A Blessed Life

As I look over my life, which is far from perfect, I recognize how fortunate I am. There is nothing like having a birthday to remind me of how grateful I am for parents who not only brought me into this world, but made many sacrifices to give me and my siblings a blessed life. I honor them today as I share a revised version of My Home Delivery, which I wrote last year.

Mom & Dad (2)My parents were married in 1950 and had their first child, Michael (Mickey) sixteen months later. The following year my sister Rosanne was born. Living with two little children in a one bedroom apartment was hard and crowded. Mom and Dad saved their money to buy a lot for a new home in Murray, Utah in 1953.

Since Dad was an excavator and owned a construction company with his brother, he did most of the work including the foundation, septic tank, concrete and framing. He did hire a plumber, electrician and brick mason for their red brick home. By today’s standard, it was a modest, three bedroom, one bath home which Dad did all the finish work on. They were able to move into their new home about nine months after they started building and just before their third child, Donny’s first birthday, in 1956.

A few years later Mom was expecting their fourth child. Since the new baby would need the bedroom my brothers shared across the hallway from our parent’s bedroom, they decided to finish two bedrooms for Mickey and Donny in the basement. The new bedrooms were the only finished area in the basement, but on the opposite end of the basement was a beautiful rock fireplace. They bought a black and white television and put a throw rug by the fireplace with a second-hand couch and also used folding chairs to sit on to watch T.V. This room would later be finished as the family/entertainment room.

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Mom, Dad, Mickey, Rosanne, Donny, Barbara sitting around rock flower box in front of our Murray home.

On Saturday, June 6, 1959, my mom’s parents came for a visit and to take Rosanne home with them for an overnight stay. They did this often, taking turns with each grandchild. After they left, Mom started having strong contractions so Dad called the doctor and told him they were on their way to the hospital. Because of the pain, Mom struggled to walk to the back door towards the garage. Dad rushed ahead to drive the car out of the unattached garage closer to the back door in hopes to make it easier for Mom. When he got back to the kitchen to help her to the car he realized her water broke and the determined baby was already on its way. He ran to the phone to call the doctor again and heard the television downstairs. Panicked, with only a stairway between my parents and the two young boys, Dad hollered down the stairs, “No matter what, you boys do not come up these stairs!”

Mickey, age seven and Donny’s fourth birthday in just three days, paid little attention to the hustle and bustle at the top of the stairs. Seemingly more interested in the television than the arrival of a new baby, it was easy to obey their father’s order.

By the time the doctor got to our home I had already arrived. What an entrance for a nine pound baby! I wish I could remember it… What I do remember is being referred to as the “kitchen baby”. Sometimes I was amused at the thought of coming into the world in this unusual way, but other times I was completely embarrassed.

Dad had always teased Mom during their four pregnancies that he had delivered lots of calves on the farm, so there was no need for a doctor. I guess I was listening. I’ve always had lots of faith in my Dad’s abilities. However, he stopped saying that after my birth.

I later learned the home delivery resulted in a three day stay at the hospital and I came home on Donny’s 4th birthday. I don’t believe I was his only present that year, but he always made me feel like I was his best present.

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Dad holding me with handsome brother, Don in the left bottom corner.

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Dad holding me with Rosanne and Mick on the front porch.

I’ve always considered myself a daddy’s girl and Mom often said I had Dad wrapped around my little finger because he was there for my birth. I was the only child out of their five that he witnessed because at the time fathers were not allowed in the delivery rooms at the hospital.

Twenty-two months later Mom delivered one more baby, my youngest brother, Steven. Because we were the closest in age we shared the upstairs bedroom for several years and had lots of fun playing together. See Siblings by Chance, Friends by Choice.

Me at two years old loving my stuff animal.

Me at two years old loving my stuff animal.

In my elementary years while we were on vacation at Disneyland, I vividly remember begging my dad to buy me a big stuffed animal. “Dad, think of the money I saved you by being born at home,” I pleaded.

“You were the most expensive child!” He replied. “At the hospital I had to admit not one, but TWO patients. You were considered contaminated by being born at home so you were not allowed in the nursery. They kept you in isolation for a few days, which was an added expense.”

Not only sadden by the fact I wasn’t getting the large stuffed animal, I was shocked by his reply. I previously thought I had saved my parents from the whole hospital scene and therefore was some kind of super hero. After all I had been called the kitchen baby by family and friends. Wow, what a blow this information was to me and an indication that I didn’t really have my dad wrapped around my little finger after all—at least not this time.

Now that I’m older and have gone through child bearing  and raising myself, I appreciate what my folks went through to get me here. I even feel a little guilty for being so impatient and determined. These traits I’ve carried throughout my life and they’ve loved and supported me anyway. They are the most giving and caring parents and grandparents I know. I’m blessed to be able to call them Mom and Dad. It’s been a wonderful life, thanks to them!

A Blessing in Disguise

i_dream_of_jeannie-showThere is always plenty of work to do and the holiday season is no exception. Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful, but a lot of work. After hours of preparation, there’s the cleanup. What about Christmas? There’s more preparation for parties, dinners, decorations, shopping for gifts and all of this is done after employment hours. Sometimes I wonder why we do so much. Work Bewitched1can be stressful, strenuous and difficult. During those times I’ve dreamed of a genie (pun intended) granting my wish for less work and more play. In my youth, I also loved to watch the fantasy comedy sitcom, Bewitched. I’ve thought how awesome it would be to have the magical ability to accomplish anything with a twitch of my nose, clap of my hands, or a snap of my finger and thumb, eliminating all the hard work.

Have you ever thought of work as a blessing? Usually I think of it as the means to provide for the necessities of life. Without work, how do you pay for, prepare for, or participate in recreational activities and vacation time? Everything takes work, including the fun times.

I didn’t realize the worth of work until after our car accident, which made it impossible for Mark to continue in the electrical career he was schooled and trained in. He dedicated twelve years to the trade and was successful, reaching the highest level as a master electrician. After eighteen months of rehab, he was anxious to get back to work. Realizing he wouldn’t be able to work as an electrician while in a wheelchair, he asked every day what he should do with his life. He said he needed to be productive to have self-worth and wanted a purpose for life. Work provides purpose.

It was hard to imagine what he could do or that any other kind of work could bring him the fulfilment the electrical field did. I tried to convince him that rehab was his job. His focus should be regaining his physical and speech abilities so that he could go back to work as an electrician. Two years passed and he continued with his rehab, having eye surgery to fix his double vision and two surgeries on his feet to correct the foot drop, which made it difficult for him to stand. He continued to ask often when he could go back to work. I hadn’t realized before how important work is for making life worthwhile. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have or what we can do until it’s no longer available.

We volunteered at our children’s elementary school twice a week, reading with the kids or helping with math and spelling. Mark enjoyed the kids, but sometimes they couldn’t understand him because of his speech impairment. Children are so honest and they would ask him often what happened to him or why he couldn’t walk or talk. These comments were probably harder on me than they were on Mark. I wanted to protect him and our own two children, wondering what questions and comments they had to endure. I was worried they might become discouraged or uncomfortable with our circumstances so I thought it would be best if we volunteer elsewhere.

After checking into options with our church, Mark was able to do some volunteer work at the Bishop’s Storehouse posting food orders in the computer twice a week. He also went to my brother-in-law’s family music store to stamp their logo on their sheet music at Day Murray Music. He enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to go to these places and volunteering his time, but he wanted to financially contribute to our family needs.

The next year brought two more surgeries to fix Mark’s hip joints, which were filled with calcium, making it impossible for him to bend at 90 degrees. With his sight still set on getting back to work, I heard Mark often rehearsing electrical codes or terms so he wouldn’t forget them. He wanted me to pay the fee to keep his Master’s License current, but he was willing and wanting to do any kind of work until he got back on his feet. I had a hard time envisioning him finding any kind of employment because he was dependent on me for most tasks of daily living such as dressing, transferring in/out of the wheelchair and transportation, but wanting to support his goals, we pursued Vocational Rehab.

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Mark at work desk at Discover Card

The male crew in the mail room

He went through an intense week of testing. His I.Q. score was higher than normal, but his physical skills were low. The program helped place him in a part-time job at Discover Card. He did computer work recording P.I.N.’s (personal identification numbers) and enjoyed that job for eight years until they closed down the mail center. This was the appointed area for all the eight employees with special needs. They worked together with one supervisor who was trained to oversee and help each individual accomplish their job. Most of the special needs employees sorted the mail to the various departments and delivered them there. Mark worked on the computer, but because he needed help getting to and from the Paratransit bus to his desk, the restroom, lunchroom plus make sure he was stocked with the paperwork needed for his computer entries, his work desk was located in the mail room. He couldn’t do this job without the help of the supervisor. The group of special needs employees were devastated when they were replaced by equipment which sorted and delivered the mail to the various departments in 2004.

Discover Card mail room crew

2004 Discover Card mail room crew

What do we do now? I knew it would be hard to find a job where Mark would be safe and get the help he needed to accomplish work tasks. I also knew he wouldn’t be satisfied being at home every day without work. I learned the importance of work and realize its worth is so much more than the monetary value. Work brings happiness.

Work is a blessing in disguise. We may curse it and wish we had less of it to do. I no longer dreamed of a genie to lighten the work load, but rather one who could help us find work for Mark. I wished I could twitch my nose, clap my hands, or snap my finger and thumb and make a job appear.

On Tuesday I’ll share with you tips on how we found work for Mark.

My Home Delivery

Mom & Dad (2)

Mom and Dad

My parents were married in 1950 and had their first child, Michael (Mickey) sixteen months later. The following year my sister Rosanne was born. Living with two little children in a one bedroom apartment was hard so Mom and Dad thought it was time to build a home. They paid $1,500 dollars for a 1/3 acre lot in Murray, Utah in 1953. They paid off the lot in two years and started building their home in the fall of 1955, just three months after their third child, Donald (Donny) was born.

Since Dad was an excavator and owned a construction company with his brother, he did most of the work including the foundation, septic tank, concrete and framing. He did hire a plumber, electrician and brick mason for their all red brick home. By today’s standard, it was a modest, three bedroom, one bath home which Dad did all the finish work on. They were able to move into their new home about nine months later, just before Donny’s first birthday in 1956.

A few years later Mom was expecting their fourth child. Since the new baby would need the bedroom my brothers shared across the hallway from our parent’s bedroom, they decided to finish two bedrooms for Mickey and Donny in the basement. The new bedrooms were the only finished area in the basement, but on the opposite end of the basement was a beautiful rock fireplace. They bought a black and white television and put a throw rug by the fireplace with a second-hand couch and also used folding chairs to sit on to watch T.V. This room would later be finished as the family/entertainment room.

04-FamilyMurrayHome

Mom, Dad, Mickey, Rosanne, Donny, Barbara sitting around rock flower box in front of our Murray home.

On Saturday, June 6, 1959, my mom’s parents came for a visit and to take Rosanne home with them for an overnight stay. They did this often, taking turns with each grandchild. After they left, Mom started having strong contractions so Dad called the doctor and told him they were on their way to the hospital. Because of the pain, Mom struggled to walk to the back door towards the garage. Dad rushed ahead to drive the car out of the unattached garage closer to the back door in hopes to make it easier for Mom. When he got back to the kitchen to help her to the car he realized her water broke and the determined baby was already on its way. He ran to the phone to call the doctor again and heard the television downstairs. Panicked, with only a stairway between my parents and the two boys, Dad hollered down the stairs, “No matter what, you boys do not come up these stairs!”

Mickey, age seven and a half and Donny’s fourth birthday in just three days, paid little attention to the hustle and bustle at the top of the stairs. They were more interested in the television than the arrival of a new baby, so it was easy to obey their father’s order.

By the time the doctor got to our home I had already arrived. What an entrance for a nine pound baby! I wish I could remember it… What I do remember is being referred to as the “kitchen baby”. Sometimes I was amused at the thought of coming into the world in this unusual way, but other times I was completely embarrassed.

Dad had always teased Mom during their four pregnancies that he had delivered lots of calves on the farm, so there was no need for a doctor. I guess I was listening. I’ve always had lots of faith in Dad’s abilities. However, he stopped saying that after my birth.

I later learned the home delivery resulted in a three day stay at the hospital and I came home on Donny’s 4th birthday. I don’t believe I was his only present that year, but he always made me feel like I was his best present.

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Dad holding me with handsome brother, Don in the left bottom corner.

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Dad holding me with Rosanne and Mick on the front porch.

I’ve always considered myself a daddy’s girl and Mom often said I had Dad wrapped around my little finger because he was there for my birth. I was the only child out of their five that he witnessed because at the time fathers were not allowed in the delivery rooms at the hospital.

Twenty-two months later Mom delivered one more baby, my youngest brother, Steven. Because we were the closest in age we shared the upstairs bedroom for several years and had lots of fun playing together. See Siblings by Chance, Friends by Choice.

Me at two years old loving my stuff animal.

Me at two years old loving my stuff animal.

In my elementary years while we were on vacation at Disneyland, I vividly remember begging my dad to buy me a big stuffed animal. “Dad, think of the money I saved you by being born at home,” I pleaded.

“You were the most expensive child!” He replied. “At the hospital I had to admit not one, but TWO patients. You were considered contaminated by being born at home so you were not allowed in the nursery. They kept you in isolation for a few days, which was an added expense.”

Not only sadden by the fact I wasn’t getting the large stuffed animal, I was shocked by his reply. I previously thought I had saved my parents from the whole hospital scene and therefore was some kind of super hero. After all I had been called the kitchen baby by family and friends. Wow, what a blow this information was to me and an indication that I didn’t really have my dad wrapped around my little finger after all—at least not this time.

Now that I’m older and have gone through child bearing myself, I appreciate what my folks went through to get me here and feel some guilt for being so impatient and determined. However, I am so grateful for the bond it created and know I’m blessed to have such marvelous parents. It’s been a wonderful life, thanks to them!

My Angel Mother

My MotherAbraham Lincoln said it perfectly and I couldn’t agree more about my own mother. Her example and unconditional love has brought me to where I am today, and I definitely know that everything I am or ever will be I owe to her. May is the month we honor our mothers and today just happens to be my mother’s birthday. She is also the world’s best caregiver so it’s triple fitting that I write about her today.

I’ve always known my mother loved me, but since the car accident it has become even more evident. She has been by my side nearly every day since then.

When I was eighteen I was anxious to be independent and to experience life as an adult so I moved out to be on my own. I was going to the community college, which was no reason for leaving home. I knew it broke my mother’s heart, but she loved and supported my endeavors even though she didn’t agree with them. They knew I would have been better off financially if I stayed home a few more years. We talked on the phone often and had Sunday dinner together nearly every week until I was married. I will be forever grateful to them for not giving up and for loving me even though I know I disappointed them.

My mother knows and understands me better than I do myself sometimes. When the car accident happened she knew just what I needed and gave me the love and support that carried me through some very hard days. I remember she even had to help me in the bathroom until my broken collarbone (in two places) healed enough that I could manage by myself with one hand. My mother would do anything for her children no matter their age. As I get older, I realize she would still do anything for her children no matter her age.

Since our car was totaled in the car accident and I was unable to drive with a broken collarbone, my mother drove me 120 miles every weekday so I could be with Mark during the day and our children at night while Mark was at McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden, UT . Weekends she took care our kids, Christopher and Katie so I could stay overnight at the hospital with Mark.

When Mark was transferred to Western Rehab in Sandy, which was located not far from my parent’s home, my mother was able and made it a priority to visit nearly every day. She was either watching the kids or visiting at the hospital. Because of her daily visits and Mark’s mother living out of state, many doctors, nurses and therapist thought she was Mark’s mother and was often called her Mrs. Wilson. My mother loves all her in-law children and treats them as her own. She calls each one a bonus child.

Mom, Dad, Mark & IIn 1996, five years after our car accident, we built a home together which is wheelchair accessible for Mark, so for the past eighteen years we have lived together. It’s brought some challenges with health issues, raising two teenagers and differences in how things should be done, but it’s been a great blessing for both Mark and I and we hope it’s been for them too. I can’t imagine how we would’ve gotten along without them.

My mother is a great example to me and some of my favorite traits about her are that she is:

Insightful – aware of others needs

 

Loving – unconditionally to all
Obedient – to God’s commandments
Virtuous – honorable and trustworthy
Educated – always seeking to learn new things

 

Youthful – care in her beautiful appearance
Organized – everything is always in its place
Unique – to me, for she is the best mom ever

 

And I’m so lucky that she’s mine! My world is a better place because of her.

 

He Lives!

Beautiful PathwayThe spring season is the transition from winter into summer. It’s a time of growth and renewal of life; when plants and trees which have been dormant for a season regain life and begin to bud into a lush, green, beautiful plant. The timing is perfect for the event of our Savior’s resurrection. Springtime is usually my favorite, however in 1991, it was a lost season because Mark literally slept through it in a coma after our horrific car accident.

I was grateful Mark appeared to be in a safe and sheltered place, unaware of the hospital surroundings, while I struggled to hold myself together. Helpless to make Mark better, I sat next to his bedside in the Intensive Care Unit at MacKay Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah. My right arm was in a sling and I wore a brace for my broken collarbone, but I hardly noticed the pain—it was nothing compared to my broken heart and worry. Mark, lying perfectly still and quiet, was unaware of the loud noises from the monitors, or the shunt inserted at the top of his head draining excessive fluid from his brain. A feeding tube entered his nose and ran down the back of his throat into his stomach, which would later be surgically placed directly in his stomach. Other tubes were placed to empty his bladder and bowels. The hardest tube for me to observe was the one located in an opening in his neck through his trachea to provide an airway and to keep his lungs clear of fluid. The vacuum sound while the secretions were sucked out through his tracheotomy made me cringe every time, but Mark laid peacefully in a coma, unaware of any of the tubes that kept him alive.

Mark was comatose for three months and most of the time I felt like it was a blessing because he had so many health issues to overcome. Besides his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), he had broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and infection in his liver. For circulation and to prevent blood clots, Mark laid securely strapped on a bed unlike any I’d ever seen. This bed tilted to the right side and gradually moved to the left, taking three minutes for each continuous rotation. Most of the time, Mark seemed oblivious to the fact that I was there or of any other visitors that came. It was nearly impossible for me to focus on T.V. or a book, so generally I sat by his bedside in prayer, hoping to see some improvement while watching the monitors. Time passed slowly; all I could do was watch, pray and ponder. I thought about how we met and our dates, our wedding day, our home, and the birth of our two children. I thought about our times with special friends, family members, and vacations. I relived all the fun and important events as the video recorder in my head played back the past fourteen years we’d known each other.

We lived in Sandy, Utah, which is sixty miles from Ogden. I couldn’t leave Mark alone to go home, it was too far. I imagined he’d wake up and wonder where he was and what was happening.  After a couple of long weeks with no sign of improvement, my family came up with a plan. My brothers, Mick, Don, Steve and brother-in-law Klint, each picked a night which worked best for them, drove to the hospital after work and stayed with Mark until the next morning. A Ronald McDonald House close by was available where they could rest and shower before going to work the next morning. This allowed me to go home on the weeknights to be with our two children, Christopher and Katie.

During the long three months Mark was comatose I wondered, where is he? I could see his body, but often his spirit felt absent. Peace radiated from him and there was a glimpse of heaven I felt in his presence. What will he be able to tell me when he’s conscious? I was certain it would be something special. I longed to hear his voice. There were some days when I felt his company for a short time and on a few better days our spirits were able to communicate through thoughts. I would talk to him and hear his reply in my mind or feel his comfort. It was an impressive, angelic form of communication and I cherished those moments, but I had no control over when or how it would happen. It was an unforgettable experience.

Often, I wondered if Mark was uncertain in which place he belonged or if he wanted to be in heaven, but felt obligated to stay. After six weeks I was exhausted and worried he might be hanging on to life for me and the kids, so I told him it was all right, we’d be okay without him. I didn’t know how I would manage, but felt if it was his time to go I would and could accept it. It was difficult to communicate this heartfelt message, but I didn’t want him trapped here only because I couldn’t let him go. It was a turning point for both of us and I believe Mark lives because he chose to. It would have been easier for him to give up the fight, but I’m so glad that wasn’t his choice. A few days after this experience there was a slight improvement in Mark’s infection, so I arranged for an ambulance to take him from MacKay Dee Hospital to Western Rehab which was located in Sandy, Utah and close to our home.

Mark’s ability to regain consciousness was a slow and gradual process which took several more weeks. At first he would occasionally answer yes or no questions by blinking his eyes once for no and twice for yes. We tested him often with obvious questions. As he improved he would whisper a word or two. One day I showed Mark a picture of Christ and asked him if he’d seen Him. He quietly said, “Yes.” Months later when he could talk in sentences he told of his experience, which he has written down.

“Just before waking from my coma, I thought I was walking the length of a long white hallway. Standing at the far end of the hall was another man about my same height. I say this because neither of us had to look noticeably up or down to look directly into the other’s eyes. He had a full head of pure white hair longer than shoulder length, and a pure white beard that was chest length. I presumed that man to be Jesus Christ. Thinking I had died and would be in His proximity for eternity, I walked up to within a few feet of Him and stopped. I asked for the location of Heavenly Father. He then pointed up and over His shoulder with His thumb toward the door behind Him and said, ‘In the next room.’ I reached around Him and opened the door. Before seeing anything in the next room, I awakened from my coma. I wish I’d known then how short that meeting would be; I would’ve liked to have spent more time with Him.”

As Mark related this experience to me, I knew it was true. During his months of unconsciousness, I knew he was in a special place feeling peace and contentment. I believe there’s more to his experience than he remembers and appreciate the comfort this memory brings to him. It brings comfort to me also; not only does it reassure me that Christ is real and knows each one of us, but I believe that the doors were Mark’s choice and the door he chose brought him back to me. He loves to relate this experience to whoever will listen. Remarkably he tells it using the same words. Since his TBI, Mark has short term memory loss, meaning he can’t remember who he’s told or the words he used. Nevertheless, he uses nearly the same words each time. This confirms to me that Mark’s experience was real and he was given the memory of it and the words to share it, not only to bring comfort to himself, but to touch the lives of others.

By this experience and others, we know Christ lives! He is resurrected. We will return to His presence, where joy, peace and comfort will be found. We were blessed to survive the shocking car accident and we were blessed again by this marvelous experience. We share it along with a beautiful rendition of our favorite hymn in celebration of His resurrection. Happy Easter!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/29685920″>I Know That My Redeemer Lives</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user8691070″>INTO THE LIGHT Journal</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

Our Ray of Sunshine

In July of 1983, my mother and I took a road trip to Wyoming to visit my brother, Mick, and his family. From Wyoming, we all traveled to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Jewel Cave and to drive through Bear Country. It was a wonderful trip despite my constant suffering from car sickness and fatigue. Mom did all of the driving and I found it nearly impossible to stay awake. Christopher was with us, but at seven months old the ride put him to sleep also. Mark and Dad couldn’t join us on this trip due to their work schedules. Mom must have felt deserted. She kept waking me up and telling me I was missing the beautiful scenery along the way, but I was nauseated and exhausted and as much as I wanted to enjoy the sights, sleep always won the battle.

When we returned home the sickness didn’t end so I went to the doctor. Being pregnant was the furthest thought from my mind. I just had a baby and he took 3 years to get here. I was shocked and unprepared for this possibility which made for a difficult pregnancy mentally, physically and emotionally. The delivery wasn’t easy either. Our daughter arrived fine, but the placenta had grown into the uterus and I hemorrhaged, losing a lot of blood resulting in an emergency surgery and blood transfusions. Katie 4 days old

As usual, after a storm the sun always comes out. The joy of its presence is enhanced because of the period of darkness. The warmth and light are brilliant and appreciated. This is definitely how I felt about Katie when she came into our world on April 14, 1984. She was worth any sacrifice or discomfort I ever had and I can’t imagine my life without her.

When we brought Katie home from the hospital, Christopher, who was sixteen months old, was thrilled. While sitting on the couch with Katie in my arms, I held her out towards Christopher to introduce them for the first time. Christopher lovingly and gently put his arms around her and in his little boy voice excitedly said, “Oh baby.” It was if he already knew and loved her. He welcomed her into the family with open arms. Miraculously, I don’t remember him ever being jealous of the attention she received.

Since Katie’s birth I’ve loved to sing to her, You Are My Sunshine. It so adequately expresses the way I feel about her. I really don’t know what I would’ve done without her sunshine, especially on those gray sky days. When Katie turned eighteen, Mark and I changed some words and added some stanzas and gave her this poem along with an afghan I crocheted for her. Today we add another stanza.

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You are our Sunshine,

Our ray of Sunshine,

You make us happy when skies are gray.

You’ll never know dear,

How much we love you,

Please don’t take our Sunshine away.

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Seems like yesterday,
While you were sleeping,
We loved to hold you in our arms.
When you awakened,
We knew for certain,
We loved all your sweet baby charms.

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Your father’s Princess,
Your mother’s Sweet Pea,
What a fun girl, you grew to be.
You share your love dear,
With all around you,
Blessing the lives of all you see.
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                      Katie’s first car

Today you’re eighteen,
We can’t believe it.
The years too quickly have gone by.
You’ll graduate soon,
And go to college,
We’ll miss you daily by our side.
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For when you leave dear,

I made this for you,
To remind you how much you’re loved.
If you are lonely,
Or feel discouraged,
Just wrap this ‘round to feel our hug.

Today we add:

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Now that you’re thirty,
Well-schooled and married,
Still the words are true, loud and clear.
All through the years dear,
You’ve been a blessing,
In our hearts you’ll always be near.

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You are our Sunshine,
Our ray of Sunshine,
You make us happy when skies are gray.
You’ll never know dear,
How much we love you,
Please don’t take our Sunshine away.