Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Rose

The funny thing about Rose's birthday is I am not really sure when it is.  I know, I am a terrible mother.  Seriously, however the thing is my girl was born in Germany.  In the wee hours of the morning.  So, if we go by German time her birthday is today, October 17th.  If I go by time here in the states she was born on October 16th.  The complexities of life.

I was young when I had my Rose.  I was only twenty.  I was living for the first time well and truly away from home in a foreign country.  We lived in an apartment above a German family's home in a town of a few hundred people surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills that at certain times of the year were dotted with crimson poppies.  I cannot tell you how many times Tony and I walked the back paths along the vineyards, looking down to the winding Main River.  Along the path were dotted stone carvings of the stations of the cross.  There was a little gazebo along the way, where we would stop and I would breathe heavily as my time approached.  There were cigarette butts and carvings of names on the wooden table inside the small shelter.  It wasn't as terrible as it sounds... believe it or not, it was kind of quaint.

My mother and step-father came when she was due and there was more walking.  We walked around the local palace, The Residenz.  The next day I was about a block away in the Army hospital giving birth to my baby girl.

She was a spitfire from the beginning.  Challenging me and teaching me how to be a mother.  She was always dancing to the music I had going constantly all day.  She was for quite a time my only companion.  Tony was in the field almost every other week back then and I was quite alone.  When we got the news that he was going to be a part of the first troops sent to Bosnia, an 18 month old Rose and I saw him off a few days after Christmas.

We traveled back to the states during those 6 months he was gone.  I would often sneak into her room at night and bring her to bed with me, sleeping in the room I had been a teenager in.

As she grew I was always amazed at how she was so good at knowing the good from the bad.  How she seemed to have a way with people.  As her siblings kept coming she embraced each one with love and was always ready to help.  I can't recall her ever making a grumpy face about helping... I am sure she did, probably around those beginning teen years, but at the moment I can't remember it at all.

I am torn about her turning 18.  She is about to embark on a whole new time in her life.  She will be going to college soon, probably in the next few months.  I know full heartedly she is ready... just not sure I am.  Oh, I am.  Do you understand?  Sometimes in my mind's eye, it was only yesterday when I would go into her room at night, lift her sweet soft little toddler body and hold her close to me.  She is my first child, the first soul made from the love I share with her father.  She was the first who taught me what it was to be a mother.

Today she is an amazing young woman.  Full of hope and promise.  I am so proud of her and all she has accomplished.  I am proud of her spirit and her fight.  Proud of her intelligence and empathy.

Happy birthday, my beautiful Rose.

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