I will never forget the day I found out about her. It was during Christmas 1986. I was six months pregnant with Catie, our oldest. Imagine being pregnant and learning that your mother was going to have a baby too! (I had lost my father in 1980 at the young age of 16. Mom remarried in June 1986 to Bob, my step-dad.) My mind started swirling. I was overwhelmed with disbelief and then excitement. I was going to be a new mom and a big sister all in the same year.
That evening, when Chuck and I were home, in the quiet of our house, I suddenly started to cry. It hit me hard. My mom was going to have a new baby. She was not going to be able to be the new grandma I had always dreamed of her being. She was going to be occupied with her own little one. It all seems so silly now, but at the time, my feelings were genuine. Yes, they were selfish, but they were real. My bubble of being a new mom and having my mom's first grandchild had been popped. I prayed and prayed for these selfish feelings to go away.
When I delivered Catie, on March 9, 1897, my mom was with Chuck and me in the delivery room. By this time, Mom was starting to show and we became a "freak show" for the nursing staff in Labor and Delivery! A pregnant mother helping her pregnant daughter, deliver her first baby! Think of scenes from the movie Father of the Bride, Part II, and you will get the picture. My new daughter, Catie, ended up having some serious medical issues that required a two week stay in Children's Hospital National Medical Center in D.C. My mom accompanied me for many of those daily trips to be with Catie. As I watched my mom cuddle and rock Catie, I knew my worries were for naught. Everything was going to be fine. My new sister was going to be a huge blessing and a best friend to my new daughter. What a great gift God had given me.
And Megan truly is a great gift - a great sister, a great daughter, a great aunt. You see, she is the link between two families - the McMurrays and the Seales. My parents and her are what bind us all together - my five siblings, my two step brothers, all of our spouses, my children and my nieces and nephews. What a wise and awesome God we have!
Today she is twenty-one! I am so proud of her. It is hard for me to express all my feelings about Megan. She is so much more than a sister. She is like one of my own children. She is a dear friend.
She is my children's best friend. She is thoughtful. She is always there for her nieces and nephews (38 of them!). She takes care of my mom and dad. She loves Andrew, her fiance (as of yesterday!). She gives me great advice when I am struggling with my older kids. She knows how to make me laugh. She looks out for me. She prays for me.
Several years ago, Megan sent me a card out of the blue. She just wanted to let me know how much she loved me and admired me. She told me that I was a great mom and that she hoped to one day be a mom just like me. She even wrote a poem about me as a mom. It meant so much to me. I have it in the drawer next to my bed where I keep my "special things." Every now and then I reread it, not to "puff myself up", but to remind myself about the beauty and purpose of motherhood. Megan's words have brought me through some very tough times. And this is all from my little sister.
This past weekend most of our family, including my Grandma Mussie, gathered at my parent's home to celebrate Megan's birthday. It was great fun! As we all gathered around her as she opened her presents I realized another gift Megan has given each of us. She has kept my parents young. Yes, even at the age of "sixty and seventy something", my parents are young at heart. They both love life and live life with joy and great faith. I truly believe Megan is a big part of that.
I wish so much for Megan. The next year will bring many things for her ... college graduation, maybe a wedding, maybe a move. No matter what the future holds, I hope I can always be there for her, just as she continues to be there for me.
Happy Birthday Megan! I love you!