As I watched you hold your sweet little girl in those first moments, my mind flashed back to those days that you played Mommy to all your dollies. In that moment you went from being my little girl holding her dolly, to a Mommy holding her heart in arms.

As I watched you become a Mommy you took your role seriously. Even with all of your family’s support, I am amazed by how you balanced being a new Mommy with school work and work at such a young age. What a honor it was for me to travel that journey with you and I could not imagine what life would be like without that beautiful daughter of yours.

 

My heart could not be prouder of the two of you, as you make this journey as mother and daughter.

P6060056  

You were remarkable as you put yourself through college in 3 years and graduated with honors, all while raising a well behaved little girl. Even now I am in awe of all that you accomplished and that you never gave up, even though I know there were times you wanted to.

When you and your little family moved across the country to make a new life for yourselves, it felt like a part of me was cut off. It took time for me to adjust to not having you and your daughter close by but I have learned to celebrate your wings and that you have went after your dreams.

I remember the first time I had the honor of sitting in your classroom and watching you teach. I was thoroughly amazed. In those moments, memories of you playing teacher as  a little girl, flashed through my mind and here you were standing in front of me doing that which you loved. Teaching. You do more than teach. You care and you take the extra steps to make sure that the children in your care are not only learning but that they are loved. The beauty that is you, puts your whole heart into whatever you do, so I have no doubts in my mind that you deserved winning teacher of the year 2 times over the past 7 years of teaching.

It seems like forever since I was last there when you got married to the love of your life 3 years ago. I wish that I could see and hug the two of you more often. My heart aches to do this, just at the sight of this picture of the two of you.

PC050093

 

You have went through some very hard times in your life. You have experienced heart ache and pain. While some would have used these things to quit, you didn’t. While some would have shirked their responsibilities off to others, you didn’t. You have never used the hard things in life as excuses to be anything less than the beautiful woman that you are.

I know I’ve not been the perfect Mom. I know all too well the mistakes I made and the hard times I put you through. I will be forever grateful for the gift of grace you have given me and for not holding these things against me. I will be forever thankful that you have stood by me through the hard times in my life.

Oh daughter of mine, I cannot imagine my life without you. You are a divine and perfect gift. I celebrate your entrance into the world today. I celebrate the loving, giving, caring, kind and beautiful woman, that you are. I celebrate that you have chosen a life of forgiveness and grace over a life of bitterness and hate...and you and I both know, that with everything you have went through, you very well could have chosen that path. 

I celebrate the path you have chosen. I celebrate that you have never forgotten the One that created you..."for I am fearfully and wonderfully made". He gave you to me as a gift and I will never stop thanking Him for the gift of you...for letting me be your mother and now also your friend.

May you always be true to yourself. May you never stop going after your dreams.

Happy Birthday dear daughter…may your day be filled with knowing how much your life means to so many…may you have a glimpse of how truly magnificent you are.

Me_and_Toni_cropped 

My heart is with you honey…I am there is spirit and you are forever and always in my heart. Miles may separate us but love keeps us a heart beat away from each other. I love you to the moon and back my first daughter of mine. Mom

That is the story of my first born. Soon I will write the stories of my 2 other adult daughters and share them with you as well.

Thank you for all of your kind words and support to my last post. I am in complete awe of you people. Your comments and private e-mails reminded me of what angels you are and how very blessed I am to be a part of this wonderful caring community. I am deeply humbled to be on the receiving end of such love and kindness. From the bottom of my heart thank you.

Happy Monday. Hope it is marvelous!

Until next time, love & hugs, Lori

 

 

24 comments:

Jeannie said...

Your daughter sounds amazing! I'm very proud of her too!

Brian Miller said...

what a beautiful tribute to her...and you have such love and hope for her...how could she not succeed...smiles.

jpooh said...

Oh, Lori - she is just beautiful! And she sounds like a lovely, wonderful woman. I hope she has a marvelous birthday.

Jan

LauraX said...

My eyes are filled with tears for the beauty, triumph and love of this story, your story, your daughter's, your granddaughter's. Truly you are all Divine gifts to one another and to the world!

slommler said...

What pure joy to read this wonderful tribute to your daughter. Happy Birthday to her!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Pseudo said...

An amazing daughter and you are an amazing mother Lori.

xoxo

Happy Birthday to your daughter and o you for bringing her into this world.

The Incredible Woody said...

Only amazing Mothers raise amazing Mothers!!

kcinnova said...

I so very much hope that your daughter has read this letter!
It brought tears to my eyes.
Happy birthday to both of you. ♥

Zella said...

First of all, thank you for your kind comments in my blog, always. You feel like a friend to me already.

We've had a three day weekend over here, and I've used parts of it reading through your whole blog..I think I'm somewhere in December of 2009 now :) I just wanted to pop in here and say how I enjoy reading about your life, your family's life, seeing all those happy smiles in your pictures. Of course I don't know you, but your writing is so honest, open and sincere, that I DO feel like I know you...and it feels like a privilege to me. You have such a beautiful soul and loving heart. No wonder your kids have grown up to be such good people, and no doubt the little ones will do the same.

Happy Birthday to your eldest, and happy day to you as well. xo

SciFi Dad said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter.

This is such a great tribute to what sounds like an amazing woman.

Together We Save said...

Happy Birthday to your oldest daughter... she sounds like an amazing lady!!

ladyfi said...

This post has made me sob like a baby.. so moving and beautiful!

Shrinky said...

She is her mother's daughter. So, so much love in this post - and so much beauty, too. What a moving, heartfelt post, Lori - yes, you SHOULD be proud, not only of her, but that you raised her well!

Kit Kat said...

That was so sweet! You and your daughters amaze me, Lori :)

Jason, as himself said...

Wow! If I were your daughter I would be printing this post out and hanging it on my wall so I could read it every day. What a fabulous mother you are! And what a fabulous daughter you have!

Garnetrose said...

this is a beautiful post. Your daughters are the way they are because you have taught them well. I am waiting to read what you have to say about the other two. Very cool of you to do this.

Natalie said...

Happy Birthday beautiful number one child! No wonder your Mom is proud. :) xx♥

Buckeroomama said...

Such a beautiful, beautiful tribute, Lori. (You got me teary-eyed again!) She is an amazing person. What a wonderful journey she's been.

Hope she has most wonderful birthday.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful daughter.
Loved reading this....
Happy birthday sweetheart #1!

Ash said...

i would be a great daughter too if i had you as my mum ;) happy bday to her!

~ash's mum

p.s. ash was mesmerised by the water-fall. thanks for the hugs xx

Just Be Real said...

Lori, a wonderful tribute to your daughter. Thank you for sharing as well as in pictures. Blessings

Jeni said...

Beautiful! Just beautiful!

Michelle said...

What a fantastic tribute. I feel honoured to be allowed to share in that story of love through three generations of remarkable women.

PS... crikey - the litles have GROWN!! but still utterly gorgeous.

Riahli said...

Beautiful. I've read through all of the stories you've posted about your children this morning and they are all so touching...can't wait to read your last one!! What an amazing eldest daughter you have, I am an eldest daughter myself, with four younger siblings, and I'd have to say it is no easy task!! :)