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Sweet Daughter Memory

Beautiful moments filter through my mind like sand gently blown by the wind…substantial yet fleeting, elusive when I want to capture and hold them. My thoughts, a mosaic of sensations, pulsing, winking, never static, are difficult to harness. My heart feels deeply, but my mind races forward, forgetting yesterday, pushing past the now, seeking out the next.

Is this a symptom of our chaotic, technological age?

Clearly my focus is fragmented by gadgets and beeps, monitors and apps. I sit to reflect, and find the screen of my inner world strangely void. I purpose to write something joyful, peaceful, beautiful; but my thoughts are blank, my inner eye searching for a muse. I need a prompt, a picture, a word, or maybe a song, in order to proceed... something to help break this stale-mate between me and the computer.

Just then, my husband who is practicing the accordion nearby, begins to play the famous Johnny Mercer tune: “Moon River.” As winsome notes tug at my heart, re-kindling a sweet memory, my fingers begin to dance atop the keyboard.

I feel myself, a new mother, seated upstairs in the nursery of our first house, tucked near the north shore of a lush, mystical island. It’s 1983 and my whole world revolves around my newborn daughter’s care. My precious Katie Grace, with her huge brown eyes (so like chocolate pudding pools) and quizzical expression, overwhelms my senses. We rock back and forth on upholstered velvet, unaware of the many miles we travel.

I feed her, and sing to her of a mysterious river and an emotional journey; relishing the feel of her little frame, smelling her sweet baby scent and thanking God for the gift of her. A skylight above our heads beckons moonbeams to cover us in a heavenly glow as I croon to her in my new mommy voice: “Moon River, wider than a mile, I’m crossing you in style someday…” Oh yes, this passage into parenthood has been magical and unpredictable, changing me forever!

“Dream maker, you heart breaker, wherever you’re going, I’m going your way…”

Greater than any dream, this sweet little girl has stolen my heart. Surely love will see us through the tough patches we face. A caesarian section, her colicky tummy, thumb sucking blisters and strong-willed outbursts cannot diminish the unbreakable bond between us.

“‘Three drifters’ off to see the world, there’s such a lot of world to see!”

Yes, where once we were two drifters off to see the world, now we are three! For nineteen years she traveled with her Daddy and me. We added a baby brother and visited foreign lands, but all too soon it came time for her to leave. How I wish I had known how quickly our family travels would end. For she was destined to start her own journey with her own mate, blessed with her own children to fill her heart full.

“We’re after the same rainbow’s end, coming round the bend, my Huckleberry friend, Moon River and me.”

Long gone is the velvet rocker and the nursery with the skylight. These days I treasure interacting with her sons, those handsome boys who call me Grandma from a distance. And I trust the love of Christ to keep us together despite the years and miles that separate us… my little “chocolate pudding eyes” and me.

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