Happy Birthday, Lisa

June 26, 2013

Today is your 44th birthday. I probably should not announce that to the world; it could damage your game. Plus, after all, I still feel like I should be 44. But alas, I am not. The day you were born I was 23 years old. Your Dad and I had been married 4 years. You were born two weeks before your due date. Probably the last time you ever were early. Your nursery was ready. Little ducks on curtains hanging in a yellow room. (Pre-ultra sound sex discovery!!) Blue scatter rugs and a white rocking chair with a lime green pillow cushion. Plenty of cloth diapers and Q-Tips, which I never quite understood how to use. I had never held a baby before you were born. I felt completely inept and if I am honest, scared. Amazing to me that a good hospital like Wilson Memorial would send a baby home with someone like me. Thank God you had a Dad who had done a lot of babysitting in his youth. He knew how to hold you and change your diaper. He sang “Dixie” to you. Perhaps not politically correct, but it put you to sleep most every time he sang. When you had colic, he was the one who paced with you. Did I say I was inept? In lots of ways; you spit up on me frequently to let me know. But not in the singing-to-sleep part. My lullaby of choice was “This Is My Father’s World.” All verses, thanks to Mrs. Salisbury, my Sunday School teacher. “All nature sings and ‘round me rings the music of the spheres.” At 24 I am not sure I knew what “spheres” were, but I sang anyway. You seemed to like it. I don’t even know if Lisa remembers the song, but I do. And I remember how she felt in my arms at six pounds, eleven ounces and all the pounds up to where she did not want to be held and sung to anymore. Lisa was the most beautiful baby in the nursery. Her head was shaped perfectly. No hair, for almost two years, but beautiful and perfect fingers and toes. At 44, she still is beautiful, a most beautiful person inside and out. She has grown up with a heart as big as all the world, a mind that captures most details, a mouth that could compete with most all who sail the seven seas, and a love for life and all creation, family and critters everywhere that sets her in the company of the saints. The blessing of family and especially our children is one of God’s greatest gifts. Tom and I have been blessed with two amazing children whose lives have rippled out into marriage and grandchildren whose lives grace and bless us more than we could have even imagined 44 years ago. We may not be a perfect family, and certainly we are not perfect people, even that baby of mine now full grown. But today, I count it all good, all thanksgiving, all praise that Almighty God has granted me such privilege to be a parent to such a wonderful daughter. I give thanks for her life, for all the contribution she is making to the building up of good in the world, and for all the ways she blesses me. My soul magnifies the Lord, for he has made me a mother, and given me a daughter whose birth I give thanks for today. Amen.

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