Life in General, Motherhood

Appointment Got Rescheduled!

As most of you know, my daughter  (her story) was diagnosed ( the actual diagnosis) with a heart  (hearing the murmur) defect a little over a month ago. We kicked it into high gear to get her to Mayo in Rochester as soon as possible. From what I’ve been told, it’s nothing serious as of yet (a little later in life the complications would be more detrimental), but as a mother, the thought of one of my children being unhealthy in a way that requires hospitalization and/or surgery just does not sit well with me. I’m sure this is true of most mothers.

Anyway, the appointment scheduled for tomorrow, but upon hearing from Mayo today with some concerns, the appointment got rescheduled for next month.

I. Was. Not. Okay!

What now?

Waiting.

Another whole month of waiting.

And waiting is not my forte!

I am not a patient person especially when it comes to something such as this.

Ah well.

I will be okay. She will be okay.

Over the last month I have been fraught with worry. Between her medical concern, my youngest daughter’s latest injury that resulted in 5 stitches on top of her foot, and the daily goings-on around my house, my mind has been completely engaged 24/7.

Rest?

No. Such. Thing.

As I said though, she will be okay. I will be okay.

The worry that has been a constant since I found out about her condition, was finally laid to rest last night. During my nightly Bible reading (I am presently reading the Book of Luke), some verses really hit close to home:

Luke 8: 49-50….“While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogues house saying to him, ‘your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.’ But when Jesus heard it, He answered him saying, “do not be afraid, only believe and she will be made well.”

I read that passage a couple of times. The words sank deep into my heart and I felt such a peace come over me. I usually read propped up in bed in the evening which was exactly where I was when I read that passage. As I said, I felt such a peace settle into my heart and I jumped up from my bed, a big smile and tears streaming down my cheeks as I hurried into the dining room where my husband was. I stood there, crying and smiling at the same time as I told him: “She’s going to be okay. Honey, she’s going to be okay.” He looked at me like I was temporarily insane, then he nodded and said, “yes, I know.”

Okay, you first have to understand that we had been in a disagreement earlier in the day and some of the animosity still lingered so the exchange was somewhat awkward, but the peace I felt in my heart remained. I went back to our room to continue my reading and he finished what he was doing on the computer.

Although the appointment got rescheduled, my heart is still at peace. When she does go to her appointment….She Will Be Okay.

In the mean-time, I know that God is with us. With her. Always.

 

 

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Anything Goes, Life in General, Motherhood

Who Needs the Sidewalk?

DSCN6427

There once was a little girl who loved playing outside. But no matter how many times she was coaxed, bribed, encouraged, demanded or asked politely to walk on the sidewalk, she couldn’t resist the WaTeR flowing along the curb. She giggled and she splashed. She toddled through it even though it covered her boots in the deepest part. She kicked at it and put her fingers in it. On that brisk, cool day she absolutely, positively could not resist the temptation of water.

The sidewalk was just plain boring in comparison.

The boring, old, crumbled sidewalk didn’t catch her interest in the least.

The water: that’s the place to be 🙂

Her face was the picture of pure delight. Her eyes lit up with laughter and a hint of mischief. And then, of course, the sweet taffy treat in her chubby, little hand just made the whole day a little more joyful.

Oh, she was a vision for sure: all dressed in pink and certain there was somewhere to go.

She’s older now by a few years, she’s taller, she’s much more active, she’s girly with a sliver of tom-boy, she’s…….perfect. She’s loved ❀

Life in General, Motherhood

A Heart Murmur Turned Out to Be……

So, all of you know of the heart murmur that was discovered at our daughter’s well child check-up a week or so ago.

Unfortunately, it turns out that it’s so much more than that.

After the echo-cardiogram following that well-child check, the doctors have now determined that the murmur was in fact a sign of something called atrial septal defect (ASD), which is a congenital heart defect. As I mentioned in a previous post, she had heart arrhythmia (more on her story) when she was born and the doctors cleared her at her 2 week check-up.

When hearing the news – barely because as soon as I heard the doctor’s dreaded words that something was, in fact, wrong with my sweet little girl, I stopped listening (all I could hear was that something was wrong) – the question that came into my mind: What gets done to correct ASD?

After getting off the phone with the doctor, I cried. And then I called my husband, who in all his sweetness, was very reassuring. I told him as much as I could recall from the phone call and asked him to call the doctor so he could hear the news from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. I wanted him to get a better understanding so he could explain it more to me. It worked wonderfully. We learned that although it’s not an ideal experience for a child, it’s not uncommon. The doctor reassured us that it’s good that we found it at her age now rather than later in life.

Which leads me back to the question: What is done to correct ASD? The options are open heart surgery or catheter procedure, both of which sound terribly uncomfortable. However, the catheter procedure is probably more favorable.

At this point, my fears are running rampant through my mind.  Will the doctors be able to fix it? Will something terrible happen during surgery? Is she going to be okay until surgery? She’s going to be so scared when she does find out. (We haven’t told her anything yet.) Reactions to the anesthesia. Surgeons making a mistake. Recovery time. After-affects of the correction. And so much more.

The uncertainty right now is like a knot in my stomach that won’t go away. Knowing about the ASD has not taken over my every thought as I have more children, a husband, a home, etc. to worry about and take care of, but it’s always in the forefront of my brain. It pops up throughout the day, more so in the evening after the kids are settled and in bed. I cry in the quietness almost every night as my husband holds me and offers his reassurance. He’s said to me a few times since learning of this awful news that I should stay positive, trust in God. At hearing his words, I’ve shown some frustration, but I know…he’s right. Again 😉 So, here I sit, thinking about God, trying to trust in Him…trying to do as I’ve been telling everyone to do for a long while. I remember all the times I’ve said it’s not God that causes heartache. It’s not God’s plan to hurt us. I remember not to long ago about a little child that was killed and my words of encouragement were to trust in God, turn the worries and concerns over to Him. Someone else replied with some nonsense about where is God when something bad happens. And, again, I responded to this person with the exact words I just spoke: It’s not God’s fault. He doesn’t cause the heartache.

And now I am here. Questioning. Doubting. Wondering what I did to create this hardship for my daughter. Asking why? Why my daughter? And I realize, as much as I believe in God and all His goodness….I don’t understand a darn thing. I understand that He is way more powerful than my mind, anyone’s mind, can fathom. As for anything else, I am lost.

So, I have been praying. I am asking once again that if you are reading this then please take a moment to pray. Pray for our daughter. And to pray for me as well. Is that selfish of me?

Anyway, back to my daughter’s story…..

What happens now? What’s next?

She has another appointment with a pediatric cardiologist through the health care system we primarily use coming up at the end of the month. Shortly after that, she will have her first visit with the doctor at Mayo Clinic for his evaluation to determine his plan of care. We will know more at that point concerning surgery/procedure, preparation for surgery, recovery time, restrictions/limitations, and after-care.

Until then, please just continue to pray for her. Also, I have been reading the Bible, looking for scripture to help me get through this time, if anyone has any verses in mind that may be helpful, it would be much appreciated.

Life in General, Motherhood

Her Beginning

It was a normal pregnancy for me except I was sicker for longer during the beginning. For all my pregnancies prior to hers, I was only sick (nausea) for about 2-3 months. With her, I was nauseous, I mean severely nauseous, for the first 4 months. All I did during that time period was lie on the couch, moaning in agony…..Okay maybe not moaning, but definitely felt like I was dying! And I laid there like that ALL. DAY. LONG. For 4 months straight.

I was excited about baby #6. I was exhausted. All. The. Time. She was born in September so I was, as with the previous pregnancies, very pregnant through the hottest parts of the summer. And with my pregnancies, I don’t stay small and look like I’m carrying a little rubber ball in my tummy. Oh no. Not me! I look and feel like I am carrying 3 watermelons in my tummy. I was excited. And I was miserable.

My heart was set on a girl as I already had 5 boys. We decided NOT to find out the sex of the baby because I was absolutely convinced that if we didn’t find out then it would be a girl. My theory: with the first four pregnancies we found out the sex and all four pregnancies produced 5 healthy boys so if we didn’t find out the sex then it would be a girl.

Whether my theory was scientifically based or not, it worked.

We finally had a girl!

I went into labor and everything proceeded without a hitch….

except…

she has arrhythmia.

Oh no! I finally got the girl I had been dreaming of for forever only to have a medical concern.

It wasn’t severe and she got to go home with me, but doctors did say she’d have to have another EKG in two weeks.

With lots of prayers, within that first couple of weeks she was cleared. The arrhythmia went away on its’ own. She proceeded to grow healthier.

She was a beautiful baby, hardly squeaked at all. She was happy most of the time, mostly only fussy when hungry or sick or needed changing. She got held. Alot. Being the only girl (besides me) in the house, she was doted on and spoiled by everyone.

At each of her check-ups since then she’s been healthy as a horse. She continued to grow. Soon enough she started crawling which -as we all know – leads to walking. She talks non-stop. Sadly, she has night terrors. Once she made up her mind to be potty trained, that was that. No accidents. No regressing. She’s active and funny and caring. She’s full of joy and love of learning. She’s interested in the world around her and loves to dance. She’s a little social butterfly with a very friendly disposition. She’s sweet and sassy and only she can be the little girl we all love.

My little girl is almost 7 and we are truly blessed.

More on this story @

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/08/23/murmurs-of-the-heart/

 

Life in General

Murmurs of the Heart

By definition, murmur is a soft sound made by a person or group of people.

ex. Eliza heard the murmur of the crowd inside the gymnasium as she drew closer to the door.

One can also reach a little further to conclude that when a person falls in love, the heart murmurs softly as that love reverberates through his/her soul. Maybe a little far-reaching, but hey, it sounds romantic enough and I am nothing if not a hopeless romantic ♄

But then we have something completely different when speaking of murmurs of the heart. These murmurs are scary.

Very scary.

A medical prognosis: Heart Murmur – sounds during the heartbeat cycle (such as swooshing or swishing) made by turbulent blood in or near your heart. Read here for more information because I really suck at explaining medical jargon. Basically, a heart murmur is a sound in the heart that shouldn’t be there, either considered an innocent murmur or an abnormal murmur. If innocent, the murmur can go away on its’ own or last a lifetime without ever causing further issues. If abnormal, the murmur could pose serious heart problems right away or later in life.

When I conjure up images of murmurs of the heart in my head, the images always have an aura of romance…cuz you know, that’s me.

Never in my wildest dreams did my daughters’ face appear before my eyes when I thought about murmur.

But alas, my little girl….my sweet, innocent little 6 y/o daughter so full of life and excitement is scheduled for an echocardiogram coming up soon in order to gain further understanding of the heart murmur (according to the doctor) discovered during her well child check-up.

And this mama is as nervous as all get out. You see, my sweet little girl was born with a heart arrhythimia. Thankfully, it went away within the first couple of weeks after she was born.

I have always considered myself pretty blessed in regard to my children’s health. Outside of my twins who spent 3 weeks in the hospital after they were born, none of my children have had any major medical concerns other than the normal ‘wear and tear’ of childhood: bumps, scrapes, bruises, a concussion, stitches, a couple broken bones…..none of these issues have been as serious as they could have been. I’ve been thankful for that. Very thankful.

Now……..

Now, I am completely inside out with worry.

So, I’m going to step outside of my ‘normal’ (I’m kind of an ‘in-house’ problem solver) and ask of all who read this

Please, please, please say a prayer for my little girl.

It would mean the world to us.

Thank you ❀

More on this story @

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/08/29/her-beginning/

Life in General

Yep. She Just Said That.

Standard.

Manual.

Stick shift.

Three on the tree.

Whatever you choose to call the vehicle that requires using a clutch, brake, and gas pedal. What you call it in your neck of the woods is just what it is. I grew up calling it a standard (if shifter was on the floor) and three on the tree (if shifter was located on the steering column), but that was in the south. In the north, I most often hear it referred to as manual or stick shift.

Okay, now that we’ve had a miniature english lesson…..moving on.

Automatic vehicles are what I learned to drive so I have stuck with automatics throughout my driving years. Many years ago, my mom had a vehicle –a standard Geo Metro — that I practiced driving a couple of times. It was way easy to drive though. And I haven’t driven a standard since then…about 14 years.

Recently, my husband has been ‘teaching’ me to drive a standard. Of course, I’m sure you are well aware of how ‘teaching’ to drive a standard is not really teaching at all. A person can explain when and what pedals to depress, but actually driving one requires practice. So basically, his teaching was: push the brake, push the clutch — it’s already in gear so release brake while engaging clutch and push the accelerator. It went reasonably well…..I don’t think I would necessarily say “I can drive a standard” because driving a standard in a field is much easier than driving a standard in a ton of traffic that is in the darn way! So, I ‘practice’ driving a standard.

The other day, I was ‘practicing’ driving a standard….in a field.

My husband leaves it in 1st gear and tells me to get in and follow him across the field where we needed to be….My 4 y/o daughter was with me….and she knows everything. Ask her, she’s not shy, she’ll tell you. Now, remember, the truck was in 1st gear so all I had to do was push the brake, engage the clutch, let off the brake, and push the accelerator (didn’t need to switch gears). As I let off the brake, the clutch didn’t fully engage so the truck died.

Yes, this very inexperienced standard driver killed the truck.

But….

Here’s the good part….

Remember, I told you, my 4 y/o daughter, very spunky, spirited 4 y/o daughter I might add, was with me. Remember also, that she knows everything. Just ask her 🙂

There I sat….

Killed the truck.

And what do I hear as I crank the truck again?

“Mom, just get out. I’ll do it! All you have to do is push that lever down!”………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

What?

Luckily, I didn’t have anything in my mouth (food/drink) because if I had, I would have choked on it. And I don’t need that repeat ER visit–another story, another day.

Umm, okay Miss Smartie Pants was my first thought and I just started laughing.

Yep. She Just Said That!

There we have it folks.

It’s official.

My 4 y/o spunky, spirited daughter knows everything.

And darn it…she can drive that standard 😉

Oh, you just gotta love these little people. She sure makes my world brighter ❀

Yes, it’s Tender Tuesday and this story just melts my heart.

Anything Goes, Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Motherhood, Wifehood

I Am Exactly That Girl……

Who I am now is not exactly who I used to be, but I Am Exactly That Girl.

I am exactly that girl who will stand up and take the side of the little guy even when the little guy is wrong just because he/she is the little guy. And everyone picks on the little guy!

I am exactly that girl who will fight for what I believe in even when it means proving that I am in the wrong because admitting our faults is (or at least should be) commendable.

I am exactly that girl who will love another with all my heart and soul through most anything. I say most because I haven’t been through everything that one can go through.

I am exactly that girl who will admit that I’m wrong after fighting for minutes or hours just to prove otherwise.

I am exactly that girl who will say what I think because thinking comes later although I am getting better at thinking first and controlling the urge to say exactly that.

I am exactly that girl who forgives over and over and over again only to forgive again. I can’t fathom a life in which forgiveness is withheld. They say to grant forgiveness to another is to make oneself feel better, more at peace. But (and it could be skewed), in my way of thinking, I forgive another not only because God forgives me, but also because –in some small way — it gives the other person the ability to grow the relationship. For instance, if I wrong my husband in some way for him to grant forgiveness to me, he is opening his heart to the Lord, but it also opens my heart to him again as well as to the Lord. Does that make sense?

I am exactly that girl who may not offer the most eloquent advice to another in times of need, but I will offer the kindest piece of advice that I can in hopes of making said person feel better. I am not knowledgeable in the ways of the world so my advice will seem like the small state of Rhode Island as akin to the large state of Alaska, totally dwarfed by more worldly people than myself, but you can bet whatever I do say comes from deep within my heart meant to make the other person feel better and aren’t just words to fill the void.

I am exactly that girl who will argue over absolutely nothing if I feel that another is trying to pacify me, but is not really hearing me. Oooh, that’s so frustrating.

I am exactly that girl who will get the stupidest grin/blank stare on my face, or just giggle at another in moments when I don’t know what to say in response because no matter what I say, it’s not going to do any good. Ask my husband, he will tell you. And it drives him nuts!

I am exactly that girl who will cry with happiness, laugh with nervousness, and get angry with hurt feelings. It’s all backwards!

I am exactly that girl who enjoys dancing in the rain, sitting outside in 90 degree heat, or listening to country music. All. Day. Long.

I am exactly that girl who looks at my children in awe that God blessed me as their mother. To explain, they are the blessing that I received.

I am exactly that girl who looks at the world with a child’s innocence, seeing everything with excitement for the first time. For example, my husband and I traveled to St. Louis a few years ago for a short stay and during this trip, I got to see Denver for the first time (a quick layover). And I was like a child in a candy store! Being in a city that size was exhilarating and eye-opening.

I am exactly that girl who makes a hasty decision which often times goes bust and is considered strike 1, or 2, or 10 until lesson learned. 10 may seem like a lot, and it very well may be, but sometimes, 10 is needed. No examples right off hand though 🙂

I am exactly that girl who carries more in my heart than anyone close to me will ever really know. What I am saying out loud is probably not even half of what is actually in my heart (feelings, thoughts, dreams, hopes, etc).

I am exactly that girl who may say a whole lot at times, but not really be saying anything at all or vice versa.

I am exactly that girl who will try to avoid confrontation with others (this doesn’t always pertain to family — I’m more mouthy with them).

I am exactly that girl who is shy until I get to know you then you can’t get me to shut-up.

I am exactly that girl who can be silly and weird, but serious and stern when needed.

I am exactly that girl who thinks the push, the fight for women’s rights has taken or forgotten the very heart of what makes us women, the very heart of what separates us from the male species to make us the equal of that same population. We are not meant to be a man’s equal in the way that it’s pushed. Women and men were created differently because the roles each sex fills requires the strengths or weaknesses of the sex it applies to. God created all humans equally in terms of His likeness, but He created male and female in order to populate the earth and to live the relationship of and as such as that of Christ and the Church. Quite simply, the two roles are not and not meant to be interchangeable. Appreciate God’s wisdom and gladly accept the role you’ve been given as you are the only one that can fulfill the duties of that role. Women are not less, women are not more than their male counterparts. They simply fulfill the demands of their given roles, as do men. If male and female roles were meant to be interchangeable then God wouldn’t have seen to it to create a male and a female.

I am exactly that girl who, through devotional readings and daily prayers, strives daily to be the kind of person that God created me to be, the very best version of myself.

I am exactly that girl who digs in her heels at the most inopportune moments for reasons that make no sense to another, but make all the sense in the world to me.

I am exactly that girl who is easy to get along with but just as hard to deal with once in a disagreement with.

I am exactly that girl who lives every aspect of life with the same gusto: emotionally charged and mentally relaxed. I am an intelligent person who can hold my own when needed, but excitement of me is not found so much in my intelligence as it is in my emotions. There are few things in this life that get me riled and most all of them stem from my relationships with others (the more important I consider the relationship, the more riled I get).

I am exactly that girl who is loyal to those closest to me. If you are someone I hold close to my heart (friend, family or even foe depending on nature of being foe), I am loyal to you regardless of how loyal you may be to me. My loyalty stems from my own beliefs of you, my faith in God, and of myself. Your loyalty to me has no bearing on that.

I am exactly that girl who keeps most, if not all, commitments that I make. I hate to let people down and I hate not following through on my word. If I have any doubt as to whether or not I can or will do something, rest assured I will not say that I can or will.

I am exactly that girl who will take what is said to me with a grain of salt from someone who doesn’t know me. I firmly believe that those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter, but more importantly, God matters at all times so what He minds always counts.

I am exactly that girl: that woman with all them kids, that friend who shows up unannounced just to make you feel better, that wife who is not perfect in any way but loves her husband with all her heart, that daughter who needs her mother during moments of heartbreak, that sister who will tell it like it is because sometimes that’s how it needs to be said, that child of God constantly asking for His forgiveness while seeking His love, and that girl who appreciates kind words, big hugs, and quiet time.

Yes, I am exactly that girl.

 

 

 

 

Exciting & Fun Creations, Life in General

Fun Photo Friday: Come and Gone

Giminy Crickets! I am late posting the fun photo for this past week.

Please forgive me for my absence. I have not been in the best of moods of late which has resulted in very minimal posts from me.

However, I meant to post a photo for Friday, but time just got away from me.

But, I guess it’s better late than never.

Fun Photo Friday: Sewing

My mother-in-law has been sewing since she was a young girl. She taught all of her children the basics of sewing — much applause to her and my father-in-law for raising such wonderful children. They even made a career out of her talent and have owned a sewing shop for more years than my husband and I have been together. A few years ago I made my first quilt with her teaching me. And now, quilting is a hobby that I enjoy very much (when I have time). This week’s photo focuses on my own daughter learning to sew. Just out of nowhere she came to me and said, “Mommy, will you teach me to sew a quilt?”

And lo, we now have a budding quilter in the house. As a quilter, I have a ton of fabric scraps that I’ve saved from quilts I’ve completed over the years. A quilter never gets rid of their stash! My daughter and I gathered some of the scraps (piece sizes vary — all different shapes and sizes) so she could start creating her very first masterpiece. Throughout the time that she has been practicing (today was the first day), she has sewn together quite a few pieces. A few times she got a little down because she messed up, but not completely out. I just reassured her that we all makes mistakes, mess up, have to restitch, and get crooked but we just fix it as best we can and keep moving along. I am by no means proficient at quilting as I have much to learn, but I am able to teach her the little that I know and maybe grandma can teach her what she knows, too.

All in all, I’d say we’re off to a pretty great start 🙂

lily sewing

Daily Encourgement, Life in General

Happy Father’s Day

Daddy,

Sounds funny to my ears when I say the word daddy. It’s much funnier for me to type it. I mean, I am 36 y/o and probably should be past that title by now. Wouldn’t you think? However, I proudly say that I am not. No matter how old I get, you will always be daddy.

Okay daddy, there’s something I like to say to you so can we talk for a minute?

Oh, thanks. I always love being able to have conversation with you. The other day you asked me why I always laugh when you talk to me about certain things. Daddy, I want you to know, I’m not laughing at you. I know it seems silly, or more importantly, it comes across as rude and disrespectful. For that I am sorry. I’d like you to know that I only laugh because sometimes, I just don’t know how to respond, but I do know whatever it is you are telling me in those moments is not only important, but also letting me know you better. It’s not often you share pieces of yourself (your hurt, your joys and your thoughts) so when you do, it means the world to me. I feel closer to you in those moments. You get riled, but you have a heart of gold and I know that you do. You also have a playful side, most notably when you’re picking on momma. I always know when it’s coming because you just get this devilish smirk, one I immediately recognize. Your signature grin, daddy. Makes me smile just thinking about it. Sometimes, the way I am reminds me of you. I can’t say for certain what it is, but the bond we share is unique to you and I. I love it. But it’s like that with each of us girls, you have a unique bond with all of us that sets each relationship apart from the other. I guess that’s how it’s meant to be, though.

When I was a little girl, I remember you being gone a whole lot. Of course, it was your job as you were and O-T-R truck driver, gone for weeks at a time. We just got so used to you being gone, it seemed strange when you were home. But I’ll tell you what,  when you did come home after those long hauls, strange or not, we were always happy to see you. My memories of those days consist of we three girls playing on the flatbed trailer with the wood floor. I remember prancing around in momma’s high heels feeling like a princess even though my clothes were stained, my feet were bare and dirty (you know, backwoods rednecks), and my hair was long, stringy, and always in my face. Dad, I have so many fond memories. It seems like only yesterday.

You know what was cool though, the breaks you’d take, the time off. You’d earn enough  during your time on so that you could take long breaks and we’d still get by. In those times, those breaks, you’d spend a lot of time us, mostly fishing or hunting, but that’s okay. As a little girl I wasn’t to into all that but I tagged along for whatever reason, mostly because you’re my dad. As an adult and as a parent, I see the importance of what you were doing, that time spent with us. I know you were trying to pass on the knowledge that you carried which was mostly outdoor activities. You had a knack for many things, a jack of all trades and master of most, to me anyway. You can create a beautiful work of art out of most any wood or metal or steel. You are handy with a fishing rod and a gun. I remember watching you clean the days’ catch. I can’t tell you what those skinning tools are called so I guess I’ll call them fish skinners, but I remember you’d cut the head off the fish, take the guts out, then you’d hold the fish somehow and pull the skin right off (taking the pants off you called it).

Do you remember when you told me that if you throw the head back in the water after you cut it off then the fish would grow back? Oh Lordy, did I believe you? Yes sir, I sure did. And how about those stinky deer hides or coon hides or whatever hides you had at the time that would sit rotting in a bucket or whatever was going on with them. I have no idea what the heck you were doing, but you knew exactly what you were doing. You knew how to preserve those hides and you sure could tan some leather. And boy, did you perfect your gardening skills! You can grow a right fine garden, dad. These days, I wish I would have paid more attention back then. It’d be nice to be able to grow a garden as pretty yours.

I don’t know if I’ve told you or how often if I have, but I’m proud of you daddy. I know you did the best you could by us. I know how much you love us and I know how much you love momma. I know you always have. I haven’t always understood yours and momma’s marriage, I still don’t, but I believe you need momma and momma needs you. It’s always been that way. Whatever it was, whatever it is, y’all were/are in it for the long haul. I know that now. You’re a wonderful man, daddy. When I met my hubby, when I seen how you and he got along together, I knew he was the one for me even though, I tried to pretend otherwise. I was scared, my heart was leery after the things that had happened prior to meeting my honey. He reminded me a lot of you. He’s smart, just like you. He’s as strong and he’s as dependable as you have always been. And he’s as honest as the day is long, just like you. He has that strong sense of integrity that you have . And he takes care of me, as you’ve always taken care of momma. It’s the same with the kids, just as you were with us. He works with his hands and he ain’t afraid to get dirty, same as you. He works way harder than he should sometimes, but you always did, too.

I guess, in a way, the old adage is true. Women look for traits of their father in the men they date and I think it’s the same for a man. Sometimes, he can be a hard man, daddy. He’s got lots of love in his heart, always a helping hand just the same you’ve always been. But, he’s a man and there’s a certain breed of men that don’t cater to those softer emotions, a category in which both you and he rest comfortably. That’d be my first pick of a man any day because those are the men that will do whatever it takes to support their family. Your strength of heart, of soul, of body and of mind is admirable. You taught me what to look for in a man. And I have to say, I am blessed to have you as my daddy. God knew exactly what He was doing when he brought you and momma together.

Which brings me back to meeting my hubby. He spent more time with you and momma in that first few months than he did with me because he enjoyed y’alls company, but also because I didn’t want to let my guard down. I’ll tell you what, though, I sure am thankful for that. Watching him spend time talking to you and momma helped me realize what kind of man he was and still is. He took the time to get to know you, get to know momma, and let y’all get to know him. He made me feel more special than any guy I’d ever dated. I knew I loved him then. Skip ahead a couple of years to my wedding day, when you and momma walked me down the aisle to give me away. It was one of the very best days of my life. It was absolutely perfect. Remember the high heels story when I felt like a princess? That feeling became reality on my wedding day. I’d waited on that day for a long time, dreamed about it for many years, and finally, my dream came true. You walked with me, arm in arm, to my husband, my best friend. Thank you, daddy, for making my dream come true. I hope you realize how much it means to me that you walked me down the aisle. I can still see the proud look on your face. That moment, that walk, I really felt like I did something right.

I’m going to tell you a little secret, daddy. A few years ago (and probably not the first time, but the most memorable time) momma told me that you wanted me to be a boy. Well, I wasn’t a boy, but I am your daughter and you taught me much. The secret, though, is that she told me you picked my name. I remember growing up how I always hated my name. As I matured in my mind, my name just became part of me, who I am and didn’t bother me anymore. When momma told me that day those few years ago that you chose my name, my  thoughts about my name changed. Suddenly, it wasn’t just a name. It is something of you and it made me feel closer to you.

As for boys, yeah, you never had any. It didn’t matter though. As I’ve mentioned already, you still taught us what you would have taught a boy…..hunting, fishing, gardening, roofing, whatever you knew how to do you tried to teach to us. Don’t be sad, daddy. What we didn’t learn was of our own volition, not for your lack of teaching. Now, I can only wish I’d paid better attention. Rest assured, though, that the knowledge you carry is going forward to the next generation because God has blessed me with five strong, healthy boys and you’ve bonded with two of them in a way that I know you would have shared with a son of your own. They love it, daddy. They love what you’re teaching them. They are so much like you and their dad. They have the same strengths that you and my hubby carry. Those two boys are truly to be appreciated, just like you and their dad. I know you don’t play favorites with them between their brothers or their cousins, you just bonded with them differently, on a different level. It’s pretty special, but all the grandbabies are.

What a wonderful family we have, daddy. And it all started with you and momma. Don’t worry.  I know that you do, but you don’t have to because this family, our family, is going to be fine. God is on our side. He’s strong that way and that’s where we all get our strength. The other day you mentioned about family being torn apart. We just have to have faith that God is with us and with His help, that won’t happen with our family. I get upset with our family (you, momma, sisters, kids) sometimes, but I won’t give up on anyone. You and momma taught me loyalty to family. Anytime I think about the possibility of our family getting separated again, it breaks my heart. It scares the crap out of me.

There’s a million more things I could say, might ought to say, but I’ll just say this:

I am extremely proud of you and appreciate all the things you’ve ever done for our family. I love you to pieces and wish you the very best Happy Father’s Day. I pray for many, many more.

daddy
Not the best quality picture, but Daddy, Momma, and Me

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