Happy Birthday, Stephanie-born-in-May

What do Broccoli Cheese Soup at the Big Wheel, birthing classes at Howard Community with the Loftises on Thursday nights, Princess Diana, a really ornery Tilt-a-Whirl operator at Indiana Beach Amusement Park (now fancily called a resort), the song “He Means More to Me Today Because of Yesterday” by the Sounds of Happyness, and a beautiful morning in May with the lilacs in full bloom have in common?

My Stephanie.  Second child, only preemie, the teeny-tiniest babe who caused faith to rise in my heart as I prayed to God for her in the dark night, me in the hospital in Kokomo – her fighting to breathe at James Whitcomb Riley Hospital in Indianapolis.  Thirty-one years ago.

If an old friend lets you down

And a true love can’t be found

Till the blue skies come around

I’ll be right by your side

You weren’t due until June, very late June, very-very late June.  But you came in May and it was beautiful and it was a surprise and it was meant to be.  And every May since, we are reminded of the blessing and miracle and joy and completion and maturity and faith you brought with you, and what it caused in us.

No don’t forget me now that we’re apart

Just open up that great big loving heart

And you’ll always be

You’ll always be

You’ll always be a part… of me…

The name.

As middle names go, May wasn’t even on “the list,” and was perhaps a little old-fashioned for the times.  But we named you Stephanie because of one our favorite actresses at the time (Stephanie Powers) and because one of my all-time greatest Bible heroes is Stephen (see Acts chapter 6).  And May was for the month, the merry merry month of May.  Because it was a magical, lovely time in our lives – all was right and beautiful and exciting and we anticipated your birth with great energy and expectancy. And yet, you were actually so unexpected on that Friday, 5 1/2 weeks before your “due date.”

Take your time to embrace romance

Teach your children how to sing and dance

Love may hurt but it’s worth the chance

I’ll be right by your side…

And haven’t you been so many unexpected things things since?  Haven’t you just always done and became and created and produced and added to and on and surprised and delighted and shined and sang and wrote and been successful and just grown up to be an unexpected bundle on wondrousness?  Haven’t you?  Yes, you have.

Try to be the best you can

Show compassion to every man

And always take the higher ground

I’ll be right by your side

Journey far and travel safe

Make this world a better place

And keep that smile upon your face

I’ll be right by your side…

I wasn’t perfect this I would admit

I was always trying to make the pieces fit

Just know you’ll always be

You’ll always be

You’ll always be a part of me…

You’re a trailblazer and  a trendsetter. The family looks at you to confirm cool because if it isn’t, you’ll be the first to know.  Your children are awed by you, your husband reveres you.  Your siblings recognize your gifts and your parents are pleased with how you turned out and in seeing God’s favor and blessing on your life.

And so I bring you the gift of these words and my prayers and wishes for you.  The theme is this: I believe in you.  And I hope you will open that gift with fearlessness and abandon, knowing you’ll always be a part of me, the best part of me.

 a birthday blessing for my daughter

Happy Birthday, Stephanie, amazing, blazing, sizzling daughter, strong woman and spirited girl.  Your life was ordained and has so much value.  I thank God for breathing into your lungs the breath of life, quickening your tiny mortal body 31 short years ago with the very power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead.  That healing will take you all the way to the end with great fire and presence.  Go get ’em, Steph! {love from your mom}

Don’t ask me how the time has gone

I’ve loved you since the minute you were born

So many times we have laughed and cried

I see you now it fills my heart with pride

You’ll always be

You’ll always be

You’ll always be a part… of me…*

*Pure Love, Rod Stewart


4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Stephanie-born-in-May

  1. How blessed you are to have so much love in your life! Always, so enjoy your mother’s writings to her children, in celebration of each one individually. WOW!

  2. Jeanie, you live your life loving your children out loud.
    Stephanie, I admire you. Happy Birthday, beautiful girl!
    I love you.

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