A Legacy of Strength…

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

We make quite a pair...

We make quite a pair…

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.

They also make quite a pair...

They also make quite a pair…

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.

Worn with pride as she realized success through hard work and dedication...

Worn with pride as she realizes success through hard work and perseverance…

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.

A good brain and a love of learning earned her national honors in the Duke University TIP program...

A good brain and a love of learning earned her national honors in the Duke University TIP program last spring…

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.

Bethesda By The Sea Episcopal Church: Palm Beach, Florida

Bethesda By The Sea Episcopal Church: Palm Beach, Florida

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.

Handing down his passion and skill for fly fishing...

Handing down his passion and skill for fly fishing in his beloved Absaroka Mountains…

It will be a beautiful continuation of the legacy of strength that was born with the life of her Granddaddy…


Filed under Ashley Grace's Corner and The Chick Project..., Family, General

9 responses to “A Legacy of Strength…

  1. Stephanie

    One of my favorite “reads” of yours that you have written Anne………….peace to you, and what a proud moment it will be watching her read at your father’s service. I will be thinking about all of you.

    • Thank you Stephanie. That means a lot. I also enjoyed writing this post. My girls are a constant source of both joy and pride for me—it is fun to write about them, even under stressful circumstances. We are sitting in the Dallas airport waiting for a flight connection. It will be good to get to Florida and see my mom. Thank you for your prayers. We all need them.


  2. Happy Birthday Ashley Grace 🙂
    Our thoughts and prayers are still with your family. Safe travels to the funeral.

  3. Happy Birthday to Ashley Grace! Wonderful post, Anne.

    My Sister did the readings at Grandpa’s funeral. January will mark 10 years without my Mom’s Dad.

    I am sure your Dad will be proud to have Ashley read at his services and continue to share her strength.

    • Thank you, Robyn. Yes, Dad (Granddaddy) will be proud. AG will pull through with strength and grace–that is her personality. It will be a sad but proud moment.

      I hope that it is getting warmer for you. We seem to be having a cold December in the Great Plains…I hope that it isn’t a prelude to what the entire winter will be 🙂

      Take care,

  4. Love this. Happy birthday to the ever smart, tough, and wise Ashley Grace. You two do make quite a pair. I wish I could be there in FL with you. My parents are planning to be there. Thanks for sharing another beautiful piece. Much love, Karyn

    • As you know, Karyn—it will be truly wonderful to have your parents there. I am so looking forward to giving your mom a hug. Thank you for all of your love and support—you have always been a sister to me and I am blessed to have you. I wish that so many miles did not separate us…but we always persevere. Give my love to Joe and the girls.


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