Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
I want to take some time to thank the good Lord and recognize my daughters. We have been very blessed with our precious children, but it hasn't always been easy. We've always loved each other, but there were times they didn't like us very much and I know it was mutual. Growing up is hard and kids want to have control over their lives, comings and goings, decisions, etc. Parents want to save them from serious mistakes and unfortunately, we aren't always able to accomplish that. But there is one thing that I know for sure. Parents can't go where kids choose to go sometimes, but God never leaves them and he uses every experience they have to create a beautiful person.
One of those beautiful people is our eldest, Jamie. She has come full circle and all of her precious traits she had as a child were formed together with all the experience that God used. When the direction she was going was not where she ultimately wanted to be, she decided (after we offered) to come home and go back to school to finish her teaching degree. Though a gifted graphic designer, her heart is in education, especially history and literature. She felt bad starting over, but she didn't know at the time that it was God directing her home because we needed each other. That was a month or so before Allen's stroke. She has been such a blessing... She spent many hours talking to and reading to, praying for and singing to her Daddy. She believed God and wouldn't let go of the fact that God wasn't finished with Daddy on earth, that he was going to raise him up so he could testify to God's goodness and miracles. Spiritually, she has held me up, prayed, encouraged. Emotionally, she made sure I didn't have to carry any more than I had to. And physically, she has kept the house going, kept Erin doing her school work and has reorganized and accomplished so many repairs and remodels that also encourages my soul. All this, while keeping her online classes up, too. I will never be able to tell her how much her just being here has meant to me, plus all the help she has provided. Thank you, Jesus, for my firstborn.
Our second, who was the baby for 15 years, is Christy Anne (or as my momma called her- Christy-annity). Christy is my researcher. She has spent countless hours getting information for us for Allen's care in hospitals and other facilities, talked to many people on the phone and kept up with all of our bills until I could take it over. She was willing to take it indefinitely, but she has done all this while preparing for and going to college, taking care of our grandbaby and son-in-love and living 1/2 hour away. Besides that she would lie on the bed with me and hold me when I cried, like both the other girls did. She understood from the depths of her soul the loss I was feeling, especially when I thought the Lord would be taking Allen home to heaven. Losing our precious Baby Bear tore her apart as the Lord mended her back together with words of understanding and feeling that makes her able to help others carry their heartbreak. She knows how to keep standing when God says, "No." And then without a doubt, I appreciate that she brought more love into our home with Peter and Betsy. God didn't give me a son by birth, but he was chosen. Betsy, she is such a precious treasure to spread such happiness like star dust. Thank you, Jesus, for my secondborn.
Our baby, who is not a baby anymore, is Erin. We waited many years for God to bless our lives with her. She has many traits similar to Jamie and Christy, but she is her own person, too. Just her presence held me up. She was hopeful when I felt hopeless. She helped me to know that no matter what happened, even if the Lord took Daddy home, we would be all right. She stayed with me, distracting me when I needed distractions, helping me with whatever I needed as I needed it. I could compare her to a comfortable pillow, you know, the one you take with you wherever you travel. You can't rest without it. She's not a mattress that carried me weight. She was where I put my head to rest and be comforted. Thank you, Jesus, for my baby.