Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dear Daughter - Why Did You Turn Out This Way?

Dear Daughter:  Looking at you I see reflections of myself.  I see my youth, my aspirations, my passions and parts of my personality.  I am amazed when I look at you and realize I had a small part in forming who you are; that pleases me.  You are more than I ever hoped to be.  I thank God to have had some influence in your life decisions. My precious, beloved daughter - the bottom line is you never cease to amaze me at what an incredible, intelligent, beautiful, gentle, wise and humorous woman you are.  I am proud to call you friend and even prouder to call you daughter.
@BatteredHope Rochelle and Carol Graham
Rochelle at two

When you were three you wanted to ride your tricycle on a deck without railings and I warned you, even threatened you not to do it.  Your personality was not rebellious but you knew that you had to try.  You determined to take the risk and prove me wrong.  You took the risk but did not prove me wrong.  Unfortunately, you fell off the deck and landed square on your nose.  It hurt.  A lot.  You learned your lesson.

As a little girl you showed courage and wasn't afraid to try anything new.  You even held your big brother's hand when he was afraid of the dark although he was five years older than you. You were always ready to help and quick to share.  

Your love for animals was/is your passion. I thought you would become a veterinarian but quickly realized you would never be able to handle watching animals suffer.  Instead you began rescuing any and all critters that needed a helping hand or love. Today you have five dogs, a cat, sheep and goats.
@BatteredHope  Rochelle and her animals
You care for the livestock as if they were your pets -- but then.....they are.  You cry when they hurt. You discipline them as a parent.  

Since you were very young your peers and even their parents gravitate to you for counsel. You are wise beyond your years. You have a way of looking at life from all perspectives and give advice accordingly.  You are open-minded and weigh each situation carefully and do your research before making a decision or offering suggestions.  

You have a compassion that runs deep; and because you have been through many tough circumstances in your life, you can empathize with people who need you to understand in order to help them through their own situations.  You feel their pain and weep with them but know how to encourage and give them strength.

You are always quick to respond if someone needs help and if you can't help them, you will not stop until you find a way to offer assistance.  

You call me everyday -- "Just checking in, Mom.  Making sure everything is okay."  You are the one who goes out of her way to support and encourage your parents in every way possible and blesses them with awesome gifts.....regularly.

I asked your dad if he wanted to add anything to this post and he said that you have always been level-headed and sensitive.  You weigh your decisions carefully and thoughtfully.  

The young man you chose to marry is as unique as you are having many of the same qualities.  We could not have hoped for a better son-in-law in any respect.  He, too, has a passion for animals and family and is a loving, caring father and husband. No matter what problem he encounters, he will find a solution. He is self-sufficient, resilient and maybe just a little bit stubborn!

When you attended Gemological Institute of America in California, not only did you graduate as the youngest student in their history, but you aced the final exam - 100% FIRST TIME you took the exam for your Graduate Gemologist Degree.  The cost of taking the exam is several thousand dollars each time you take it but you only get seven chances. Was this mom proud!   I remember one jeweler who took it all seven times and still did not pass.  

Watching you raise many critters and taking the time to teach them unusual tricks assured me of what type of mom you would be.  You are an awesome mother.

When I see the wisdom you use in rearing your son from the day of his birth, I realize your unique insight into children and what you need to do to help form them into successful, stable people.  You understand and implement discipline as needed.  You do not make excuses for your son's behavior. You are patient.  You are kind.  You are strict, yet fair. You understand that what happens now will reflect on his life forever.  

You are not overly protective but encourage him to take chances and make wise decisions as well.  

I never believed in putting the blinders on to any negative behavior seen in my children.  I didn't make excuses for them but made them responsible for their own actions.  Often this was discipline in and of itself.  

@BatteredHope  Carol GrahamYour sensitivity to what your friends and family need is outstanding and nothing short of remarkable. You think of ways to make them feel special.  One example would be the gala affair you gifted us on our fortieth wedding anniversary.  It was the wedding we never had and you made every aspect of it over-the-top.  I will never forget it as it was a major highlight of our marriage.  It was your idea and you spared no expense to make it memorable.

You have lost much in your life including people who you loved dearly.  You have endured deep pain that even your mommy could not prevent from happening.  It is my job to protect you but I have not been able to always do that. I weep with you but also know it has made you stronger.  Instead of pitying yourself you rise above any negativity that has come across your path.  
You Are A Walking Miracle

You were not supposed to live.  You were given a slim chance of being conceived and then an even smaller window to be born normal.  You were supposed to weigh in at less than two pounds but was born six weeks early a whopping SIX pounds, SIX ounces.  The list of things that was supposed to be wrong with you was quickly destroyed when you were a TEN out of ten. Perfect score.  

How could words ever describe what I feel?  It is not possible.  I look at you and wonder what I ever did to be so blessed, so fortunate to have a daughter like you. You are
unequaled, unparalleled, extraordinary and exceptional.  That should almost cover it!

The greatest part of that statement is that I am not alone in that belief.  Anyone who meets you quickly sees your attributes.

I will continue to observe you and be proud of who you have become and who you will be.  I love you to the moon and back.


Photo courtesy of slopeofhope

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