Today is our daughter Jessamyn's birthday. In my mind she was born not that long ago; it seems like a blink of the eye. She came out perfect and remains so to this day, although shortly after birth she became jaundiced and was put under bilirubin lights for a couple of days -- something she didn't like; only a few hours old and she was screeching like a banshee and arching her back, raising herself on all fours, unusual for one so young. That's our Jessie...feisty, determined to be heard. Once home she was a happy baby and as a toddler she had long curly blonde locks. That is, until the three-year-old little @#$% upstairs decided to give her a haircut. **sigh**
Jessamyn grew to be a girl and then a woman of grace and courage. A few childhood cancer scares, a young widowhood, and a bout with breast cancer...she has overcome difficulties and emerged a stronger person. And along the way she has gifted the world with two amazing daughters.
Jessie is bright. She's funny. She's caring. She's beautiful. And she faces every challenge in the same feisty way she faced those bilirubin lights a blink of an eye ago.
We could not be more proud of her and we could not love her more.
Happy birthday, sweet one.
Earlier this week, on Tuesday, was my father's birthday. He would have been 104 years old. It's difficult to realize that he has been gone thirty-five years now since he has always been -- and still is -- a fundamental part of my life. He was the man who taught me honor and compassion. A man who loved people and gave of himself. He loved kids and loved to laugh with them. To my knowledge there was only one person he knew whom he actively disliked, and that was a man who had been found to be a child molester. He taught me the importance of responsibility and of family. He was a man of strong beliefs which he showed through his actions, not his words.
I try every day to be the sort of man he would be proud of. I miss him. I miss his laugh, his kindness, his quiet dignity, his love of people, and the pure joy with which he lived his life.
This week bookends a great part of my life. The past, where I learned what life is all about, and the future, where I try to pass that knowledge on to my children and grandchildren. I am a lucky man.