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Two French Braids: Memories of my Daughter

french braids

I was not prepared for the way I would feel once my children were grown and out of the house. Raising them seemed to fade into the past, but then something miraculous happened. I had the honor of spending a week with my beautiful daughter, nursing her back to health. It was then that I realized I have been a bit lost, a bit broken-hearted, and a little bit of me has been missing…

Four o’clock in the morning my alarm went off. Time to check the medication list, log it, get fresh cold water and feed my 20-year-old girl a few fishy crackers. We should have went back to sleep but we talked instead. We visited, we shared, we laughed together until the sun came up. I loved it, every single minute.

I remembered waking up with my precious daughter when she was a baby. Per our normal routine, her dad brought her into our bedroom, changed her diaper, and handed her over to me to be fed. This particular night it was stormy outside. The thunder rolled and the lightening lit up the room. Our sweet little girl of only three months old quickly took notice. Her big brown eyes opened wide in the dark as she started making a little gasping noise each time she heard thunder and watched the room flicker with light. It was as if she was telling us to notice what she saw. She was communicating with us for the first time. We played with her until the sun came up. We loved it. Every single minute.

Today I braided her beautiful, silky soft, long brown hair. Two french braids, one on each side, so she could comfortably lay in bed. When weaving her hair in and out between my fingers nostalgia set in. As she handed me rubber bands I thought what a blessing she is to me.

I remember the full head of hair on my sweet baby girl. The little pig-tails which eventually grew long enough for beautiful braids, one on each side. Setting her on top of the bathroom counter each morning to style her hair. Watching her look into the mirror, hold the comb with her cute chubby hands, and quickly reaching for anything to get into. I specifically thought that day, what a blessing she was to me.

Today I washed her long beautiful silky hair. I laid a towel over her eyes so water would not get on her face. As I carefully rinsed the shampoo away, memories came flooding back, as my eyes were quietly washed with tears.

Rub a dub dub a sweet baby girl in a tub. Soap, bubbles, toys, and the bathroom filled with laughter and noise. A clean dry washcloth laid over two big brown eyes while rinsing shampoo off of hair. Success! Suds washed away with no tears.

Sitting in the living room, thoughts come into my mind of just how amazing my daughter is. Today she fulfilled a dream she has had for 13 years. She has a way of believing in herself and the unique ability to manifest exactly what she wants in her life. It is something that I have witnessed time and time again as she has grown up. She has taught me so much about life, about love, not compromising, and about reaching for the best life can give.

Sitting in the living room reading I heard the wooden kitchen chair scraping across the kitchen floor as it was drug to the corner counter. I looked around the room, sweet Sabryna was nowhere to be found. Quietly I stood up and tip toed to peek into the kitchen. There was my 18 month old girl, busily going about her way. With her little belly she lifted herself up onto the newly positioned chair and swung her chubby little legs up behind her. It didn’t take her long to also scale the counter. She then stood up and somehow managed to get the upper cabinet open. I knew at once what she was doing. This little smarty pants remembered that the Oreo cookies were kept in this very spot. Not knowing that I was watching, she quickly found the bag, took out one cookie, pulled it apart and started licking the delicious white cream filling. Once the stuffing was gone she promptly threw both outer cookies onto the floor and headed for another. I watched in amazement as I tried to hide my laughter. This girl, at only 18 months old, was self-sufficient and already knew how to get exactly what she wanted and how to reach for the best life can give.

If we are lucky life gives a second chance to relive moments that seemed lost. Even though not remembered at the time, these lost moments are actually so much a part of us that they have somewhat moulded us into who we have become. Like stars in the sky, memories are scattered around. Some are bright and others are dim. Experiences can often trigger a lost memory, somehow miraculously connecting time together, making sense of it all. The realization sets in that things don’t happen by chance and that we are blessed with these moments for a reason. That reason is LOVE.

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