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Emerald’s Gem Box: Happy Birthday Brooke

Sunday, January 21, will mark the 23rd birthday of my daughter, Brooke.

I have always lovingly called Brooke my “problem child.” Brooke IS the reason I had to keep health insurance. From the time she was born, everything that could happen, did happen to Brooke.

At four months old, I had Brooke in and out of eye doctor offices with the threat of a “lazy eye” looming over our heads. One week after her first birthday the left side of her face swelled up, and she looked like “The Elephant Man.” That episode landed her in the hospital for eight days, including surgery on her face. From age three to five, she had strep throat continually until I finally had her tonsils taken out when she was five years-old. And then her kindergarten through college years, she still never slowed down – glasses/contacts, braces, several trips to the hospital for stomach problems in the third grade, cracked wrists from gymnastics, sprained ankles from gymnastics, The Shriner’s Hospital for ankle and knee pain, multiple hand/finger/rib injuries from basketball, softball and cheerleading, being rammed into fences by cows, wisdom teeth extraction, pneumonia, several cases of bronchitis, MRI’s on a bad shoulder, heart problems being diagnosed as Neurally Mediated Hypotension and two surgeries for endometriosis.

So many memories have been made during these last 23 years. The tears I cried on her first day of going to a baby-sitter and then more tears on her first day at Miss Jean’s Kindergarten; the excitement (and more tears) on her first day at “The Big School” when I took her to Madison Academy; the excitement of the first day of changing schools and going to Aucilla Christian; and then the wonderful day of high-school graduation (and more tears)! Only followed by graduation from NFCC, FSU and Law Enforcement Academy.  She is now on her way of fulfilling her life-long dream of becoming an agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. And the latest … a few months ago we “gave her away” and watched as she walked down the aisle and got married (and I’ve written about the “empty nest syndrome” I’m still feeling the effects of).

It’s been a whirlwind ride these last 23 years; years I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

The best gift that God could possibly ever give is the gift of being a mother! And these last 23 years have been such a blessing to be Brooke’s mother.

On this special, special day, I am filled with love (for such a wonderful daughter/blessing), sadness (for days gone by), happiness (for the days at hand), and excitement (for the days that lie ahead).

But, most of all I am filled with admiration and pride for the beautiful young lady that God has blessed me with; for she truly is beautiful, on the outside AND on the inside.

Happy Birthday, Brooke.  I love you and am so very proud of you!

I’m so glad that God gave you to me – 23 years ago!!!

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