It's Erin's birthday...a BIG birthday...a milestone birthday...today she is 30 !!
While birthdays are usually wrapped up in ideas about the gift you are giving, as I think of Erin, she is the gift we have received. She is the oldest and first grandchild in the Brannon and Owens families; she was born on Granny Sue's ( Sidney's mother) birthday. She has helped me understand the poetic line "the child is father of the man."
Although we adults call ourselves "raising" children, in my case, many times my children have raised me.
As I reflect on the past 30 years, I have many memories. There are funny ones like when Erin stuck a piece of bell pepper up her nose when we were having a state senator over for dinner or the time, by slip of the tongue, she told me that a friend's dad owned One Eye Optical ( actually One Hour Optical). She has given us proud moments as she successfully completed her high school and college education. We gaze with pride to see her as she shares the pain and burdens of her hospice patients and their families.
We have poignant memories as well. We watched as she loved Cole, walked beside him through his treatments and with only the strength provided of God, continued life without him.
Erin is not defined by our memories. She is defined as a child of God, who looks daily to Him for guidance..as in Isaiah 30:21 "...your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it"
How many times I have looked at my eldest child and asked in wonder " Who is this child and how did we deserve her ?" Yet I know that while Sidney and I call her ours...she is not..she is God's daughter and He gave us the blessed privilege of being her stewards.
We have laughed together and cried together, but praise God, the tears are fewer now. Erin is happy--her life is full--and the future stretches before her. Each day has become ripe with possibilities and anticipation. I am grateful for Brock ,Carter, Reagan and his family and the happiness and purpose they have restored to Erin's life. I know that God's hand is a work.
Erin, I stand in awe of the woman you have become.
I love you...Mama