Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Amy ~ Beloved

my third child,
second daughter,
born right smack in the middle of my five children,
and forever will be,

Amy's name means
dearly loved.
The name is derived from the Latin amatus which means loved.

Amy was born five days after my twenty-ninth birthday.  She arrived via a frank breech birth three weeks after her expected birthdate which was February 14.  She recently said that I must not have enjoyed that twenty-ninth birthday much since I was long past my expected due date when her birth finally took place.  I don't remember not enjoying that birthday.  I only remember the joy I felt with the gift I was given five days later:  a beautiful baby girl.  That is why I chose the name for her that I did.

Amy, the one in the middle, had a hard role to play as a child. Born five and half years after her older brother, and four years after her older sister Keicha, she spent much of her younger years striving to be a part of the established sibling relationship between her two older siblings.  

She was the oldest of the three youngest.  There is less than a five year span between the three younger siblings.  Much of the time, Amy did not want to be in this group.  She wanted to be in the older group.  Since Amy, Julie and Jonathan were born in that span of a bit less than five years, Amy didn't get to be the baby very long.  She was the middle child from her earliest days.  

This dynamic in the birth order helped to create the woman that is Amy.  

She is a people person.
People love her.
That thousand watt smile of her's lights up every room she enters.

She is able to bring people together.
As I went through family photos, I was surprised to find how few photos I have of just Amy.
That is because she is always in the midst of her siblings, her cousins, her children.
(Well that, and she won't let me take her picture.)

Amy is easy to love.
She laughs easily.

I love this photo I snapped years ago when her daughter Hannah was just a baby because it captures Amy's love of whimsy, her easy laugh, and her joy at being a mom.

She cries just as easily as she laughs when things touch her heart.
Her heart is easily touched.
She can be tough,
but she also has the tenderest of hearts.

I'll be honest, it is not easy for me to write about Amy.
Too many people have called her my mini me.
She isn't really like me in many, many ways, but people say we look alike.  (I don't see it.)

Amy in the coat I wore when she was a baby.
Believe me, I never looked this good!
We have the same mannerisms, and she hates it.  
We sometimes see mirror images of ourselves in the other in the way we speak our body language.
That drives her crazy!
It makes me laugh with joy.
It is never a good thing to remind people of your mom.
That is a hard burden to put on any woman.

It is hard for me to write about Amy because of the deep bond we share.
We've had our share of very difficult mother/daughter conflicts.
Amy knows her own mind.
I know my own mind.
Amy is strong willed.
I am strong willed.
That combination made the teenage years difficult.

Just as I knew she would,
Amy successfully launched herself by supporting herself since she was just a teenager.
She married her high school sweetheart in her early twenties.
Together, they launched a successful restaurant.
Amy worked hard during those years waiting tables, keeping the books, and lending great insight into creating a restaurant that was was a success.
I hope Amy never forgets the key role she paid in the successes this couple had together before their marriage ended a few years ago.

Amy is a private person.
I respect that in her so much.
She is not one to display her trials and griefs for others to see.

There was a time, it doesn't really seem like that long ago, when our birthdays,
Amy and mine, were celebrated with Julie in our midst.

Celebrating our birthdays
Denver, Colorado
Amy and Julie were as close as any two sisters could be.

I can't imagine the heartache that Amy has suffered since Julie has been gone.
As I write a tribute to Amy on her birthday, I want to leave out the part that speaks of pain and loss.
I want us to all go to dinner again and celebrate our birthdays.

A tribute to Amy would be missing a key element if I did not acknowledge what a 
she was to Julie.
She took care of Julie during her hard times more than I will ever know.
Thank you Amy for being there for Julie.
I know she was there for you too.
Together, you two made an awesome sister team.

In many ways, Amy was born to be a mom.
She loves Mason her sixteen year old son as deeply as any mom can love a son.
She has supported him in all of his endeavors and has been that mom cheering in stands for him since his earliest days when he began playing hockey.

Amy & Mason with Buster
Where did those early childhood days go?

It seems Hannah was learning to read with her mom's help just a few years ago.
Now, Hannah at age twelve is taller than her mother and into make-up and making sure her mascara is applied just right.
Amy now gets to experience the trials of being a mom to teenagers.
Warning to her children:
She knows about the teenage years.

Amy, now a single mom, works hard to provide for herself and her children.
I worry and pray as she drive to her job in downtown Denver over icy roads in winter.
I try not to bug her about checking in when she gets home so I won't worry.
She is a valued employee in the human resources department of the company for which she works.
She is again working on her running after an ACL injury.
She bought herself a bike and is biking when she can.
Amy is an overcomer.
Her toughness comes through when it has to.


Amy, I hope you will always be my sounding board.
I know that isn't always fair to you to be in that position, but honestly, some the best advice I've ever gotten in my life, I gotten from you.
I guess many times I am also your sounding board.

As I wrote in your card this year,
You are much loved.

Together, we have been down roads we never wished we had to go down.
You have been by my side through much that life has thrown at me.
I've been at your side also.
I don't remember the sad and hard times when I think of you.
I remember that smile of yours.
I remember how it brightens my days and lightens my load.
I remember the gift that you have always been to me.

Did you know what your name is in the Urban Dictionary?
It means:
To take, hold, or steal your heart.
You did that on the day you were born.
You stole my heart.
The Urban Dictionary would say,
She pulled an amy on my heart.
My heart was amyied.

If you have the opportunity to meet my daughter,
watch out,
she will amy your heart
(Urban Dictionary phrase)

Amy, my beloved,
thank you for being my daughter.
My life is richly blessed because you are in it.
I love you dearly.
I hope you have a happy birthday.


Margaret Adamson said...

This is a wonderful piece of writing about your " blooded" Amy. She sounds like a very special girl and that smile would light up any room. Thanks for sharing.

Terri Tiffany said...

This was wonderful!!! No daughter could be more loved!!

Rose said...

What a beautiful tribute to your daughter! Your description of her reminds me in some ways of my oldest daughter, my third child. She was never "the baby" of the family, and when her younger sister came along, she became a true big sister, always looking out for my youngest. She is strong-willed, too, which means we often clash, but I admire her so. You have reminded me that I don't tell her often enough how much I love and admire her. And yes, I think Amy looks like you!

KathyA said...

A child so clearly like her mother!! Happy Birthday to Amy!

dkzody said...

Aww, such a sweet tribute to your daughter. You are a terrific mother.

fiftyodd said...

It's wonderful to read about someone who is close to their mom. I regret that I didn't experience that with my own. We just never understood each other.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

A lovely tribute to your daughter. How lucky she is to have you recognize the beauty and contributions she has brought to your world and the worlds of others.So glad you both have each other.

Tom Sightings said...

So enjoyed reading about your daughter ... and what a smile she has!

Arkansas Patti said...

Your description of Amy leaves no doubt of how much she is loved and cherished by her mother. What an amazing tribute to a very special lady. Her smile is just brilliant and disarming. You are so lucky to have each other.

Munir said...

It is so nice to read a mom writing such a beautiful tribute to her daughter. Best wishes to the both of you.

Barb said...

What a great smile Amy has and yes, I think maybe she got it from her Mom! I love that she is wearing your "old" coat. Happy Birthday, Amy!

DJan said...

I learned a lot about both of you from this post, Sally. Thank you so much for your honesty and your poetry. :-)

Linda Reeder said...

What a beautiful post, Sally.Like DJan said, I learned about you as well as your daughter today.

Grandmother (Mary) said...

Great tribute to your special daughter. Oh, those strong willed daughters- mine said at age 3 after we had an argument: You think youir thoughts and I'll think mine! I knew I was in trouble! But they grow into amazing women and we're lucky to have them.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Sally, this is wonderful. What a great way to remind Amy how much she means to you, and to give us a glimpse into your relationship.

Betsy Adams said...

Beautiful tribute to your gorgeous daughter, Sally. I know you are proud of the woman she is.... It's not easy being a single parent, working fulltime and raising children.. (BEEN THERE)

Thanks for sharing.

Jeanie said...

What a beautiful tribute, Sally. I couldn't help but think when you said Amy meant "beloved" that in French, ami is friend. And friends are indeed beloved.

I'm grateful that as time has passed that you are friends, too. Yes, you'll always be her mom and she your daughter -- but you are friends (and not all can say that!). What a gift. Happiest wishes to her.

Friko said...

Happy Birthday Amy.

Did you know that you have an awesome mum? If you are anything like her you can be proud.

#1Nana said...

The best gift you can give her is letting her know how much she is loved. I think you did that with this post. Happy Birthday Amy!

Perpetua said...

What a lovely tribute to your beautiful and deeply-loved daughter, Sally. Wishing her many successful and satisfying years to come.

Pam (Isabelle) said...

Awww. How lovely.

Kay said...

I'm so happy that I'm finally finding the time to be able to see a few blogs. It's been a very rough three months for our family from December until now... and it's not over, I guess. However, seeing this post made me smile and feel happy.

Amy is such an amazing, beautiful young woman and she looks so much like you, Sally! Happy birthday to Amy! I can see what a treasure she is to your family. You have written a truly poetic, lovely and loving tribute to your very special daughter.