Happy Birthday Mindy

My daughter Mindy, with her beautiful family

How can it be that my baby is 39 years old today?  I was looking for a more recent picture of you by yourself for this blog post.   But I saw this one taken a few years back, and it felt right.

This is who you are, a loving wife, and mother.  They are the center of your life, and you, theirs.

When I look at you, your marriage, and the family you’ve created, my heart overflows.  Mindy, you have so many good qualities.  You are kind, caring, honest, and compassionate.  You also have strong beliefs about what is right and wrong, and stand up for those beliefs when you feel it is needed.  You are an encourager.  You are patriotic.  You love Jesus and follow Him.  You have given your children a great example to follow.

You have many talents.  You are a great photographer, cake baker, and cook.  You are a gifted writer (which I hope you will start doing more of).  You have many artistic talents and hobbies.  You make a pretty good ranch hand.  You are a great auction clerk, and much appreciated computer “assistant.”  Thank you for that last one!

But to me, you will always be my baby.  Yes, I see all you’ve become, and I am so proud of you.  But when I look at you I see the little bundle Doc Moren placed in my arms.  That sweet little girl, who would forever change and bless my life.  I see a little toddler with so much personality.  I see her marching across the floor like a soldier, chanting, ” Hup, one two, three!”  I see her singing “Chubby Old Groundhog” ( better known to many as Alabama’s, Dixie Land Delight) with such enthusiasm and facial expressions.  I see her very sensitive soul come out when her family giggled at something cute she said.  She thought we were laughing at her and burst into tears, telling us “It is not nice to laugh at little kids!”

I also see a little girl face her fears of darkness with the help of a lifelong friend.  His name was Jopeka.  Jopeka, that huge, stuffed dog, was a present from your Granddad Jim one Christmas when you were three years old.  It was love at first sight.  He was your watch dog.  He sat at the foot of your bed and faithfully protected you from all things scary in the dark.  Faithfully , through those toddler years and childhood years, there he sat.  Then we moved to Montana and you had to share a small room with your sister.  No room for Jopeka.  In spite of passionate protests, he took his place inside an old toy chest, and was lovingly placed in the storage shed.  There he remained until one day that little girl, (now in high school) went to the shed to find him.  She did find him, and came running into the house, crying hysterically, “Why did you put him in there?  The mice ate him!  The mice ate him!”  Jopeka was laid to rest….but never forgotten.

Thank you for so many wonderful memories.  Thank you for those loving little arms wrapped around my neck and the “Zerbets.”   Thank you for growing into a wonderful woman who still possesses all those little girl qualities.  I loved you then…I love you now….I’ll love you forever!   Happy birthday Mindy!

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Mindy and Jopeka….RIP!

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