I can still see the snow falling. Not a car on the road. No tire treads or footprints. Not even a snowplough to upset the beauty of the morning. The sun rising over the mountain. Apple orchards surrounding our home reflecting the calm of our rocking chair. You are bundled up, sleeping content in my arms. In that moment the world stops. Just for you and me.
You make little noises, snuggling closer. Maybe reflecting pre-mortal hopes and dreams… becoming reality. I can’t figure out why my face is so wet. I utter a prayer of thanksgiving. Blessings, hopes and dreams of my own for such a precious little lady. Wanting more than anything else for you to find a kind, grand, life of adventure — with much love.
What I wouldn’t give for one more race to your bedroom to tuck you in at night. One more dance with the little girl who asked me if I would marry her when she was “all grown up.” She whose life is all her own now, almost.
You didn’t dare hope to win, let alone enter that beauty contest. I knew. The whole community came and saw the you I had always known, hidden deep inside. My precious daughter wearing a crown that day. The prelude to that everlasting crown which one day be worn. And on that day you changed forever more. You became the person who began to realize she could accomplish many things.
Your concert was the last, most important thing I needed to do before leaving you. I nearly died that night. I wonder sometimes if that might have been better. But I couldn’t. I needed to see you, to hear you, to hug you once more. To kneel in prayer. Holding in my heart the memories that were to last a lifetime. Never realizing the woman I would view at your graduation. With young men around you. Each seeking to be noticed… by my little angel… all grown up.
So, my dearest daughter, I have but these words of encouragement on the commemoration of your birthday:
Promises are hard things sometimes. Never should they be broken. But never lightly given either. “Love” is such a promise. Nothing that others will tell you is of such importance that you should neglect your heart.
I wonder if you can now understand the choices I have had to make. What if you had to tell someone the most important thing of a life, but their heart being so hardened, she could not hear? All life’s choices should be made with love, and in prayer.
When you find that special young man whose heart melds with your own, I counsel you not to try to change him. Nor should you give yourself in a one-sided love affair, where you pour out all that you are, were, and hope to become, that the one you grant such riches could never understand enough to share in that holy promise. If you can’t love a man for who he is… or only love him for who you think he could be… you’ll cripple him. Loving is an act of faith as much as believing in God. If you truly love that man, you will come to understand him as he does you.
In so doing, you may finally understand how people can give their very lives for the happiness of others so cherished. Without that kind of unconditionally shared love, you will find yourself alone. So, keep your commitments, covenants, and His commandments. Let your choices be eternally cherished.
In words reflected in Proverbs 31, I see you, as I had thought to see your dear mother;
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The ear of her husband doth safely trust her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She shall do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Strength and honour are her clothing: and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom: and her tongue is the law of kindness.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Angel, you have been the most important thing in my life. Even though you never knew it. You are a daughter of the Most High God. With me blessed to care for you here on earth… for a time. We both desire your happiness. So, Listen to your heart. Know that you are a treasure of love, eternal. No matter what course you choose to follow.
Always do what YOU believe is right. No matter what others may think or say. Don’t worry if you err up from time to time. Those who truly love you will understand. They will stand beside you. They will hold you and help you – as you pick up the pieces. If, however, you suffer, find joy in the fact that you shall find the true measure of your strength. For all can be cowards one day and a hero the next. Though your choices seem to cost you dearly, change is a blessing also. What has been broken can be made new. In shame perceived, you will find honour, courage and loyalty.
This is your opportunity to discover life… My most precious memory — you always will be. I shall remember the faces and fazes of your life, forever burned into my minds eye. Into my heart. From the day I delivered you, held you, whispered of my love; To the day I had to let you go.
Happy Birthday My Angel.
Did you walk those first steps knowing one day you would run?
Did your uttered first word tell the story of who you would be?
Do your earliest memories include what came before?
Do you know your first smile let me hear the Angels sing?
When did you reveal yourself to be the woman I see now?
When did you stop being the little girl who couldn’t wait to grow up?
When did you eschew playfulness to protect yourself from feelings?
And, how can you know the truth, with so big a hole in your heart?
The arrogance of youth says what you know of God is all there is to know.
Innocence lost is arrogance of adulthood. Hope and faith lost by lies, well meaning.
Hope does precede faith. Faith precedes knowledge. And knowledge…
The miracle coming when least you expect. Setting you free.
Let not your talents be buried. Live. Love. Believe. For this is your life.
My blessing. My prayer… for one so beloved…