Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Birthday, Danielle!!

My baby turns 30!

(sorry for the font display - copy/paste does not work well with blog?)

30 years ago today....yes, oh, my gosh time flies - 30 years! My daughter,Danielle Echavarria has been the biggest blessing of my life! Family is always family first with Danielle. It is with tears of gratitude, I wish you the happiest birthday today!!!
Now she has two little tots of her own, River (3) and Rhys (2) and, although struggling with her own serious health problems, she remains the best mother I have ever seen to her children. When I was 30 and she was five, we learned I had breast cancer. When she was ten, we learned I had multiple myeloma and given six months to live. Since she was five years of age, she has been my cheerleader to fight for my life, and remains just that. Danielle saved my life in 1998, quite literally! I could not be more proud of her toughness through such difficult times.
As a single mother, we have ridden some rocky roads together. She has been answering the phone, "Good morning, Parrish Reporting" since she was 12! lol - She can import, print, and bind a deposition transcript with her eyes closed. lol - this happens when your mother is a court reporter and making 40K copies a month in your home when you are in the second grade.
Without getting too teary, I do have to share one special story: When I lost my hair the first time in the summer before she started kindergarten, we were watching TV one night on a Friday night in bed. I remember she was right next to me. She took her hand, covered my forehead, (pretending I had hair) -- stared me straight in the eyes, about two inches from my face -- and with the most sincere voice and demeanor, she smiled and said: 
"Don't worry, mommy, everything will be okay. You know why? (she pointed her tiny finger at me) -- because when I get to heaven, I am going to find you, and I will see you face-to-face." -
We all thought I was going to die, especially me. I think she did too. Seemingly too young to understand these things, her braveness never failed me, and her ability to deal with life in adversity so young has carried me through the toughest years of my life. We went through chemo together, transplants...well, as I said, we had some rocky roads ---By no means did she have anything remotely close to a 'normal' childhood (whatever that is) - Every day is a gift I have with my daughter and something I don't take for granted.

Being alive, sober, and here with her as she celebrates being 30 is truly a blessing, and something I never thought I would see. Watching your children have children - wow - no words for that one! Happy Birthday, my darling little Angel, who still wishes she could wear my shoes. I love you! I am proud of you! We really need to write that mommy/daughter book you have wanted to write? xo