Tag Archive | gratitude

My Little Girl

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In my life I have been lucky enough to have had many amazing people walk through my world. There are however very few that I would say that I really look up to in such a way that I strive to be like them. In the handful of those amazing souls my two amazing daughters are at the top of that list. Some people might think it a little backwards for the parent to look up to their children, I just think it means that as a parent I did my job right. To raise a child that is so amazing that you admire them….I kind of think that was my job and I did it not once, but twice. We should all be so lucky.  Today I want to honor my youngest daughter Alyssa Crawford, for all that she is and all that she is yet to become. She is 23 years old today, and in those 23 years this will be the first birthday that I have missed. Although I am away with her blessing and her encouragement, this is the hardest day that I have been away from home so far.

So Miss Alyssa, here’s to you…..

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On this day 23 years ago I held you in my arms for the first time, there is nothing in the world like the moment that they put this tiny person in your arms that you have been waiting to meet for what seems like forever. Unfortunately I was a little drugged so the moment was quick, but it was the first of many amazing moments yet to come with you in my arms and your big, beautiful presence in my life.  I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today without my daughters. We learn from each other, it has never been just my children learning from me. That is how I think it should be, as our children know more than we ever give them credit for. I am happy to say that at the end of the day I know that when it’s needed that I am the little voice of reason sitting on your shoulder helping you make wiser decisions, just as you and your sister are mine. It’s hard to believe sometimes that you are already 23 because in some ways time has gone by all too quickly, although this journey of ours has not always been an easy one and sometimes it seems like it’s been longer.

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I’d like today to tell everyone all of the amazing things about Alyssa, but I’d be writing all night and I’d like to post this while it’s still her birthday. So here are just a few of the things about my daughter that make her so special, and a superhero in my eyes.

  1. Beautiful – Inside and out. I love that as you are getting older you get more beautiful. I will never forget the time you told me that you thought that you would never be more beautiful than you were in one of your pictures from high school. Then you realized that you were just loving life and it was the energy you had around you that made you glow so much and you realized that when you get happy in your life it shows on the outside. Keep cultivating that energy and take it with you your whole life.
  2. Giving – Always you are coming home with stories about the people that you give to. You don’t just roll down the window and pass some change out like most of us do. You take the time to go get a gift card and some cash, sometimes a meal and take it back to them. You my lady are truly an angel, you just show up for people in a way that I envy. Never lose that giving side of yourself in this world that can be sometimes cold, you are a breath of fresh air.
  3. Funny – I know the entire world doesn’t always get our sense of humor, but put me, you and Ashton in a room together and we can laugh all night. I don’t care if anyone else thinks we are funny…the important part is that we do!! Keep laughing, life is too short for anything else.
  4. Strong – You have a strength that most people don’t know about. In the short 23 years that you have graced us with your presence you have been through some stuff! I know there are times when you want to let things bring you down, but you always find the strength to get back up and come out on top. Watching you has brought me strength in so many untold ways. Always stay strong enough to cry, and strong enough to know when it’s time to wipe your tears and get back up.
  5. Loving – They say you never lose by loving, you only lose by holding back. You throw your heart in the ring and go for it…always. It doesn’t matter if it is friends, family or the man in your life, when you love, you love. I am blessed to be your mother and be one of the people in this world that gets to be loved by you. Never lose that all in love you have in your heart…it’s a rare thing in this world.

There are a million more reasons why I look up to you, but those are the ones I’ll tell the world today. Happy Birthday Alyssa Crawford. It is one of the greatest pleasures in this life to have the privilege to be your Mom. I love you! Here is to the next 23!!

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P.S. I would have posted some embarrassing childhood photos, but I didn’t bring them on the trip. Lucky Girl!!

The Gifts

 

     I don’t know if you are someone that believes that every person that comes into your life is there for a reason, but I am. Sometimes we change them, sometimes they change us and sometimes we change each other. I am always and forever grateful for all of the teachers that have walked through my life, even when the lessons that they taught me weren’t pleasant. Sometimes those that walk quickly through our lives are the ones that have the biggest impact. One such person is the father of my first child. We had the briefest of romances 23 years ago, and even at the time I knew it was a gift to me.

     We had known each other in high school, but we were anything but friends. I was friends with his brother and his sister, but Michael and I never had much use for one another. After he graduated he moved away and I didn’t see him for a couple of years. When he made his way back into town he came to see me after my brother had died, they were friends. We hit it off at the time because most of my friends really didn’t get me at the time, I was lost in grief and they didn’t want to go there with me. Michael understood where I was at the time as he had lost his mother when he was I think 16. The next thing you know we were together all the time. Then with the blink of an eye I was pregnant and with another he was gone. This set me on the course known as single motherhood. My parents thought the best solution was to make him marry me, but somehow I knew even at the ripe old age of 18 that marrying someone only for a child was the wrong thing to do.

     Life can always be beautiful if we are willing to look at the bad things that seem to be happening and find the gifts inside. Even then without knowing it consciously I did this with the situation, because I know I never saw my beautiful daughter as anything other than a gift in my life. A child lights up your life from the moment you hear that first heartbeat. It’s something that you can’t understand if you’ve never experienced it. I’m not going to tell you that life was always pleasant or that I have always looked back on the challenges in my life in the way I do now, as blessings. These are all things that come to everyone in time. Even if someone doesn’t figure it out until they are transitioning from this life, I believe everyone sooner or later realizes that life is always beautiful. I know I make that statement “life is always beautiful” a lot in my blogs. Sometimes this even leads people to believe that I am terminally happy, it doesn’t mean that at all. I think I just see life with a lot more gray than just black and white. The gifts of parenthood have certainly been challenging to see sometimes. I have been blessed with not just one but two amazing daughters and I wouldn’t trade the gifts that they have brought me for any amount of gold.

      My daughter’s dad came back into our lives in 1996 when Ashton was four years old. He was at best what you would call an on and off dad, but I do believe he did the best he could with what he had to work with. When people pass from this world we have a tendency of playing through our minds all of the things “that could have been, if only”. One of the hardest things to deal with when someone goes before us is this type of thinking. What we really should be focused on is all of the things that really were. The good, the bad and the ugly, so that we remember things as they really were and don’t get lost in what might have been. Most importantly when someone leaves this world be grateful for their contribution to your life. In the spirit of that thought I would like to take a moment and say thank you Michael for the gifts that you brought into my life. Your friendship when I needed it and our beautiful daughter when I was ready to be a Mom.

RIP Michael Scott Beatty…..fly with the angels my friend.  

I Want

     Have you ever spent a lot of time pondering the question what now? I seem to swim in that question lately. I have so many directions I could take right now and I feel like I’m starting to spin in circles trying to figure out which way to go. The worst part is there are a couple of roads that I know I don’t want to take and yet some days even they look tempting. They are of course the roads that lead to the greener pastures we all talk about. While the others are rockier and don’t appear to be that scenic, but I hear at the end of one of those roads is the Garden of Eden. These of course are not the roads for the faint of heart. When one embarks on a journey down one of the rocky roads they have to be prepared for the bumps that go along with it. Before I can possibly make a choice as to which direction to go, I think I need to get really clear on the things that I want in my life. So my question at the moment is simply ….what do I really want?

     *I Want…..to do something every day that not only changes my world for the better, but someone else’s.

     *I Want……to write, which I get to do here and I am so grateful for things like blogging, but I think I want to write a book.

     *I Want…..to let go of guilt. I’m running around in the middle of a self- inflicted guilt trip now and this will be the last one!

     *I Want…..to be able to share my gifts with the world in some way that makes it a better place.

     *I Want…..to surround myself with others who have integrity in every aspect of their lives. Not just the easy ones.

     *I Want…..to always know my own heart. I know my heart never betrays me, but sometimes I betray it.

     *I Want…..to find as much joy as I can from life, even when dealing with the things that cause anger, hurt and sadness.

     *I Want…..to continue to find love in as many things throughout the day as possible….even the anger, hurt and sadness.

     *I Want…..to always have time in the day to just breathe and speak my gratitude for all of the gifts in my life, and those that are yet to be delivered.

     *I Want…..all of this or something better!

     I’m sure there will be more things that come to mind now that I’m thinking about things on a deeper level. Although I think the core, the most important parts of what I want are all on the list above. I’m learning lots of lessons lately about what’s important and what’s not so I know that list is hundreds of miles off course from where it would have been just 6 months ago. I love how quickly things can change when you’re paying attention to the details. All in all I wouldn’t change a moment of my recent experiences. The road has been pretty rocky some days, but the treasures hidden along the way…well I wouldn’t trade those for all of the greener pastures I know are out there.