Monday, February 8, 2010


I'm writing this post because it's just a good time to do so.

Yesterday was Beth's birthday and that always brings back memories of her babyhood, her childhood, and her journey to who she is now.

I may not know Beth better than anyone else but I have known her longer. And I know a lot about her. I know she's independent, self confident, and a care taker. I know all this because that's how she's been since the day she was born.

The winter of 1976-1977 was, I believe, the fifth coldest in the history of weather records for our area. Starting sometime before Christmas, the temperature never once got above freezing until 33 years ago today. I spent lots of time looking out the window at the growing mountains of snow, wondering if I would make it to the hospital when it was time.

It was the longest, coldest winter I had ever known, I was experiencing the longest pregnancy that I could remember, and I was about to experience the longest labor I had ever experienced.

She was so stubborn. I went to the hospital in the morning, optimistically sure that birth was imminent only to spend the day walking the halls, trying to get things going. Finally, late in the evening of February 7th, our baby girl was born.

And all the long dark winter, and all that long, worrisome pregnancy suddenly disappeared. Thirty three years ago today, a happy, new mother looked out her hospital window and saw a miracle. Melting snow was creating beautiful rivulets of water running down the streets. Beth's birth turned the corner for us all that winter. What a beautiful miracle she was.

Her big brothers and sisters adored her and so did her mom and dad. But she was a stubborn little girl. She enjoyed being carried around but she wasn't shy about letting us know what she didn't enjoy. So that I could get things done around the house, we bought a papoose type carrier so she could ride around wherever I went. She HATED it! I couldn't wait to put her in the high chair so that she'd be upright and could follow the activities of our busy family. She HATED it. So things went her way. I happily (for the most part) carried her around a good deal of the time and her daddy carried her around when he got home from work. And this worked well for Beth until she started walking.

At that point she took off and never looked back. She wasn't a lap baby anymore. She was too busy keeping up with her older siblings.

And she had special friends. From the time she learned to talk, she told us frequently about her best friend, Lois. Lois was not a popular name back then. We'd never heard it on TV or among our friends or family. But Beth often talked about her. One time she even told us that Lois' family was sick and that there was a sign on her door saying people couldn't come in. That's when I started becoming very curious about past lives. There were other friends in Beth and Lois' circle and Lois' mother was also discussed but I no longer remember the details. Pretty soon, Beth became shy when Lois was brought up and the memory of her slipped away.

Beth also HATED fireworks. There was nothing about them that she enjoyed. She couldn't bear to watch her dad set them off and she couldn't bear to hear them or see them. So I'd keep her in the house with me but that wasn't enough. She cried her little eyes out because her brothers and sisters were still outside in all that danger. She was such a concerned little baby mother.

Beth was a wonderful, independent child and I don't think she was ever a problem. (Of course I didn't know about the Natural Light and all in college.) She was editor of her high school newspaper, had an incredible sense of humor, and was very obedient.

When she and Brian were in the same picture in the school yearbook, I said, "there Beth. Go out with him". She did one better. She married him.

So you see there are many reasons that we love Beth so much. She's been a joy to us for the last thirty-three years and, God willing, she'll be a joy to us for the next thirty-three years.

I think we're all so blessed that she shares so much of her life and love with us. Thirty-three years ago, Beth made her appearance and changed our world forever. And it's been a better, sweeter place ever since.


  1. Happy Birthday Beth. It sounds like you are a very loved person and why not. You are totally one of the sweetest people I have the pleasure of knowing. Mary, you sound like a very proud mom. Beth is a wonderful, sweet woman who gives so much. You raised an awesome daughter! Are you doing the walk this year?

  2. Oh my, this is so sweet and funny and I'm sure if it hadn't been for me, someone would have been seriously injured by those ding dang fireworks.

    Oh and the Natural Light? WAS ALL BRIAN'S IDEA. He's a bad influence, didn't you know?

    I love this, Mom. THANK YOU.

  3. What a great post! I love to hear about Beth as a kid!

  4. I loved reading this post about Beth as a kid, it's fun even as her sister, to remember what she was like. One thing I definitely DO remember is her staying in the house crying while the rest of us were outside doing fireworks. Poor little worry wart! Happy Birthday, Beth!

  5. Oh I love hearing stories about your family...what a little one that Beth was! I totally had a "make believe" friend when I was little...actually 2...and they were blue! Love the fact that I had such an imagination!

    Happy Birthday dear Beth!

  6. I love this! I couldn't agree more that the world is a better, sweeter place with Beth in it.


Gentle, strong, kind or true, I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Short or long, it's up to you, your comments and thoughts really make my day!