Reflections: Twenty-One Years
She came into this world on a Friday evening weighing just eight pounds. The first sound of her voice, a wailing cry, melted her momma’s heart; she waited for that melodic sound for nine long months. Their eyes met as she was gently placed on her mommas chest; a bond had been formed that in time would be tested but would overcome any and all adversity. It was Mother’s Day weekend, a first for both, one that would be the beginning of many more celebrations as parent and child. Their journey as a family began that bright springtime Sunday morning as they departed the hospital for home. It was Mother’s Day and she was the greatest gift her momma could have ever wished for.
They fumbled through those first few weeks and months as parent and child learning to dance that delicate dance of being vulnerable and being needed. Her momma, inexperienced in child rearing, devoted her time to taking care of her girls every need as best she could. She questioned her abilities at times but somehow managed to make it through each day successfully; some days more successful than others.
As time ticked by all too quickly that little girl climbed aboard a big yellow school bus and at age five began her own journey creating a love of education forging her own way; never letting anyone influence her way of looking at life or being anything other than her original self. Strong willed, independent, quick witted, determined, faithful and original in thought and action that curly red haired little girl managed to make her way through elementary, middle and high school graduating with honors and being accepted into a prominent university with desires to be a doctor; she will make a difference.
This week on May 7 that sweet little girl will turn 21 years old. She has grown into an amazing young woman with a heart filled with compassion, determination and a love that outshines most. Quite often her momma finds herself overwhelmed with pride as she now sits on the sidelines of her girl’s life allowing her to be the leader of her own journey. Once in a while when life throws her a curve ball she seeks out her momma for a listening ear, a wise word, a hug or a home cooked meal. Both realize that this 21 year journey is merely the beginning of a lifetime of learning and working to figure out life’s dance steps each working to avoid stepping on the other’s toes and learning to forgive when they do.
That beautiful little girl, now a 21 year old young woman happens to be my daughter Melinda Grace. She has filled my world with her own unique sense of style, humor, stubbornness, dignity and unconditional love. As I reflect on the many milestones we have reached together as parent and child I remember the moment when our eyes first met and our hearts synced together in a hospital delivery room creating for us a lifetime of experiences that are ours and ours alone. Filled with excitement for my girl as she prepares to finish her third year of college, a year that has been marred with personal struggles including a semester of sickness that she refused to let defeat her, I catch myself in awe of her strength and determination. Whether she is spending the night in the library studying, sharing a meal with a homeless man on the corner, dropping her loose change in the red kettles at Christmastime or spending four hours outside on a cool crisp spring night sharing her deepest thoughts with me I know that she is well on her way to great things. Knowing that my job as momma will never really be over I welcome my new role as an observer on the sidelines as my girl embraces her 21st birthday and the unending opportunities that lie ahead of her.
Happy Birthday Melinda Grace! You are my shining star, the beat of my heart and the greatest first Mother’s Day gift I could have ever wished for. Celebrating you now and always….
(a.k.a. Melinda’s Mom)
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!