Monday, May 11, 2009

The Second Forty

Today, my second born, my daughter Dee, turns forty. She doesn't look it. She's beautiful and smart. She's talented and manages to accomplish much through what often seems like chaos to me. She's a loving mother who does her level best to make sure her girls have all the opportunities that other children have and that they get to experience the things they want to try in life.

Forty years ago today was a Sunday, in fact it was Mother's Day 1969. It snowed a bit that year on that day in east central Indiana... slushy wet flakes that didn't stick, couldn't stick to ground already warmed by spring sunshine. Dee's entrance into our world was marked with hesitation, as if she were unsure if she was ready to join us on the outside. We made three trips to the hospital before we stuck around and finally greeted our baby girl.

She's determined, sometimes stubborn and often makes things harder on herself than they have to be but then, she comes by that honestly. Most of the time, it is because she is trying to do more than is humanly possible. Most of the time, it is because she sets goals and has aspirations far beyond what the rest of the world tries to accomplish. Most of the time it is because she is trying to be everything to everybody else. The amazing part to me, is how often she is able to do exactly what she sets out to do.

I recently read an excerpt from Maya Angelou's Letter To My Daughter (dedicated to the daughter she never had) that touched me.
I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.

We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.
If this is so, I hope that the home that was built for you is a safe place to come to and that when you go inside yourself to find that home that you know you were loved and cared for and prayed for and wished for. I have no doubt that you are building that haven for your own three girls to go to when their adult days may overwhelm them and they simply want to go home.

I've searched my hard drive in vain to find pictures that I might want to use with this post. I never found the particular one I was looking for or that I haven't already used on previous posts. I know the girls are taking you to Macaroni Grill tonight for dinner so I am hoping that a good picture will come from that event and that one of them will forward it to me to tack onto this post later today. Until then, here's one that I like that.

All that remains to say is that I love you Dee.

Happy Birthday!

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Blogger Gill said...

What a lovely, moving post for your daughter's birthday. Beautifully worded. Hope Dee had a wonderful birthday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 4:00:00 AM CDT  

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