Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chapters of Life

Our lives seem to basically be made up of chapters:  youth, school, work, dating, engagement, marriage, children - to name the obvious biggies.  In just a few short weeks, our oldest daughter will be embarking on a new chapter in her life and it is indeed a biggie - she is leaving home for the first time to start her junior year at a four-year college.

It doesn't at all seem possible that this day is upon us, and indeed it came in the blink of an eye!!!  And it is such a bittersweet time for us, to be sure.  What some of you don't know is that Chelsea isn't our first child.  Yes, I did say that she is our oldest, but she is not our first.  Randy and I were first parents to the most beautiful, big blue-eyed little girl named Jessie.  She was with us for only 9 short months.  When she was 3 months old, I took her to the doctor for what I thought was a severe cold and we were soon to find out that our daughter was instead very sick with a fatal disease called Pompe's Disease (the disease that the recent movie, Extraordinary Measures was about).  So, for 6 months of her very short life, we had a lot of loving to do before she was to leave us.  It was the most painful time of our lives, as you can well imagine!  I always wanted to be a mom and was devastated by our loss.  We were told by our geneticist that we probably shouldn't try to have our own children as Pompe's is a genetic disease, but Jessie's cardiologist pulled me aside and said, "Don't listen to him.  If it's in your heart to have your own children, then follow your heart".  And follow our hearts we did.  We were later blessed with not just one, but eventually two, unaffected, healthy baby girls.  And blessings they have been indeed!!!

And here we are, 20 years later, shopping for dorm supplies and watching Chelsea clean out her room and start to pack, preparing herself for the next chapter of her life.  I am hoping and praying that this next chapter will be one of such amazing opportunities for fun, success, new experiences and maybe even love.  How fun to experience this new launch with her.  Yes, I will miss her so incredibly much, but I didn't want more children to cling onto them forever for myself.  It was so I could do the best job possible to raise responsible, respectable young women to go out into the world and do great things - and I know that is exactly what Chelsea will do!