35 years ago today, a beautiful, dark haired baby girl was born to a family that did not expect her. The parents were aging (mid-40s), the two children in the family well on their way to being raised, and so the four of them did not expect that God had a special gift in store for them.
My mom always said that my brother prayed for a baby sister, and that is why God sent me. When my mom found out that she was pregnant, she just thought, "Here we go again." You see, she had several miscarriages over the 12 years since my brother was born, so she figured it would just end badly yet again.
My dad first thought that my mom was too old to get pregnant (she was 43), and then after it happened, that they were too old to care for a baby, that she was too old to go through with the pregnancy safely, that it might just terminate itself before too long anyway, so he suggested an abortion might be a good idea. My mom disagreed, thank goodness, and I'm pretty sure that my dad is glad she did. It took me a while to get over that one when I found out in my late teens, but I know my dad loves me, and so I do not let it bother me. I'm certain that I am his favorite. :)
When the pregnancy continued and they were the parents of a new baby girl with absolutely no complications, they welcomed me into the family. My mom wondered at times if I had been a picky spirit child, and that the reason she kept having miscarriages was that I was not happy with that particular body or particular time to be born. One of her pregnancies actually ended in a stillborn baby girl. I cannot imagine going through an entire pregnancy and having the baby born dead at full term. She has wondered over the years if that body was meant for my spirit, or if we have another spirit that is part of our family that only needed to get her body and then immediately go back to work on the other side. Someday I'm sure I will find out.
Anyway, my brother was 12, my sister 15, so between the four of them, my mom said that I never had a chance to cry. I was spoiled rotten. My dad would walk me around the block at night on his shoulder to get me to sleep while I sucked my thumb and held onto his ear. (I have always had an ear fetish.) My brother cried harder than I did when he dropped my slippery body while trying to get me out of the bath. Instead of getting in bed with my parents when I had a bad dream, I would go get in bed with my brother. He married when I was 9, and he and his wife spoiled me rotten. My sister married in her late 20s, so before she had a boyfriend or a husband to take to work events with her, she would take me. We enjoyed outings at Jazz games, Lagoon, Raging waters, etc. I was the official babysitter for both my brother and my sister's kids for many years. My nieces and nephews didn't want to go visit Grandma and Grandpa, but rather Aunt Sarah.
Then there are my jealous cousins. At one point a few years ago, my Aunt mentioned to my dad that my cousins (her children) were tired of visiting my grandmother and hearing "Sarah this..." and "Sarah that..." Grandma flaunted my photo with Governor Leavitt when I graduated with my masters degree, and everyone at the assisted living center knew all about my youngest baby boy, born only a month before she died, because she couldn't stop talking about him and me to everyone she met.
Over the years I have always had a hard time with my self-esteem. Why me? Why am I the favorite? I really am no better than the rest of them. We each have our own individual talents, strengths, weaknesses. I blushed or rolled my eyes any time I was reminded of Grandma's love for me, but I think fondly of her love and of the love of my nieces and nephews. I thought that my closeness with them would never go away, but sadly it has as they have followed their own paths, some away from the church.
Now I have a new family in addition to the old one. They seem to think that I am also one-of-a-kind. They say things about me like "absolute angel" and I wonder again, why me? Certainly there are other people more worthy than I am of such praise. But I am so grateful that I can apparently be an angel to them, that I can be an instrument in God's hands to let them know of his love and acceptance of each of them.
So today, on my 35th birthday, I have been given the greatest gift possible from my Heavenly Father and each of you...the chance to be your angel, and the chance to have you as angels in my life as well. Thank you for your friendship and for being part of my journey the last 6 months. It was 6 months ago today that Scott came out to me, and what I thought at the time was the worst possible half-birthday gift has turned out to be one of the greatest gifts ever.
4 weeks ago