One Year Ago:
As I sit here and listen to you and Billy moving your stuff about just on the other side of the wall, preparing to load it on the trailer to move it to your new house, tears are flowing. Unexpected tears. Out of left field tears. I guess I’m just finally stopping long enough and the sounds from the next room are making it more real. My baby is getting married and moving out.
I hear your voice and, intellectually, I know it’s the voice of a 23 year old beautiful, smart, mature woman, but my heart is hearing a little girl. Mama. Mama. Mama. Come here, Mama. My heart cries a little as I know that you will soon have to use the phone to call me.
I see you walk out the door with a suitcase full of clothes. Intellectually, I see a beautiful, smart, mature 23 year old woman, but my heart sees a little girl. Bye. Bye Mama. I’ll be back. My heart cries a little as I know soon you will only be back for visits.
Then, I watch you as you watch him. Your eyes light up and all of a sudden I see a beautiful, smart, mature 23 year old woman very much in love. I hear you tell him you love him and my heart cries for joy as I know that my baby has found her soulmate and life partner.
I love you, my beautiful daughter, and can’t wait to see what you do in Chapter 2.
One year later, on your 24th Birthday:
Here I sit in the same spot, your Chapter 2 well underway and I will never be able to put this book down. It is impossible to put into words how blessed I feel when I see you being a blessing to so many others—through your work at the church, through your marriage and love of family, through just being you and caring for others. God is using you in such a mighty way, baby girl, just as He has since the day you drew your first breath on this day 24 years ago.
Today, I want to thank you for staying true to God and allowing Him to use you, but first I must say thank you to God for creating you. You truly are the gift that keeps on giving and have changed my life—and the life of many others—not just forever, but for better. Happy Birthday my baby girl. I love you…to the ends of the earth and right on into eternity.