Happy Birthday Jamie
As hard as it is for you to say, “I’m 40!”, it is even more difficult to say that about your child. To know that forty years have passed since the day I gave birth to you and found a whole new reason for being astonishes me. How did we get here so quickly?
Forty years ago tonight, your dad drove me to
screaming at him, telling him, “Stop!” and like an idiot the loving husband he was, he was actually going to stop the car! “No, don’t stop the car. Stop this from happening! Stop the pain!” He could do neither. We had set the course in motion months before and it wasn’t going to change now. That night I became a mother.
You were 3 pounds and 12 ½ ounces of pure beauty. You were so tiny, yet still perfect in every way. You had all ten toes and ten little fingers and the gorgeous eyes were there from the beginning. Why you were so small I will never know for sure. You were full term and perfectly formed - just small. There were no ultrasounds then, only external measurements which gave us no pause for concern. Your heartbeat was strong throughout the pregnancy and again, nothing in your development gave us an indication that you would not leave the hospital with me the day I went home. My heart broke the day I had to walk away from you and leave you in that place in the care of strangers. I left believing it would be at least a month or two before I would get to hold you in my arms. It took little more than two weeks for you to make the five pound mark required before your dad and I could bring you home.
Watching you grow was one of the greatest delights of my life. Your first tooth, your first steps, your first day of school are etched in my memory forever. Even as a child you had an amazing ability to get along with people. I admired that quality in you even then. You had such a close and loving relationship with Granny, that for the first time in my life, I truly missed not having grandparents that I could be close to. You were so close to Dee and John, even when you were all just being kids and arguing or whatever, you were obviously a big sister that they could depend on and look up to. You were a peacemaker as a child and still carry that trait in you today.
Seeing you as a woman, watching you handle some of the most difficult and heartbreaking circumstances a woman can face, makes me so proud of who you grew up to be. It’s not just the obvious challenges that you’ve faced that make me admire you. It is how you’ve adapted to every change in your life... always with grace, always with humor and with an acceptance of life as it comes. I am so proud of the person you are and I wouldn’t give up the forty years I’ve had as your mother for anything. I wish for you to enjoy every single moment of the rest of your life and to know how much I love you and respect you. I am thankful that Anna and Kayla have such a wonderful model in their lives.
I wish I could be physically present with you tonight but once again I have to be content with leaving you in the care of others. You will always be my baby Jamie.
I love you!
(now playing: In My Daughter's Eyes by Martina McBride)
through the years