Archive for the ‘daughter’s love’ Tag
Two years have come and gone since I first posted this article. I have a deep feeling of sadness today on this anniversary and wish to honor the memory of those who died on that tragic September morning now 12 years ago. God will find a way to use each life lost as a testimony. Long live their memories and legacies.
There is so little left unsaid regarding the tragic events of 9-11-01… But I feel that my heart still weeps and wants to be heard. As I watch this video that is a daughter’s tribute to her father lost on that day, I cry for her and for the times of her life that he missed. It is touching and sweet. I too lost my father this year and can certainly identify with a daughter’s pain and the immense loss (https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/holding-daddys-hand-forever/). But this loss was so diverse… so widespread. It was personal for so many yet so public. The morning of September 11. 2001 I lived in Northern California and woke abruptly as if someone was shaking me…but I was alone. My mind said “turn on the TV!” Almost like a scream in my head. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I watched as the second tower imploded. It was as if I was watching a movie instead of a live feed on the morning news! I was paralyzed with grief… for the people involved, for our brave firefighters and police and really for our country. Was this deliberate? What was next? Who would be the next target? I quickly called my daughter who was in college in San Diego. Admittedly she let the phone ring many times before she answered it…. she knew it was just “Mother”…. what now Mom? She said I “always” called. That morning was different. I told her quickly “turn on the news”…. She was a horrified as I was to see what was unfolding. In retrospect… I’m sure there are many 20 year olds that wish their parents could have called them that morning! We share a deep bond regarding the events of that day and talk about how it changed us.
I walked around in a daze for days. Unable to put the events into anything that I could get my head around. So senseless. So tragic. I was left with a feeling of helplessness like I am sure so many fellow Americans were. And ten years later I really am not sure I have yet come to grips with the enormity of it all. I still cry when I see the images and the touching tributes. Just last night I watched the movie “Remember Me” and wept. Please take time to watch this movie… then go and hug your kids and tell them you love them! We have today…and tomorrow is not promised. If the events of September 11, 2001 taught us anything… it taught us that one fact!
I read and enjoyed this quote recently:
“Being a mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my
field, since the payment is pure love.”
~Mildred B. Vermont
It’s fitting that I write about my only child’s only child on the occasion of her second birthday!
Honestly… before I became a Grandmother, I thought “What is the BIG deal?” When my friends who had become grandparents prior to me would go on… and on… and ON about their kid’s kids… again I would say “What is the BIG deal?” (if only to myself!). I now know what the big deal is. It is joy at it simplest. It is unmeasurable happiness. It is a vulnerable love that opens your heart and reminds you of the sweetest memories that are tucked way back in your mind… twenty… thirty years old or more.
When Marissa was first born I would sit and hold her, looking deep into those beautiful brown eyes. One day I just began to weep as I held her. The love overflowed and came out in the form of tears… guessing it had to go somewhere! This immense love washed over me and I felt that I truly “got it” that day.
I remember the beautiful connection I had with my Grandmama. Having lost her some 28 years ago at age 27 I should have to dig deeply to pull up the memories of my times with her… but I do not have to dig at all. They are here on the surface of my soul. I was lucky enough to spend many summers with her in her small rural town…even though we lived about 400 miles away in a big city. She taught me the lost arts of quilting, cross-stitch, and crocheting. We made clothes from the left over Pajama Factory remnants that she inherited from a close friend. She taught me to cook, bake and canning. I learned when and how to pick beans and other vegetables from their small but bountiful garden. I had cold biscuits and gravy (cold by my choice) which my Grandmama had made from scratch every morning at about 4 am prior to my Grandaddy’s departure to work as a carpenter. She let me sleep until I wanted to get up which as I recall was typically about 9 am. My memory of bedtime is amusing. Since my grandparents arose so early… they would literally “go to bed with the chickens”! So before the sunset had time to sink into the night… I was expected to be asleep. What? It’s light out…. I’m 12! Nobody I know goes to bed that early! So I chuckle as I re-live the memories of TRYING to go to sleep before 8 pm.
Grandmama Bessie –
She would say “If it don’t love… don’t make it eat it” (we -the grandchildren- were the “it” she was refering to… so spoiled WE WERE!)
The tight bond between Grandparent and Grandchild. Is it because the years of parenting make us more grateful for the little things? I know that since I have become a grandmother, a “Gigi” to be exact, I have enjoyed precious moments with my granddaughter… as if I really didn’t know how to enjoy them the first time around as a Mom. I guess God gave me a “do-over”. I think I did pretty good the first time… kind of like taking a class and getting a “C+” or maybe a “B-” the first time around… then re-taking the class like 25 years later and getting an “A+”. Funny how a little life under your belt helps your perspective. Maybe realistically I have a Degree in Mothering and a Masters in Life 101. That is the “it” that I needed to get to…
So I hope when Marissa Gray turns 25 she will be blogging (or who know WHAT they will be doing by then!) about her crazy “Gigi” who she has shared many countless wonderful fun filled days with and from whom she has learned much. I hope that I can impart some of my wisdom in her so that maybe her road to happiness will have less bumps and more downhill coasts! One Gigi can only hope.
I love you Marissa. Happy Birthday angel. And to my daughter Alissa, I love you and thank you for giving me this precious gift. Being a “Gigi” fits me JUST RIGHT!
My new friend who is a blogger, husband and 31-year-old father, T.J. Brown, has written a post recently entitled “The Sad Story of My Creation” http://thomasjohnbrown.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/the-sad-story-of-my-creation/. I was heartbroken for him as he told of his parents decision to have him and then tell him (his whole life) that he was a “mistake”! I was so appalled by this that I was compelled to comment on his post and that has resulted in the development of a sincere friendship. My respect for him is enormous as he works through the pain that this has caused him to this day. He blogs to air his feelings and “get it out”. This is a brave journey that T.J. has accepted and I am very thankful that our paths have crossed. His very supportive wife, Amber, comments on his every post and I can tell that there is much love and support for him through their relationship.
We as parents have an IMMENSE effect on our children and the kind of adults they will be! Words are weapons. Words are powerful especially being uttered by one’s own parent. The harsh words of “you were a mistake” can only serve to debilitate a child from developing in any sort of normal way! Why would a parent want that for their child? As I said in my response to him (in part): “I am so appalled that parents could describe a child’s creation as a “mistake”. Honestly adults need to own up to their actions and stop the blame game… it was not the car load of people (regardless of race) or the missed birth control which is at fault here. The truth is, it seems, that your parents chose to have “divorce sex” as you call it and created another precious human being. I believe that God allows the people that are suppose to be born to be conceived and are allowed to live. Each life has meaning and teaches us lessons as parents. Your attitude is commendable. Please keep believing that you are special and NOT a mistake. You have the touched my life with this post and that is no mistake!”
I went on to tell him about someone who I worked for many years ago. She was told by her parents that she should have been aborted! Just knowing that her parents wished that she had never been born affected her daily existence and made her a very bitter and angry individual. It seemed to me that she was always looking to hurt others the way she was hurt. I may not be a Psychologist but I am smart enough to know that what we say to our children is carried throughout our lives. Unless we go through the long and arduous process of “reprogramming those tapes” in our minds… that is what plays over and over…. and over!
My story is a different from T.J’s as daylight is from darkness! My parents were married 13 years before my birth. My oldest brother was born about 13 months into their marriage and then there were 11 years of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant with a second child. Eleven long year of being told that she was barren and may never have another due to complications that arose during the difficult birth of my brother. Imagine the happiness that they felt as they were finally able to tell their 12-year-old son that he was FINALLY going to be a big brother! That May my mother attended a local festival featuring a beautiful Queen and her court riding the “Strawberry Festival” float (a very big event in 1955!). Someone on that float had the name “Janiece”, I assumed it was the Queen but have never been able to confirm. I was told that my mother said “Oh if I have a girl I’m going to name her “Janiece”. I never met the person for whom I was named but always wondered if I could someday tell her that story. I was born about 4 months later… I was 3 weeks early and my parents had to travel from a rural Tennessee county about 90 miles away from Memphis to get to the hospital. Because of her complications she had a special doctor. They made it in time… No two parents were ever more proud to welcome their new baby girl… after over a decade of waiting.
When I was 18 months old their Christian strength was tested. I became very ill and was admitted to the hospital. The doctors told them to prepare for the worse. They said they had done all they could and that it was in the Lord’s hands. My mother used to tell me of how they kneeled at the foot of my hospital crib and prayed that God would spare my life if it was “His will”.
I was one sick little girl but the antibiotics and fluids that they administered had given me the strength to pull out of the sickness. Iwas a fighter. Never gave up. My parents, both devout Christians, dedicated my life to the Lord then and there. I have scars in my forehead and my ankle that remind me of this story. As a huge happy surprise they welcomed another addition about a year later… my little brother! I have what I like to call a “brother sandwich”! 😉
MY BROTHER SANDWICH
(Left – Johnny, my oldest brother, me and my “baby” brother David – right)
Both my parents are no longer living but I can still hear my mother’s voice as she would recount how eternally grateful they both were that the Lord had spared my life. I always felt VERY special knowing that my parents desperately wanted me and then almost lost me…and then gratefully dedicated my life. They were wonderful examples of what a parent should be. I thank God daily that I had them in my life as shinning examples. And of course I miss them both terribly… Mom for 25 years and Dad only this year gone. You can read my memorial tribute to them here: https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/its-been-25-years-today-mom-i-still-miss-you/ and https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/holding-daddys-hand-forever/.
It occurred to me that the story of my creation could not be further from that of T.J. We had very different welcoming committees. Mine was very much like a ticker tape parade and his was vastly different. Yet be both ended up blogging and sharing. We ended up having our paths cross because of these differences. We ended up as friends. Thank you T.J. for your inspiration. I wish you all the best on your journey.
Photo credit: http://iamachild.wordpress.com/category/wilbur-lawrence/
For “Be My Guest Thursday” I have chosen a VERY special guest blogger! My daughter Alissa! About six months ago she wrote a beautiful letter describing her baby’s first experience with the fall leaves. Marissa was about 14 months old then. This poignant piece is insightful from a new mother’s perspective.
Since this week was Mother’s Day and if it weren’t for her….I wouldn’t Mom or a Grandmommy (“Gigi”)…. I thought it would be a great time to share this with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I love you, Alissa…. ALWAYS have…and ALWAYS will! I am so proud of the Mom that you have become. You are the sweetest gift God every gave me… and now I think you know how that feels!
Life’s Leaves by Alissa Gray McQuaig
“My Sweetest Marissa,
Today I thought I’d take you outside for a few minutes to see that Fall had arrived. You took a few steps, looking around at what I could guess would be all the bright beautiful colors around you. Just as you like to have a cracker in each hand, you gently picked up two leaves amongst the hundreds lying around you. You continued to walk around, even took the hill in our driveway with ease. “Yeah you did it!” I said. Beaming with joy as if you had climbed Mt. Everest, still clutching the leaves. One brilliant red, the other was brown. They had cracked a little in your tiny hands. We said goodbye to Daddy, he was in his car at the street. You reached your hands out to him, as to show off those leaves. I wonder what you said to him? As I carried you back to the house I had to slowly pry away the brown leaf from your right hand, you started to chew on it. “Oh no Marissa, that’s nasty” I said. The red leaf was getting smaller from the pieces that had broken off. But you were clutching it, as if it was the only leaf that you would ever touch, smell or crumble in your hands. “Oh Marissa” I said, “there will be plenty of leaves for you to play with. This isn’t the only one baby”. Your eyes welled up with water, just as mine are right now. Your head was thrown back and your bottom lip pushed out as far as it would go. One pretty red leaf, broken into about 20 pieces, as I took the last crumble from your tiny hands, I nuzzled my face in your neck and told you that you didn’t have to hold on so tight to this leaf and it was okay baby. I love you my Pookie Boo!
Not 30 seconds in the house you had forgotten about the leaf which lay in our garage. You were off to play with your next toy. But it stuck with me, as much as I wanted to for you to understand that it was okay, that you could let go of it, I was also amazed at just how innocent you are. You don’t know how many leaves you will encounter in your life. One day those leaves may be a friend, a special toy, a dream of what you want to be, a pet, a boy in school. As much as I don’t want you to hold on too tight to the first one, I hope you will always embrace life’s leaves with the sweet innocence of a child and remember, if you hold too tight, it will crumble in your hands.
With eternal love,
Marissa with Alissa
From the minute we are born, our Daddys hold our hands. Mine did. My father passed away about a month ago. He had been very ill for quite a long while. His death was really was not a surprise and we had not had much face time in the past few years… living about 500 miles apart. I’ve had a question on my mind since the day that he took up residence in his heavenly home… “Can a little girl learn to let go of her daddy’s hand?” Even if she’s not so “little” anymore?
My father was a really an amazing example of what a “Daddy” looks like. He was in his 30s when I was born…about 13 years into my parents marriage. By all accounts, I was the “apple of his eye” and the only daughter… you know…”Daddy’s girl”! I have wonderful memories of this man but most of them are about turning points. Turning points in my life when a girl can only hope and pray that she has a daddy to go to. A Daddy to lean on. A Daddy to confide in. You know…someone to hold your hand.
When can a man who fathers a baby be considered a “daddy? My short answer is…. when he is committed to holding his daughter’s hand. At birth, at pre-school, at middle-school, at high school, at graduation, at your wedding day and ultimately in the autumn of his life. By many people’s standards my Daddy was a successful man….self-made…. and an absolute joy to be around (how many people can say that?) but my definition of successful is somewhat different from most. I ask “Was his life spent emulating good things to his children? Was he there in the times of tough decisions to counsel and help us through? Did he hold my hand every time I needed my Daddy? Resounding “YES HE DID”. Thank you Daddy for being the best father a girl could have ever dreamed of having. I know you will be holding my hand still today, tomorrow and forever!
I found some amazing pictures that describe he closeness of father and daughter…without any words. I am filled with thankfulness for the contribution.
Little girl and her father were crossing a bridge. The father was kind of scared so he asked his little daughter, "Sweetheart, please hold my hand so that you don't fall into the river." The little girl said, "No, Dad. You hold my hand." "What's the difference?" Asked the puzzled father. "There's a big difference," replied the little girl. "If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go. But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go."
In loving memory of John Todd- My Daddy. June 6, 1923- January 23, 2011