On August 3, 1978 the people of Albany, Texas (north of Abilene) were overwhelmed with 20 inches of rain. The Great Albany Flood. That same day, Beverly and I were overwhelmed with the birth of our oldest child. During Beverly's pregnancy (which she loved. I know you will find it surprising that she found joy in that), people would ask if we wanted a boy or a girl. I wished for a girl. And the Lord granted my wish.
It was still in the days where the father was not allowed back with the mother during delivery. So, when I finally got to hold that beautiful bundle, it was just unbelievable. She brought so much joy into our lives.
She was born with a voice like an angel. Her cry was soft -- almost considerate. But from the time she began to talk, she could sing on pitch. To this day, her voice gives me goosebumps.
So many wonderful memories. I loved rocking her to bed every night, and reading her bedtime stories. Butterfly kisses. Working puzzles. Icees. Going for walks. PIcking the "Ok-ok" (that's okra for you grown-ups) out of my garden.
Whenever we traveled, she would shout, "I see choo-choo train." And she would continue saying it until we said, "Yes, Jenny. It's a choo-choo train."
When she was in kindergarden, she came home from school with an assignment: Write a letter to Santa Claus. So, she and I sat down to write. I asked, "What would you like to say?" No response. I said, "How about let's begin with 'Dear Santa.' What do you want to say next?" She thought for a moment and said, "Rabbit Santa."
I am so glad that Jenny is our first child. If we had had one of the boys first, we might have been tempted to stop there (Just kidding, guys). My only regret is that I was so new at the parenting thing, I made a lot of mistakes with her. If I could do it over again, she would never doubt that she is the pride of her father's heart.
I am so very pleased with the woman my daughter has become. She is an outstanding mother, wonderful volunteer, and a woman of strong faith and conviction. She made an excellent choice in a mate. David is a father-in-law's dream. And I am so very grateful for the way in which she shares precious Malaya with Grammy and Grampy.
Happy 28th birthday, my sweet girl. Hard to believe. That makes me nearly 40! You have made your daddy a proud man. See you tonight at Joe T. Garcia's.