Monday, June 20, 2011

Letter to Claire

Dear Claire,

This past weekend was full of great moments in your life and wonderful experiences.  We will start out with Saturday.  Saturday, June 18th was actually Momma and Daddy’s 16th year anniversary.  No, we haven’t been married 16 years, but we started dating 16 years ago.  We were very young (14 and 15 years old), but I believe in love at first sight and the fact of knowing your soul mate when you find that person.  You and I celebrated by taking our first visit ever to the grocery store and out to eat at a restaurant!

We went to Food Lion to pick out some ice cream for part of Daddy’s Father’s Day present.  At first, you looked scared when we walked into the store.  You didn’t know where we were or what all of that food was.  But by the time we got to the ice cream aisle, you were happy.  Then some man said that even though I had on a Duke t-shirt, he would let me by him in the aisle.  I told him that Duke saved your life so he would just have to get over it!  Well, not in those words, but he let us by!

You and I then went to eat at Carolina Bagel with Granny, Aunt Amanda, and Uncle Colby.  I was worried how you would act in there because you were yelling in the car on the way.  Not crying or fussing, but just listening to your self talk.  It was funny!  But once we got in and settled at the table, you just went fast asleep. 

On another note, we decided you must have a thing for going fishing.  Well, not really.  But your Momma must not be able to see well!  The whole time I have thought that that place on your incision was a piece of dead skin that would fall off, well it’s not.  Since it got infected last week, I have been looking at it closely.  I had you outside on Saturday and was looking at it and realized it looks like a piece of fishing string sticking out of your belly!!!  It must be part of the internal stitch that made its way out of your incision.  Your Momma feels so bad for that!  We hope to get it fixed soon!! 

Sunday was a very special day.  It was Daddy’s first Father’s Day and it was also your baptism day.  You made Daddy an ice cream bowl at Accidental Artist with your foot prints on it.  He absolutely loved it!  You also made him a card with your foot prints on it and chewed the corners for him as your “signature”.  Daddy put the bowl to use several times Sunday with his ice cream that you bought him at Food Lion (Bunny Tracks). 

We then got you ready for your big day!  We were so extremely excited about your baptism.  The only way I can describe my emotions were that I compared them to the emotions I felt the day I married your Daddy.  So happy about the commitment we were making with our family and God.  You had so many outfits and special things to wear for your baptism.  You wore the baptism gown that Great Granny Rose hand made 30 some years ago for Momma when I was baptized in 1979.  Aunt Julie, Uncle Phillip, and Aunt Amanda also wore this same gown.  It is still in beautiful condition.  On the back, the dress was pinned together with gold antique pins that Great Granny Rose bought at an antique shop just for that gown.   

You also wore a baptism pin with a cross on it from Aunt Brenda, Uncle Wayne, Aunt Elizabeth, and Uncle Ted.  It was beautiful and shiny!  I used that pin to attach a gold baby ring to your dress that your Daddy wore on his baptism day.  Talk about rich heritage.  You wore this pin and ring over your heart.  You also wore a new, beautiful white baptism bib with a cross on it. 

Grandma Neat Neat had purchased you a handkerchief bonnet that you were to wear on your baptism day and then use again on your wedding day.  It was so hot, we didn’t put the bonnet on your head, but Grandma Neat Neat had the bonnet with her at church.  So it was still there on your baptism day! 

You also had another baptism gown that was especially made just for you by one of Great Granny Maxine’s friends.  The plan was to change your gown after church and let you wear the new one to the covered dish lunch at church, but you were just way too hot and not interested in it.  So we put it on when we got home.  It was a beautiful white dress with a hand smocked neckline with little pearls and roses.  It had a matching bonnet that was adorable! 

Claire, you looked so beautiful in your baptism gowns.  So pure and innocent and happy.  You did great during the ceremony.  You talked during the prayer, and when the preacher took you to show you to the congregation, you were perfect!  We were so proud of you and so proud of that moment in your life.  There were so many people at church that made the promise with us to commit themselves to helping to raise you in a Christian life.  You have so much support!  Not only were your church family members there yesterday, but so many family and friends showed up to see your big day.  They included Momma and Daddy, Granny and Big Daddy, Grandma Neat Neat, Great Granny Maxine, Mimi and Grandpa, Aunt Doe, Aunt Sarah, Uncle Franky, Connor, Anna, Aunt Julie, Aunt Amanda, Uncle Phillip, Aunt Brandy, Aunt Brenda, Uncle Wayne, Aunt Elizabeth, Aunt Pat, Uncle Ricky, Aunt Connie, Joy and James Wiley, Candice and Jacob Morgan, Beth Meadows, Chris Meadows, Izzie and Christopher, Louise and Linnea Thiesen.  I am sure I have left people out, but I tried to make a mental note so you would know who was there. 

After the ceremony, I was planning to take you outside and keep you happy until the end of the service.  But Mrs. Jean Bender came and rescued you and took you to the church nursery for the very first time!  It was a great moment, but scary for me all at the same time.  She reported that you cried at first but settled down soon after.  Mrs. Jean said she could tell what you liked to do – walk outside and sing songs!  When I went to pick you up at the end of church, you were fast asleep in Mrs. Jean’s arms. 

You then got to meet your BFF Izzie for the very first time!  It was fun seeing you together!  We have waited a long time for that!  Now we just need to get Ava together with the both of you and we will be good to go!  Izzie’s mom, Ava’s mom, and I were all technically pregnant together for about 1 week although I didn’t know I was pregnant at the time.  So y’all were BFFs before you were even born. 

We took lots of pictures after church and we even had our first family portrait done for the church directory! 

Aunt Sarah fixed 2 beautiful bouquets of flowers for you for your special day from her garden.   One arrangement brightened the room at the covered dish lunch at church.  The other brightened our kitchen table.  You also received a toddler Bible from Momma and Daddy, lots of special cards from other friends, and some more gifts.  You even received a special poem written just for you by your Grandma Neat Neat.

And to top off the great weekend, we finally received the rain that we have been praying for late last night while we were sleeping.  Thank God!  And through all of the lightening, rain, and thundering you didn’t even blink an eye while you were sleeping. 

Claire, we are so proud of who you have been, who you are, and who you will be.  You are one special miracle and a definite testament to the love of God.  We find strength in you that we never thought possible in a human being.  Our love for you is overflowing.  We are thankful for the path you are walking with God and hope that He will always hold your hand tightly along that path. 

With all of our love and respect,

Momma and Daddy

PS - Here is an update on Claire's teeth and incisions:

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