Happy Birthday, Tammy!
This is my letter to my daughter who celebrates her 44th birthday today, December 15th...
Gee, it doesn't seem that it has been 44 years since you came into this world! You were our first-born, and your birth made us a family. Your dad and I were in heaven, so to speak, at that time. We were like two kids with a new toy!
It was during doe hunting season, and I had been helping Grandma Squeek (my mom) with her hunters. I hadn't been feeling very well at all that afternoon, December 14th. I managed to sit on a kitchen stool and do what I could to help. You began to let me know that you were getting kind of restless that day. After supper was over, I told my mom that I thought I was having contractions.
Being December, you might know that it would be snowing quite heavily. Your dad took me back to our home to get my things so we could head out on the 20-mile drive to the hospital across those narrow country roads. But once I got home, I just had to take a shower, shave my legs, etc. Finally, an hour later, I said I was ready to go. By then, your Uncle Jake (my brother) was there, more nervous than your dad. He was going to follow us to the hospital in case we slid off the road. It really was a wicked night to be out on the roads, period. There were several inches of snow covering the roads, and there were no tracks from other vehicles to even follow. The roads hadn't been plowed yet, as the highway department would usually wait til the snow let up before clearing the roads. We had quite a perilous drive up Keating Summit Hill and then down the other side! The final 10 mile-lap was all flat road, thank goodness!
Finally, we arrived at the hospital! They were anxiously waiting for us, worrying about us driving through such a storm to get there. In a small town, where everyone knew everyone, and they all knew Aunt Naomi and Aunt Biddy, knew that I was their niece. There really wasn't any hurry since you ended up taking your good old time to be born! We put in a rough night together, you and I, but then finally, at 5:28am on December 15th, you were born! Your birth brought us so much joy! You were a beautiful baby but bald as could be! I had you by natural childbirth, so I was awake to see you born. We were just happy that you were healthy and had 10 little fingers and 10 little toes! We didn't care if you were a girl or a boy! Back in those days, no one knew whether the baby was a boy or a girl until the baby was born.
Your dad was with me all through the night, getting no sleep at all. Uncle Jake was calling all of our relatives who lived in that town (which we later moved to) telling them I was in labor. Your dad went to your Great-Grandma Jenny's in the morning to get some sleep, but he said he got very little, as her phone was ringing constantly with relatives calling to see if I'd had the baby yet. The day was busy with visitors coming to see you. We couldn't wait to bring you home! Oh, what a fun day that was! We knew nothing about babies, but we learned in a big hurry, thanks to the help of Grandma Squeek (my mom). You were such a good baby and started sleeping the entire night on your sixth night at home.
Poppa Steve, with his Bell & Howell movie camera in hand, came with your dad the day I was discharged. He filmed you and me through the hospital window and then later while leaving the hospital with you in my arms. Once we got home with you, I left you on the sofa while I got out of my clothes and into a robe to be more comfortable. Poppa Steve and Grandma Genevieve were there to undress you, the camera rolling all the while. What a blessed Sunday that was! I watch that video every year on your birthday. Poppa Steve knew what he was doing when he was filming everyone all the time. He gave us all such wonderful memories on film to keep alive forever.
You have done nothing but bring us joy all these years! We have always been so proud of your accomplishments during high school, college and now in the working world. You are the sweetest daughter I could have ever asked for! You have grown into a caring, loving, beautiful young woman. I know you are in Montreal on a business trip this year during your birthday, but you are still right here in my heart, where you'll always be. We will celebrate the big "4-4" this weekend! Happy Birthday, Honey! Always remember how much you're loved! We love you!!!