Today is the birthday of my daughter Lianna Phillips. She is 27 years old. Usually I do a video montage for the kids on their birthdays, but somehow I just didn’t think that seeing the same pictures was the same. I wonder if she really understands how much she means to me? I mean, I know that we are far apart geographically and she is busy being 27 so our lives don’t run along the same lines. I can’t just “pop” over if I want to see her (which I do often) and neither can she.
I wonder if she knows how scared I was when I found out I was pregnant? I had already lost 4 babies to miscarriages and a tubal pregnancy. I had always just wanted to be a mom. That was what I wanted to be when I grew up and I was becoming afraid that I would never have that chance. When I had the tubal pregnancy my tube ruptured and I was taken to emergency surgery as my abdominal cavity filled with blood, so when I found out I was pregnant again I didn’t say anything for at least 3 months. I didn’t even want to let myself hope until I passed that point. Once I got past that, the reality of the situation started to set in. How was I going to take care of this life growing inside of me? Oh how I wanted to make sure that she knew I loved her. Oh how I wanted to make sure that she knew that no matter what, she was perfect just the way she was.
I remember her father, my first husband, falling asleep as he watched cartoons in the hospital. I remember thinking that even if I had to do this alone I would take care of her. I remember how tiny she was and how much dark hair she had and how much love I felt for her the minute they laid her in my arms. I remember thinking that there was no way that I was ready to be a mom, and that I was born to do this.
Life went on as it does and there are a thousands of memories that have flitted across my mind today. I remember seeing her light up Christmas morning when I surprised her with the tree. I remember singing to her as she rode in the car seat…usually she was crying, maybe it was my voice. I remember taking her to the zoo. I remember snuggling with her. I remember how sweet she smelled. I remember how happy she was. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have such a light in my life. I remember thinking how beautiful she was and still is today. During her childhood, I do have to take a moment here to thank her grandparents. I was lucky that she had such good grandparents. They were there for her sometimes in ways that I just could not be as I tried to figure life out myself.
I did not always make the best decisions, marrying her father was one of them. He is a great guy, don’t get me wrong. We were just not meant to be together forever. The best thing that we ever did together was to create our beautiful daughter. I also let my daughter find her own way, even when that way went away from me. I don’t regret it. I just hope that she knows that I have always loved her, even when we were apart.
Being a mom was and is the thing that I am the best at, the thing that I was born to do. Lia made me a mom first. Lia filled my heart to overflowing first. Lia never met a stranger and her smile would light up a room. Lia made me want to be better than I was. It was and is the best and most rewarding thing that I have ever been asked to do. As parents, we are entrusted for a short time with children. It is up to us to take care of them and try to teach them about the world, and most of all to love them with our entire being.
I hope that she learned a few things from me, like…tell the truth, especially to yourself…love with your whole heart, even though it will most likely get broken…never forget to say I love you to the ones around you, you never know when it might be the last time…Try your best to treat others how you want to be treated, it works out much better that way…believe that you can accomplish anything, you can if you try…and finally…love is all encompassing. The love I have for you knows no boundaries, it will never be taken away and it will be with you even when I am gone. I am always here for you. I will always be in the spaces between everyday life. My love for you is bigger than you know, it is the safety net that will be waiting to catch you if you should ever fall…I don’t think you will…but it is there just in case.
At the end of today my first baby will be another year older. For me, I will be remembering her first cries as she made her way into this world. I knew then what an amazing woman she would be, and I was right.
Happy Birthday Baby. I love you always.