Saturday, February 21, 2009
One of a Kind Kelly
I've often said that Lindsay was born an "old soul" and simply tolerated us "newbies". She always seemed in a hurry to grow up and was impatient with those of us who felt more inclined to get caught up in the frenzy of life. If I believed in reincarnation I would think that this is her 20th life and she came to us with a boatload of past experiences.
Kelly is her opposite. She is the ultimate "newbie". Life has been an adventure for her since the day she opened her eyes. She flew through her childhood like a Tasmanian Devil. Her body and mouth were constantly moving - ESPECIALLY her MOUTH. I gave up trying to win an argument with her when she was 4. Through it all, however, I saw glimpses of the woman she would become and I was not disappointed. Here are some of my favorite things about my Kelly.
I've never met anyone who doesn't like Kelly. I really mean that. Old people, young adults, babies.....it doesn't matter. They all like her. Several years ago we went on a cruise to the Caribbean. Jon hung out with Mark. Lindsay, of course, found some guys. Mark and I hung out with our friends, Tim and Shelley. Kelly, true to form, found a 5-year-old little girl. They spent most of the cruise together. The little girl loved Kelly and so did her parents. They kept in touch for months after the cruise. This is not unusual for Kelly.
Several years ago I had a surgery which required me to stay overnight in the hospital. Kelly stayed with me, sleeping at the end of my bed, and catered to my every need. I've always told her that I will be in good hands when I'm an old fart and too decrepit to care for myself. She's the best nurse in the world and genuinely loves all the nasty stuff that goes with caring for others. I'm not the only one who has benefited from her careful administrations. When Lindsay broke both elbows it was Kelly who bathed her, bandaged her, and helped her with her hair. She even cared for Oakley when he had bladder surgery. She may have missed her true calling!
Few people know that Kelly has rather severe OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). She's had it most of her life, but not until college did it require medication. Her medication changed her. Life became much more tolerable and she was able to control many of her obsessions and impulses. When she became pregnant with Bailey she had to go completely off her meds. I'm not sure anyone who doesn't have OCD can truly appreciate how difficult this was. The effects were compounded by the fact that her hormones were going crazy and she was trying to adjust to pregnancy. Then, she had a baby who didn't sleep for 2 months, which meant, of course, that she didn't sleep either. Dave was working nights, so she was alone most of the time. Needless to say, it was a difficult time. Things got better, but never easy. As I watched her during this time I wondered if she would survive it. My admiration for her is beyond measure. I don't know that I could have done it. She finally started back on her meds a few days ago and hopefully she can regain her "old self" soon. She deserves all the peace she can find.
Kelly is my personal champion. No matter how hideous I look or how rotten I behave she always has something kind to say. This may seem like a small thing, but it has saved many days for me. I have many letters from her where she has expressed her love and appreciation. They are treasures. She loves her family with a passion that is staggering. We never have to doubt her loyalty or her love. She never misses an opportunity to support us in anyway she can. She is, in fact, the glue that holds us together.
Motherhood came as natural to Kelly as breathing. As long as I can remember she has loved children. Before she was married, she was constantly being told that she just HAD to have kids. In spite of the fact that Bailey looked like an alien when she was born, Kelly still fell instantly in love with her. She is an amazing mother. She is patient and loving and genuinely lights up when she's with Bailey. One of my greatest joys is seeing my child parent my grandchild. She does it so beautifully and with such love that it often overwhelms me.
When Kelly was in Middle School she was voted "Best Athlete" and "Best Legs". I still laugh when I think about that. I'm happy that she selected to go with "Best Athlete" (you could only be one) since it ended up paying for her college education. She does have good legs, however. From the first time Kelly picked up a softball she was a natural. She pitched her way through middle school, high school, and college. I was forced to give up my dream of having a ballerina when her first ballet teacher told us she might be happier in another activity. We didn't end up seeing Kelly on stage much, but we saw her on every softball field in Southern California and many other states. It was brutal watching her (my nerves couldn't take it) so I breathed a sigh of relief when she decided to end her playing career in her senior year at Utah State. Just in time, I might add, to start following Lindsay around softball fields! When I think of Kelly as a young girl my first vision is of her in a softball uniform, looking in the crowd to find me as she approaches her first batter. It's a very sweet memory.
Okay enough is enough. One final thought. When I had Kelly I knew she was a girl from the moment I found out I was pregnant - and I called her by name throughout the pregnancy. I never had a sister and was sure I would be blessed with daughters. I was and have loved every minute (well, most minutes) of it. Kelly has been a daughter and a friend and I am grateful for every minute of her life. She, along with Lindz and Jon, have taught me what family is all about. They are my very heart.