Fourteen years ago today, I entered the world of motherhood. After a battle of wills that lasted about 16 hours, Ashley Grace entered the world three weeks early weighing 6 pounds and 3 ounces. I have wondered many times over the past 14 years which one of us is more tenaciously obstinate—I believe that the jury is still out…
Motherhood has proven to be both my greatest joy and my greatest challenge. Balancing discipline and guidance as my girls journey their way through childhood and adolescence provides an ongoing personal search for me. While I love my girls unconditionally, I know that it is my duty to raise them to be strong, hard-working, and compassionate young women.
Ashley Grace is a wonderful enigma and, every once in a while, I find the need to step back and marvel at this child that is such a part of both Matt and I. The take-charge personality that is so much like me, combined with the intellectual mind that is so much like Matt. Add in the quirks and sarcastic humor that make her uniquely Ashley Grace, and the result is a fascinating package.
Whether she is running her heart out on the cross country course and the basketball court, or dazzling me with facts and philosophical ideas that her sponge-like mind seems to absorb at an astounding rate; I thank God each day for the ability to share my life with her.
Three days from now, my favorite teenager will climb the steps to the pulpit at Bethesda By the Sea Episcopal Church and to read at her Granddaddy’s Memorial Service. She will do this with both grace and composure despite the fact that she will look out amongst hundreds of family members and friends as she shares from the book of Revelations.
Her innate sense of compassion and self-confidence will lend her strength as she takes an active role in the celebration of the tenacious man who will always hold a special place in our hearts. This act of selflessness will be performed out of love and respect for her grandparents—both the one that we say goodbye to, and the strong woman who will now persevere through life without her husband of 45 years.
I know that as I watch Ashley Grace give this gift, my heart will warm as my dad smiles down with pride.
It will be a beautiful continuation of the legacy of strength that was born with the life of her Granddaddy…