Friday, July 18, 2008

Sherri's Day

Forty-eight years ago today my baby girl (my second baby girl) was born. It's hard to believe so much time has passed so quickly. Sherri was, and still is, a whirlwind of motion. She never stopped moving during labor; as soon as she found out she could crawl she was up on her feet, and soon after she was walking. When she was a toddler, I found her in strange places. One day I found her on top of the bathroom counter taking everything out of the medicine cabinet. When she saw me, she calmly started putting everything back. Another time I found her sitting on her potty chair painting her feet and legs with her daddy's shoe polish. At a grocery store, I had to watch carefully as I pushed her in the grocery cart down the aisles because her little arms were amazingly adept at wiping the shelves clean of whatever we passed by.

When Sherri wass eighteen months old, she came down with spinal meningitis and spent three weeks in the hospital. I didn't leave her at all until she began to recover about eight days later. Then it was just to run home and shower and hurry back. How well I remember the day she sat on my lap for the first time after the fever was gone. I was able to feed her some baby food, the first she'd had in two weeks. All of the sudden she pointed a weak finger at the Gerber's bottle and in a sweet shaky voice said, "Baby." I cried with gratitude. It was the first indication that she wasn't brain damaged and was going to get well.

At the age of five we discovered Sherri had some hearing loss caused by the high fever--deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other. We enrolled her in Amarillo's Speech and Hearing Center where she learned to read lips. With speech therapy for a few years, she learned to pronounce "r" and "s" and today, unless you knew it, you'd never know she had a hearing loss.

I remember how wonderful it was to hold my little baby in my arms. A few times in her life, as she got older, I wished I could go back for just a few minutes and hold her that way again. I did try it once after she was grown. Somehow it just isn't the same holding a five foot four woman as it was a two year old!

Today I wish my "baby girl" many more wonderful birthdays. She's as big a joy today (to everyone who knows her) as she is to me. Did I say she's beautiful, talented and sweet? (And I'm not prejudiced.) She's easy to love, and I do with all my heart.

Happy Birthday, Sherri. You have no idea how you have blessed my life.

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