Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A tribute to Amanda and Jason

I'm all choked up today...
My baby sister, Amanda Dawn, is getting married today. Actually, right now-her ceremony to the love of her life, Jason, is happening as I write, in Negril Jamaica. I am very happy for her. But, I am also very choked up that my baby sister is getting married so far away-without my hand to hold and hugs to give her to congratulate her and show her how much I love her and proud of her I am. Jason is a good guy.
Amanda is about 7 years younger than me and I've always thought of her as "little". She's not anymore though. She's a beautiful young woman, well on her way in this World. I pray her marriage is blessed with the Love of Christ at the center and that He uses their union to bless others. Weddings are always such happy and lovely events. I can only imagine what she looks like in her gown and he in his suit. I just pray they are happy (and enjoying the 80 degree weather that feels like 93 and partly cloudy skies;-)
Amanda's life is a really neat story. She came into this world, against all odds-my mother (who is doing well now) had breast cancer and was enduring treatment with Chemo, etc when she found out she was expecting Amanda. The doctors were appalled and tried to scare my parents into aborting her due to the likelihood of her severe and profound birth defects from Chemo, etc. I believe she was expected to have dwarfism and much more "wrong" at birth. Instead, she was born thriving at 7 pounds 2 ounces, 20 1/4 inches long. She's always been a fighter! Today, she is a beautiful young woman (as you can see from the photos). She has no ill-effects from the chemo (just genetic defects from being related, he, he-just kidding-kinda;-)
I can think of many funny stories and fond memories of her growing up...
3 that come to mind are of the "haircut", "alpine shake" and the "Teddy Ruxpin/Teletubbies Chronicles".
First for the haircut...oh dear. This will bring tears to my older sister Heather's eyes. Heather was about 19 years old and on leave from the military. Heather decided to take Amanda, in her 10 year old splendor, up the road in our home town, Linden IN to get her hair cut. While I don't know all the details, Amanda came home looking more like our little brother than our little sister. It was, to say the least, a BAD haircut. They still talk about it today-funniest part-she has the same haircut now (but it looks cute and trendy or her today, whereas it looked like a little boy's haircut back then).
Onto the next story...Teddy Ruxpin crazy was she-you know-back in the Mid 80's...it was a bear that was animated and read to you. It even had a hot air balloon and other accessories. She was nuttso over this little, yet very expensive bear (about $50 which was a lot back then-heck, it is today too!!!). Of course, as all good spoiled toddlers fare-she got Teddy and was very happy...wonder whatever happened to that pricey bear?
Now for the tele-tubby. Her's was Laa-Laa...the yellow one (wikpedia says this: She has a curly antenna and is very concerned with the welfare of all. She's the best singer of the teletubbies. "Drama queen", party-girl and mother type.) Funny thing is-this nearly describes Amanda to a tee-just not yellow;-) She needed this cuddly addition to her "girl" artillery in the late 90's when she was in HIGH SCHOOL! I called my mom this morning to ask her about it and she still had it and got it out and played it's sounds which, of course, made me laugh and cry. It's so cute because Amanda can make her voice high like Laa-Laa's and mimicked her little funny sayings and songs;-)
As for the "Alpine Shake"...it's a legendary story as I wasn't even there. But what I know of the story is that Amanda and many others in my family were at a restaraunt ordering their melas. When it came to Amanda's turn and she ordered an "alpine shake". The person taking her order said, what type of shake and she reitterated "alpine"...when he again asked what type and she was like "alpine shake" and was finally told alpine wasn't a flavor but their shake description like a mcflurry or blizzard-so she must relive us all poking fun of her desire for an alpine shake from time to time-I guess she needed some extra fiber in her diet wanting an alpine shake;-) I wonder if she even enjoyed a shake that day?
I also get COMPLETELY choked up when I think about Jason bringing Amanda home, all the way from WI when I had Owen. They rushed here (as did many others, but this story is about them;-) with all sorts of issues as to how it barely worked out-but they made it work. Drove the drive to be at my side and Amanda even got to hold Owen-I think she was actually one of the very first few to hold him-she was only here thru the weekend and then had to go, so it was really quite something for her to be able to hold Owen in the first hours of his miracle life. I think about it sometimes, how it must've felt for my family (like my mom, Amanda, and others) to be coming on a moments notice with me so sick and Owen's future grim. The drive must've been so stressful and somber. I can't put into words what it means to me that Jason brought Amanda home to me during the trial of Owen's birth. Thank you.
I am looking very forward to heading up to WI next week to be there for the celebration they have planned...and I'm very excited about the gift I got her/them (but I can't reveal it yet because she could read this before next weekend).
Anyway, Amanda is now married. She's all grown up. I am very proud of the little stinker!

God bless you Amanda and Jason!!!


How Life is Measured said...

Your sis is beautiful and congrats to her and her new husband! Renay, I totally feel for you! My sis is in FLA with my nephew and it kills me not to see them. Aren't we lucky to have such great families?

The Valiant Family Updates said...

Definately blessed to have our families! Yes, I agree she is beautiful! Thanks Cat!