Thursday, January 20, 2011
Happy Birthday Beautiful Daughter
JoAnne as a beautiful young bride.
Such innocence and optimism. She had no idea what her future held for her. Do any of us? But she was in love and she boldly stepped out into the unknown with faith and hope. She married a soldier during peace time, with no way of knowing that there would be years of deployments ahead of her. She has faithfully served and sacrificed for her country for 17 years. She is a dedicated wife and mother who has made a warm and cozy home for her family through it all. With an open, non-judgmental heart, she gives what she has and shares generously with those in need. She is incapable of cruelty or callousness.
JoAnne, buried in leis, graduating summa cum laude from Hawaii Pacific University.
In the hustle of military life and re-locations and new babies and cooking and cleaning every day, college was forced into a sideline avocation. For years, she squeezed in courses and studied into the wee hours and took finals... and kept stacking up her A's! One fine day she had finally accumulated enough credits to graduate with a business degree. We all whistled and shouted when she walked up to the podium for that hard-earned diploma. No one deserved that moment more. She's a smart cookie and a hard worker and a persevering one, too.
Planting a memorial garden to Joey in her backyard
But it's not all been sunshine and success. In her life's most tragic twist, she buried her beloved brother only two weeks after her graduation. Such unspeakable sorrow...one that she carries with her always. And there have been other losses, too-- injuries and hospitalizations and people who turned on her. She has learned that there is more to life than this world, and her soul is anchored in Heaven.
My girl. That lovely face. Those soft eyes. They so reflect her beautiful and gentle soul. Such a generous, compassionate, strong woman. How I love her. You could say that she went dancing in the minefields and has never lost her grace.
And then there's the topic of dogs. She pretty much adores every dog she lays eyes on, and the feeling is mutual. She treats them like honored guests. Maybe one better, more like royalty at a five star hotel. She pets and pampers and dotes on them and calls them names like "handsome mister", and lets them jump on the bed. If they could, they would vote for her for president. I am simply content to have her as my cherished daughter.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful girl.