The Gift

~Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

The date was October 3rd, 1992. After more than a year of trying to get pregnant, I was finally able to run upstairs and share the good news with my husband. We were going to have a baby! We could not wait to tell my parents they were about to become grandparents. It was my Dad’s birthday and we were all going over to their house for dinner. We decided to make our big announcement by giving my Dad a gift of all the baby paraphernalia grandparents would need, including a bib that said, “My Grandpa Loves Me!” What could possibly go wrong?

While we were shopping at the mall,  picking up our “grandparent supplies” and the ever most popular book, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, the unexpected happened. I began to show signs of a miscarriage, or so I thought. What are the chances this would happen on the very same day I found out I was pregnant? (I still often wonder today what are the odds?)

Jon and I decided to press on and continue our plans to surprise my family. After dinner and it was time for gifts, we handed my dad the bag of goodies. The minute he took out the baby bib and other items, my mother began screaming hysterically with excitement! These hysterical screams were interrupted by me bursting into tears and trying to explain my worst fears and disappointment. We decided the best course of action was to head to the emergency room and find out exactly what was happening. My husband, my mom, my sister and I piled into the car, and anxiously drove to the hospital. My sweet dad was left all alone on his birthday, eating cake and ice cream by himself.

I will never forget that night in the hospital. It was the beginning of a wondrous journey of motherhood. My husband and I watched as the ultrasound technician pointed out a tiny, little circle on the blurry monitor. At the time, I couldn’t have been more than six weeks along. The baby was the size of an olive. But there it was…. a microscopic flutter of movement on the screen. If you looked very closely you could see a heart beating! The only word to describe that moment is miraculous!

Fast forward twenty-five years, and that little baby just the size of an olive, that precious, little person with an amazing heartbeat, has grown into an extraordinary young woman. Our daughter, Hillary Paige, is celebrating her 25th birthday today! She has brought us joy, happiness, pride, and an abundance of pleasure! And yes, sometimes a little worry, concern, and possibly a few tears. (as ALL children do) She is smart, beautiful, genuine, sweet and occasionally even a little bit stubborn! (An inherited trait she received from my dad’s side of the family.) We have watched her grow, mature, and develop into a confident young adult who is spreading her wings and creating a life of her own.

However, Hillary isn’t just my daughter. She’s my best friend! She’s my GIFT! We talk on the phone daily, sometimes more than once. We like to watch movies together, go shopping, get mani-pedis , debrief in great detail about our latest television obsessions, eat appetizers and share a glass of wine on the deck. We currently live in different states,  but we still manage to enjoy our mother/daughter outings as often as possible. I am eternally grateful to God for entrusting me and giving me the great honor to be her mom!

Sadly, both of my parents have since passed away…. Hillary was nine years old when we lost my dad, and it was a short five years later when my mother passed away from cancer. I know they are smiling down from Heaven, beaming with joy and pride, and singing Hallelujah!!! Much like my mom did the night we told them we were expecting their first grandchild!

Today, Hillary Paige, we CELEBRATE you!!!!  You truly are a blessing from God and we love you more and more each day!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!



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