|Victoria at 5 years|
I remember back, 18 years ago, laying in a hospital bed with an elevated temperature from being in labor over 18 hours, pushing nearly six with the baby's head crowning, only to have a last minute c-section. My body was so stressed my temperature had gone up to 107 degrees and was still elevated after waking from the c-section. Until it went down, they would not let me hold my new daughter. So, an understanding nurse brought in rubber gloves all filled with ice and water and tied off and laid them all over my body to try to bring my core temperature down more quickly. It worked and at around 10pm, I was brought Victoria for the first time.
|Victoria at Four Years|
I will never forget looking into those dark eyes, not black yet but almost, and the connection I felt at that moment was the most special I had ever felt in my life. I held that little bundle in my arms and realized she required everything from me. I was her protector and caregiver and the last 24 hours of pain was worth every second just to bring her in this world. That was the day self died and I found a new life in being a mother.
|Victoria at Japanese Society|
I was so blessed to have started my life as a mother with Victoria. She was a beautiful, fair skinned little girl with long thick brown hair streaked with red highlights and eyes so dark they were almost black. She was always precocious and always had a heighten concerned for others. Victoria was a joy from the moment she came into our lives. As time went on and she grew into a young lady, I could tell there was something very special about this girl. She had something deep in her soul that drew people of all types and ages to her. It is not unusual to be shopping in a store and go looking for Victoria only to find her standing somewhere listening to some stranger telling their life's story to her and looking to her for comfort. This started happening at a young age and continues to this day. She is calm and comforting and people are drawn to her.
|Victoria at Japanese Society|
Victoria became my primary caregiver at the beginning of my illness. Since Josh had to work throughout the week, necessity left it in her hands. Her instinct in caring for the ill is God-given. When I am at my worse, I am always grateful she is there for me. When I am having a bad flare, I often cannot communicate to her what I need but she instinctively knows. We were blessed to have her during such a difficult time in our lives. I had taught Victoria to cook from an early age so she was already proficient in the kitchen but when I required a new diet for fighting the cancer, we discovered she had a gift for taking standard recipes and modifying them to a custom diet…and the dishes still tasted wonderful. There were so many talents that began to emerge as she began to walk on this path with me.
|Victoria at Market|
Victoria went from being a carefree young girl to having nights when she was scared I wouldn't make it to the morning. Something like that changes a person deep inside and and what came out was an impressive young woman who can take command of a situation and handle it quickly and efficiently. Not much phases Victoria any more. She is mature far beyond her years and has a heart for other people. We have always been concerned that too much was being placed on her but God knows our circumstances and what emerged from being put through the fire was a thing of beauty. One day a young man is going to be very blessed to have her as a wife.
|Victoria at Market|
For now, she is entering an exciting stage of her life. She is about to graduate High School and is going to be studying Alternative Pain Management as well begin studying Japanese. We aren't sure why but Victoria is drawn to the Japanese culture and has a desire to learn the language, so, her 18th birthday gift is Japanese lessons. Maybe there is a bigger reason for her drawing, who knows what the future holds, but for now, we are encouraging all her interests. It will be fun and interesting to see how her lessons go. She already has a small command on the language from years of Anime's. I love seeing the children reach out to try new and interesting things.
|Victoria's Birthday Dinner|
She enjoyed her special day by spending it with her Daddy. Josh always takes the children out for special one on one time together. They all look forward to their time with their Daddy and I know it is making life-long memories. I am looking forward to having a dinner with my best girl this week as well. We are going to sneak off, just the two of us, and have a little mother and daughter time over a nice meal. I am happy to say, Victoria is not just my daughter but is truly, one of my best friends. I am less and less her mother and more and more her councilor and sounding board. She is an adult now and her life is in her hands but since we have made it a point to gradually release the power of control to her as she was ready, the transition from youth to adult has not been difficult. Parents that try to force their children into their ideologies generally fail miserably but when you allow your children to use the minds that God gave them and teach them to begin to make their own decisions as they become capable, all the while leading by example, they tend to trust your judgement more rather than less.
|Ferry Ride Home|
Tonight Victoria and Josh are going to be experimenting with all the new and exciting food they found at the Japanese Market so it should be an interesting dinner. I noticed a lot of Sushi being transferred from the cloth bags to the refrigerator. I just had a Strawberry Milk Daifuku which is a sweet strawberry flavored soft dumpling, almost resembling a silky dough consistency, with a Strawberry Cream inside. Oh, it was good. It will be a night of discovery. What fun!!! Life should be full of experimentation and enjoyment. God has given us so many fun and diverse options in our lives, we need to learn to appreciate the vastness of God by appreciating all He has created.
|Fun Food from the Japanese Market|
I must go now, my daughter is home now and I want to spend some time listening all about signing-up for her new lessons and the fun new markets they found in the city. I just want to spend a little time appreciating how blessed we have been for the last 18 years. She won't be with us for that much longer. She will find her path and God will send her the soul-mate He has waiting and she will be on for the adventure of her own life, but for now, I can still appreciate being Mama and snuggle with my little girl and look for earring jackets later tonight. I know these are the times I will remember. These are my memories.
May God Bless and Keep You in HIs Grace,