Wednesday, October 20, 2010

To Chloe, with love

I began to write you a birthday blog last year but my health issues took precedence. I prayed that I would be granted another chance to honor and bless you on my blog. That day has come and despite my new batch of health issues nothing is stopping me from writing this entry. When your Auntie Elna passed away and we were at her funeral reception, I thought as we watched her video,"We should have done this when she was alive." I vowed that I would always honor my children on their birthdays from that day forward.

You already know I'm not the best at affection and affirmation but I refuse to staunchly declare, "This is how I am, take it or leave it." That applies to most people in my life but for my children I am willing to yield, to change, to become more aware of your need to hear blessings from your mom. You are never too old for blessings.

As the middle child, with only ten months separating you and your sister, I know you felt overshadowed. Dare I say, second best? You have to know that you were never second best with me but I also know I wasn't the greatest at displaying my emotions. I apologize for the myriad of mistakes I've made in the last 23 years. I don't live in regrets but I can tell you that my biggest regret is placing work and my selfishness ahead of my own kids. Thank you for forgiving my parental transgressions. I'm grateful that stoning is outlawed in our country. :)

Those many years of darkness we experienced as mother and daughter never detracted from the pride I have always held for you. We've hurled words of destruction at each other that I wish I could recall and erase, just like in my Outlook e-mails. Unfortunately, life has a way of teaching you lessons that you either learn from or repeat again. 

My biggest regret of all is not having the love of Jesus in my heart as I was raising my kids. You had to witness your crazy and wacked out agnostic mom desperately searching for peace in all the wrong places. Had I known the peace that I do now I hope to think that our lives would have been different. But you know what? Those dark, traumatic years made us the strong females we are today. Those days have equipped us with the wisdom to love, forgive, and fiercely protect each other. I am able to remove myself from the selfishness, look in the mirror, and say, "Your kids need you to listen and see them for who they are. Get over yourself!" 

So today, on your twenty-second (ouch!) birthday I will shower you with love and blessings that come from a mother's heart. That is the gift I present to you, wrapped in my brightly colored words and tied tightly with my heartstrings. 
  • I am proud of the person and mother you have become. I know the life you chose is a struggle but it will also bring abundant joy. You chose Rylee's life and her spirit has brought happiness to many people. I know she will continue to spread her sunshine. Nurture and encourage her to follow her dreams.
  • No matter what you've done, you can always change the person you will become. I believe in you, Chloe, and know you will make a huge difference in your child's life. 
  • People will judge, make assumptions, and create incorrect perceptions of you. Stay true to who you are and the truth will prevail. 
  • Expand your vision to the world beyond yours and teach your child that there are people who are going through worse. Be an example of a woman with integrity. Fight for those less fortunate. Be a voice! 
  • No matter how exhausted and drained you are, don't let the day end without kissing Rylee and blessing her. 
  • I recognize the struggle you have with worth and value because I have a similar battle. Do not place your value in others' hands but discover within yourself that you are ALWAYS worthy of God's best! Nothing less! 
  • If you haven't already, you will find yourself walking with a cavernous hole in your chest that no one or nothing can fill except the love of Jesus. Trust me, I know. Once you tap into that, you can love others. (Even the difficult ones.)
  • A mother's role is a prestigious role bestowed by God. Don't squander it. You make me proud of how you're caring for Rylee. Do your best, despite the mistakes. 
  • You will succeed in everything you put 100% into. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. 
  • I know you made a decision and chose Rylee's life but don't allow your dreams to die. Keep them alive in your heart until you can make them come to fruition. You can do it, Chloe. You are my child. 
All my love and then some, Mom