A year ago we were celebrating Chelsea Rae becoming a teenager. She was stoked, she could no longer be called a “pre-teen”. At the time, I thought that my biggest battles were going to be those of her being a teen and all that would come as a result.
If only I could trade back for those battles now. What I wouldn’t give for a good back talking, head butting argument with my girl.
It was actually becoming quite fun, her becoming a young lady and all. We would shop together, and tease each other because our taste in clothes were so different. Purses and shoes though, now there’s something we agreed on!
I found myself going back through my journals of last year, trying to remember exactly what we did for her birthday. She had wanted a cell phone - a pink razor. We were still saying no (of course, she did get her pink razor with unlimited texting not long after…).
It was sweet as I reminisced on the concert that we took her and Lele to - Jeremy Camp, Adie Camp and her favorite (until she met the guys of Kutless) - Hawk Nelson. It was a good birthday, one that she was very excited about. I remember that we had kept the concert a surprise to her… having the tickets months in advance. I remember the silly yellow Hawk Nelson shirt she had to have with the lyrics from their song “Tried to Be” that she would sing all the time. I remember her black shoes with stars on them that she had me write “Hawk Nelson” on the fronts. I don’t think we could have made it any better, even if it we knew then that it would be her last birthday with us. What a relief that is to me… what a relief that we didn’t slack on the birthday with the assumption that we would make up for it next year. We celebrated, and it was great. What a blessing.
As I came to the journal entry from Easter, I was reminded of just how well she handled her cancer battle. It had been a rough day for me. Later that night, she comforted me saying, “Don’t be sad, God doesn’t want you to fix this or you would.” She knew how as parents we felt so hopeless that we couldn‘t make her better, and yet she was the one who’s faith encouraged me. I am thankful for her trust in God even when we didn’t understand, and I am thankful that she knew that we would do whatever we could to take away her pain and suffering if only we were able.
I am so thankful for my baby girl. She taught me so much about unconditional love. There’s something about being a parent, of holding your baby for the very first time - a love that words just can’t describe. In the years when I was discouraged, I always knew that at least my baby loved me. Because of her I am a better person, a better mother, a better friend. God gave me such a precious gift 14 years ago today - a gift that would forever change me, and so many others.
Happy Birthday Baby.
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