When my daughter was born I spent a lot of time just staring at her. I couldn’t believe I had borne something so perfect — from the brownish-blonde fuzz on the top of her head, to her pink little toes and toenails — she was the word “miraculous” manifested.
Time and circumstance have done little to change those feelings — in fact they came bubbling up in my chest, threatening to smother me with emotion, as I watched her walk down the aisle with her dad a few weeks ago, to marry the man she has chosen to spend her life with.
When she stopped to kiss me and hand me a bouquet — I choked on the words “I love you” — the beautiful woman who stood before me was instead the tow-headed little girl, handing me flowers she’d picked from the yard, her little sunburned face turned up to me for a kiss.
Her six-foot brother, handsome in his groomsman’s tux, did nothing to stem the tide of emotions — where had the time gone? Where were the children who laughed and fought and loved away my days?
The answer of course, is that time has marched on and so have they. They have grown up and become young adults, embarking on lives of their own. Some day, my daughter may know exactly how I felt when she stares at the newly-made form of her own child.
I thought that day of my own parents too — both long deceased, but still with me, everyday. I thought of my mother, her tears at my own wedding, feeling anew the keen loss of not being able to tell her that every day that passes gives me new insight into how she felt and who she was.
Why is it that every experience in this world is bittersweet? We relish our babies and thrill at every step they take — knowing all the while that those steps take them further away from us.
If I had just one wish for Miranda as she begins her new life with her husband Josh, it would be that she lives each day fully, cherishing its moments and marking the time — which will pass so much more quickly than she can know.
And it is my sincere hope that they will find a sure and certain refuge with each other when the storms come, as they certainly will.
As for me, I’ll hang on to my memories of the little girl that was, as I take pride and pleasure in the woman that is.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal.