Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday. Her name is Jennifer. I won’t tell you how old she is, but let me just say that I am shocked that I could be old enough to have a daughter her age. Time most definitely goes fast, and the moments are precious. The crazy thing is that she truly looks like she could be my youngest. She has that ever-youthful face. I’m sure it is because of her loving, positive way of looking at life.
Jennifer came into our life sixteen days past her due date. I knew exactly when she was conceived, so she really was late. She was a tiny baby – only 6 lbs. 3 oz. Having my first baby was one of the most special times in my life. I remember holding her in my arms. I remember all the dreams I had for her. I remember how special it was to be a mother. How blessed I was to be able to stay home with her and not have to rush off to work. These days few mothers have that opportunity.
Jennifer was challenging at times because of her great desire to be free. It was hard to hold onto her and make her mind. I remember her jumping out of the tub and trying to escape my mom’s hold while she was bathing her. If we hadn’t caught her she would have been running down the road in her birthday suit. She loved to run and she talked to everyone she came in contact with. I remember losing her in a gigantic mall in Utah once. How terrifying was that?
Jenny is highly intelligent, too. She spoke in full sentences at one years old, and read constantly, always past her years. I couldn’t keep up with buying her books.
Today on her birthday, I would like to honor the amazing women she has grown up to be. Many of us have trials during the teenage years, bringing up kids, and Jenny was no exception. However, the real truth is she was always a really good kid. I feel blessed. She was bullied as a young girl; however, she took that time in her life and turned it into a commitment to always treat others with kindness and compassion. If I had to sum her up into one word it would be Love for sure.
One day, not long ago, she told me about how she had stopped in the middle of the night to help a stranger on the highway who was hurt and lying on the ground. It was a Good Samaritan moment for sure. I thought to myself, “Would I have stopped to help a man on the side of the road in the middle of the night?” I don’t think so. More than likely I would have let my fear lead me to stay in my car. Jenny doesn’t think that way. When she sees a need, she answers the call.
Jenny is a successful business woman. I am proud of her accomplishments as a working mom. I know it is not easy. However, I hardly ever hear her complain. If she does, it is about herself wanting to be a better mom. I know she is the best mom any child could ever have. She loves deeply and wants the best for everyone. She is constantly looking for the positive solution.
Happy birthday, Jennifer. You deserve all the good always. You have worked hard to be where you are. If I had one message for you, it would be to always listen to your heart, no matter what anyone says. Your heart is pure gold and the great Knower. It will never lead you anywhere but to Truth and Love. I know you know this, but I just wanted to remind you.
Love your mom,
Rev. Rita Andriello-Feren