Saturday, May 24, 2014

Happy 34th Birthday Brooke...

I am so very blessed to have a child that is not only my daughter, but a wonderful friend, an amazing wife and mother, and someone I admire more than anyone in the world.

Brooke wrote these words several months ago and I was given a gift when I read her words.  I would like to share them with you so that you can understand the incredible gift I have been given in being able to call Brooke my daughter.

These are her words.  Happy Birthday Boogie!

I love you with all my heart,

You Were There
by Brooke Meabon

Wee hours of the morning.  The sun has yet to make it’s appearance.  Here I stand, pacing with a crying baby on my hip, exhaustion overwhelming me.  But suddenly I get a glimpse of thirty years ago and know you were there, doing the same with me.  My memory can’t recall the exact scene but I can feel it with every inch of my own motherhood.  I see you Mom, see you in your twenties as you had the same sleepless nights with me in your arms. 

My hearts swells as my sweet littles bobble and bound towards me.  I am filled with pride as they conquer those first steps. “You can do it!” I exclaim.  Once again, the feeling that you were here, coaxing and cheering me on with my first steps.  I see you Mom, a younger version of yourself, bent down calling me towards you.

Sunlight trickles in through a bedroom window and your face appears above me, smiling, delighted to see me.  Earliest memories are you, Mom.  I see you and I know I am safe.

Hurt feelings and tears as I sit on my bed, left out by the other girls. “Why would they leave me out Mommy?”  And the comfort of your arms wrapped around my shoulders.  I feel you Mom, and I know you are there beside me.  

Sick day and feeling crummy.  Fever and chills hitting my body. The only person who could make the cold compress just right, who would hold back my hair while my little body heaved over the toilet, who would clean up after the mess the flu would leave.  I see you Mom, I feel the comfort of your arms.

Dance recitals, 5th grade speeches, cheerleading tryouts. My eyes scan the audience.  Nervousness of performing in public has my heart beating hard, until my eyes find your face in the crowd, beaming, proud, clapping and cheering louder than anyone else...always.  I hear you Mom.  I see you cheering. 

It’s Saturday morning and I’m twelve years old. I hear heavy voices, I hear sobbing, I hear heartache.  My dad is leaving, you are stunned.  But what do I see? Concern for me, my feelings, my brothers feelings. I feel your pain Mom.

Worry lines, strained phone calls to the bank behind closed doors, scribbled notes of numbers. All smiles to us, ensuring we never feel the strains of the pennies in the bank account, scrounging by to ensure the bills are paid, sacrificing any luxury for yourself so that we won’t go without.  I see your struggles, Mom, and I see your sacrifices.  

Joy, giddiness, excitement, finding love again. I watch as the relationship between you and Steve develops and blossoms into a love I had never seen in you before.  The care you take as you introduce us to each other, the tiptoeing to ensure that this relationship isn’t just best for you but best for us.  The pure elation on your face on the day of your wedding when I stood beside you.  I see your joy, Mom, and I feel your happiness.  

Late nights as you lay awake waiting for me to come home - a teenager pushing the limits. The tension in your face as you hand over the keys to the car. The anxiety as I walk out the door hopping in the car with a brood of rowdy friends.  I see you Mom, and I know too soon, I will also know this anxiety. 

Tears again as I realize I’m saying goodbye to all I’ve ever known and taking steps into adulthood. Your excitement for me but your heartache as we set up my dorm room.  You and Steve climb in the car to head home, seven hours away.  I watch you as you drive away Mom, and you tried to be tough but I noticed the sobbing shoulders heaving.

I did it!  They want me!  I’m hired and it’s my first, real job. My first phone call is to you.  And I hear my happiness echoed on the other end of the phone, as it always is.  I hear you Mom, and I know you are proud.

Months of planning, no detail too small, ensuring the day is perfect. I put on my wedding gown and prepare to walk down the aisle. You are there beside me and I reach for your hand.  I feel you there Mom.  

Heartache once again.  You go from wife to caretaker as the love of your life slowly fades from healthy and capable to sick and needy.  Sleepless nights, exhaustion of nursing your sick husband as the brain cancer steals him away.  Watching him slip from our lives and watching you transition into this new title of widow. I feel your pain Mom and my heart breaks right alongside yours as we lose our precious Steve.

And once again joy, a love we share equally but one for the babies my own body will carry. You blossom in this role of grandmother or “Honey”. Special secrets, a safe place for these precious treasures of mine, a comfort as they begin their own memories with you from the beginning.  I see you Mom, and I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side.  

Brooke's 4th Birthday

Birthday Years of Brooke

Wonderful Years with Brooke
Such a Precious Mommy

and yes, I will always by your side...