For My Daughter

I woke  up very early this morning with a mind full of my daughter. She is sleeping in her room across the hall, but since this Blog began with her in mind, here’s one for you Bailey.

You have watched me your whole life and know my every mood. When you were around 12 years old, you saw me standing in the backyard, staring into the abyss. Walking up and sliding your hand into mine you asked, “Are you ever going to smile again.?” I wasn’t sure at the time if that was possible, but I knew something drastic was going to take place.

We had a farm called Hope Tree. You named it, drew the logo and we met with a graphic artist to bring it to life. We opened it up to the public and brought in families that have never held a chicken, or seen a baby pig. We educated them about farm life, the kids got dirty, and we went on to host birthday parties. Three years later, people still call wanting to visit.

We had ducks, and you took a Vet Science course, so we incubated their eggs. I still recall how mesmerized we were watching through the little window of the incubator as they broke free from their shell. Then we had a huge cardboard box full of baby ducks. That was the noisiest box ever, but a friend of mine saved us and took almost all of them to her farm.

That farm was the last good part of our life while married to your Dad. It got me through so much, and kept me sane as my marriage crumbled. I don’t know which broke my heart more. Finally walking out of the marriage, or saying goodbye to every animal, and leaving Hope Tree. The very best part of it all was taking you with me. God has led us through it all.

We knew it was past time to leave, but didn’t know where to go. Being homeschooled, we were not tied to any school district, so we could live anywhere. You found an ad for a house on 40 acres in McDade Texas. I looked at you in dazed confusion and asked, “Where the heck is McDade?” It was an hour away, and I’ll never forget the look on our faces as the road to the little house got smaller, more treacherous, and finally ran out of pavement onto a gravel driveway.

Mr. Rick was waiting to show us the little house. It was so beautiful out there, and I recall how everything was so green. Rick and his wife Patricia lived on the 40 acres as well, so it wasn’t like we would be alone. I had asked God to make it crystal clear if this was our new home. We had looked at quite a few, but nothing felt quite right. Mr. Rick was standing in the dining area, by the bay window, and looked at me and asked, “Is this your new home?”

My heart swells when I think of that little house. It was our new beginning.Walking this path of life together, with God at the lead, has been an amazing journey. Rick and Patricia were so sad when we left, but a year and a half later, we were ready to fly the nest, onto a little bit bigger one. It was like God has chosen them to watch over us, just like where we are now.

You found this house too, and again, a lovely couple own it. We downsized and moved to 5 acres, but Mr. Pete has his woodworking shop on the acreage, so we’re never alone. God always puts the right people in your path as just the right time. The house in McDade was a safe place for us to grow and learn how to depend on God for every little thing, but there were three things we yearned for. Things we took for granted before. Do you recall what they were?

The house was a one bedroom, but it was a massive room. We shared it which I wouldn’t have had it any other way. At the time, I don’t think we were willing to be separated by rooms. We were ready for our own bedroom, a bathtub to soak in, and a washer and dryer.

You learned the ins and outs of the laundromat for a year and a half. We were grateful, but tired of going every week. We had a shower, but no tub, and you couldn’t very well go hide in your room from me, because we shared it. This house on 5 acres has all that and more.

This is probably the longest Blog I have written in a long time, and I could go on and on, but I don’t need to. You remember it all, because you experienced it all with me. I am so grateful for you and how brave you have been your whole life, but especially these last 3 years. You are moving toward adulthood quickly, and I couldn’t be more pleased of who you’ve become.

Don’t ever forget your worth. You wrote about it here right after we moved into this house. You are beautiful inside and out, but way too hard on yourself. You get that honestly, but I hope you see me being kinder to myself and will follow suit. You have told me that “I’m your hero”, since you were 5, but what you may not know is, you are mine too. I love you.

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