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How Did My Daughter Learn to Do That?

Dear Caroline:
Every morning for the last four years I have eagerly awaited the patter of her steps coming down to the kitchen. She smiles at me half asleep. My heart melts a bit and we say, “Good morning.” Nothing more, nothing less. How did she learn to do that? It wasn’t from me. I like to talk in the morning, especially after that morning coffee. But I have learned to hold back and wait till she actually wants to talk with me.

She showers, prepares her clothes, gathers her books and a myriad of essentials for a long day. From school, she works at a Daycare/Universal Pre-school center. When she comes home, sometimes after a fifteen hour day, she is all smiles and wants to share every detail of her favorite little one for that particular day. I sit with her and listen to a non-ending stream of emotions and laughter and think, “How in the world did she learn to love children so much?

Weekends she is too busy to even socialize with friends. She stays home and lets me pamper her to my surprise and then there are other times she stays out way too late and gets run down and cranky and yet she makes it to work, never misses a day and never complains about all she has to do. In fact, these days she has become so independent, it sometimes feels like she doesn’t need me anymore. Ah! Independence. Wasn’t I dreaming of this? How did it happen? How did she learn to fend for herself?

Last Sunday, she met me in church. She snuck in a few minutes late, but she came. She put her own money in the donation envelope (a substantial amount), volunteered for service to the community and we all spent the day with family and actually had fun. At dinner, I noticed she had a strong voice in the conversation. She brought out some very good points. She sounded so darn smart, knew things I didn’t. I observed from afar. Like my best friend Mary always said, it was like you were frozen in time and viewed from a surreal moment. She was beautiful inside and out. When did she learn to be tender but strong?

My daughter, Rachel, makes me proud. It hasn’t been easy for her growing up. As a mom with health problems, doing home hemodialysis five days a week and a three-time cancer survivor, she has opted to keep close to home and yet she is as independent as a college student abroad. She cheers me on with all my endeavors and stands firm in her faith at all times and truly believes that things will all work out for us. Each morning she listens to Joel Osteen and Louise Hay and incorporates their positive messages into her everyday existence. How did she learn to obtain such a healthy spirit?

Keeping our family close is important to me. We are far from perfect and I am the fighter in the bunch, but I have learned to pick my battles. What I know is love is stronger than any other force and we keep the doors to communication wide open. Life is challenging. We get thrown that curveball that changes everything. Then the only thing we have to change is our attitude about the curve. My daughter and my husband made me want to fight the battle of cancer and end stage renal failure and I do it graciously and always with a smile. It’s easy when you have the support and love. How did she learn to be so loving?

Only God knows and surely He says, “In you I am well-pleased, my good and faithful servant!”

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