This is a picture of our oldest daughter Aleela, taken back in June. The reflection in the mirror is of me. I was standing behind her, rubbing her shoulders and neck after a long day at work. Instead of driving home, she drove to New Richmond to help me with company that had come for Anna's graduation.
Last week, when I was in the hospital, I had a few days when I was barely coherent. Weakness and pain overwhelming. Drifting in and out, relief came only when sleep arrived. Those first few days were the worst I have ever experienced.
Aleela is a very strong, outgoing, intelligent women. I don't always see this - my eyes tending to see the girl of days gone by, but there have been a couple of occasions where in order to care for me, she has worked from our home. I hear her dealing with doctors and surgeons from all over the United States. That little girl, twirling atop a tree stump in her pretty pink princess dress and red "clappin" shoes - now strong, authentic and beautiful.
As I drifted in and out from my hospital bed, there she was. Sitting perfectly still, in the darkness, keeping vigil. Sometimes when I looked at her she looked like an angel to me. My voice almost nonexistent from weakness, all I need do was to whisper her name and there she was - inches from my face. "I'm here Momma." When the doctors would come in and ask their questions, I could not speak loud enough for them to hear. So she translated. There were moments where I felt as if my life depended on her - locked inside this body of pain, unable to communicate - she knew exactly what to say.
I've looked at my daughter for 25 years now. Put in pony tails, curled hair, helped with make up, advised on the combinations of pants and shirts, shoes and belts and gave my share of bad boyfriend advice. And I have cherished every minute.
It's a holy thing, beautiful and magical, watching your daughter become a women. Seeing yourself reflected in her image, yet amazed by the the jewels she has adorned herself with - collected from broken hearts, tears, hopes and achievements. Unmatched by any other - unique and unparalleled, one of one.
How blessed I am. How truly and wonderfully blessed I am.