Twenty eight years. Amazing in so many ways.
A blur in many others.
Here is the picture of a young father who had so much to learn. He thought he had a clue, but he didn’t. Of course, the mustache should tell you something about him. Time and style marched on…along with his hairline.
I think back 28 years ago and how thankful I was to simply have another child on the ground safely. With every finger and toe accounted for. Our daughter.
I don’t remember caring much about the gender of our children. I was far too worried about their health. But, as I’ve said many times before, we were blessed – one son, one daughter. Nuff said. Family complete. Well, sorta.*
I’ve chronicled quite a bit of Renae’s life and her impact on me. You can read it here. Or you can read what I wrote two years ago on her birthday here. You’d read such things about my son, Ryan – but it would likely embarrass him. So such words appear nowhere in public. Trust me. They’ve been written though – a lifelong habit of an avid notetaker, writer and reader. But for now, you’ll have to center your attention on the birthday girl, Renae Marie.
Just today I read in the Dallas Morning News about a woman with a very popular website, Ree Drummond. She resides over at ThePioneerWoman. com. The news item caught my attention at first because of her name, Ree. My maternal grandmother was Marie, but everybody called her “Re.” Including me. Especially me.
My daughter bears her middle name, a symbol of my devotion to her great grandmother – a woman she never knew. One generation passes as one enters. It’s the cycle of life, but it seemed ironic to me that today – of all days – a news story appeared about another “Ree” who will be appearing tomorrow at a Dallas bookstore autographing copies of her best selling cookbook.
So here I sit with more of life behind me than in front of me, framed between two Maries. Happy to be where I am actually. Happy to have known the former and to have raised the latter. And even happy to have been introduced to one who is a Pioneer Woman in Oklahoma, my native state.
When Renae and I talked on the phone I asked her if today felt special. She gave the adult answer that everybody over 25 well understands. “Not really.” I know how life happens and I know that birthdays lose their luster. But it’s too bad really. It’s too bad that she’s not sitting in the floor with wrapped presents surrounding her while her always excitable brother helps and announces with great zest what is revealed by the unwrapping process. “Look, Renae. A Baby Bright!” I can still hear him shout, as excited as if it had been a present intended for him.
It’s your birthday. It’s still a very special day for me. It always will be. And yes, I’ll cry if I want to.
I love you,
*Grandchildren sorta change the landscape slightly. Actually, they create seismic shifts. That’s a good thing.