My Beloveds

April 14, 2010 | My Jottings

My youngest daughter Sara turned twenty-eight the day before yesterday. How can that be? I remember well the night I labored to give birth to her. I was twenty-three years old and Michael and I decided to have her at home, with a midwife. We had to turn the furnace up to 95 degrees so the house would be warm enough for her when she made her appearance, since we didn’t have any spare isolette incubators sitting around. It was a wonderful experience (aside from the intense pain and travail, but that would have happened in the hospital anyway since I was determined to have her without any medication).

To celebrate her birthday, this year Sara chose to have just the four women in our family go out for dinner at a restaurant with some of the most unique and delicious food around: The Scenic Cafe on the north shore of Lake Superior. We usually celebrate birthdays with anyone and everyone in the family who can attend, including children, so having a quiet foursome was new and nice.

Here’s a photo of my lovely Sara holding up a couple of birthday gifts drawn by her nephew and my grandson Elijah David. The one on the left is of a skeleton and the one on the right he labeled “musle,” from some anatomical drawings of bones and muscles Elijah studied recently. They seemed to have made an impression on him. 🙂

Carolyn and Sharon gave Sara a pretty salmon/coral colored top with some neat jewelry to go with it. The card they chose for her was so funny we couldn’t stop quoting it all night and have continued through today. Maybe it will even become a tradition between the four of us. It was one of those goofy cards with the black and white Victorian photographs of stoic, unhappy-looking, corseted women with word bubbles above their heads saying ridiculous things that probably no Victorian woman would have thought, much less spoken.

One of the somber-looking women on the card said to the other, “You’re intelligent, talented…and a fabulous shopper. Your turn.”

The next woman said, “You’re sensitive, a good listener…and you dress well. Your turn.”

Then the first one answered, “You have a beautiful body, a positive attitude, and a great personality. Your turn.”

And the last one was, “You have lovely skin, you’re generous…and nice to be with. Your turn.”

Inside the card the verse read, “We turn to each other for a lift, a laugh and to remind us how really great we are.” And how true that is.

Except our comments to each other were slightly different than the ones on the card. One of my daughters said to me, “You need a new shirt. Your turn.” And we cracked up. I said to Sharon, “I prefer your hair blonde. Your turn.” And we laughed hard again. Maybe you had to be there, but I’m telling you, we cracked ourselves up.

Below, here is my lovely Carolyn, smiling at her son’s artwork gifts for Sara. Isn’t her necklace fabulous?

Below is my lovely Sharon and me. I am blessed to be the mama of this remarkable trio of young women. I grew them all, as Sharon says about her own children. Now that Sharon and her family have moved to American Siberia the four of us can be together more often. We can go to dinner on dark rainy nights and have four different desserts so we can share and each moan over what the other ones ordered. On Sara’s birthday night this tactic enabled us all to have a little bit of chocolate espresso cake, a couple of bites of creme brulee, a teeny bit of blackberry cream cheese tart, and small portions of flourless chocolate cake with fairy floss.

Each of us could use “a lift and a laugh,” these days, as Sara’s birthday card suggested, and I won’t speak for Sharon, Carolyn or Sara, but that’s exactly what I got by being with my daughters.

These young women are my treasures. They are my beloveds.


  1. Sharon says:

    You are kind, generous, and funny. Your turn.

  2. Sue Raimo says:

    Dear Julie, Entering vicariously into Sara’s birthday dinner with you and the girls brought an extra measure of joy to my morning. I love your blog.

    Say “Happy Birthday” to Sara for me. She has held a special place in my heart ever since she was a student in a small 5-6 grade Sunday school class I taught. I think she was the only girl and was so kind to the other students. And she was the one in the class who asked the age old question “Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?”

  3. Dorothy Sooter says:

    Congratulations Julie, you grew them up well, your turn. Love, Dorothy

  4. Just Julie says:

    Dear Dorothy, You were a wonderful wife. You are a fantastic mother. Your turn. 🙂

  5. Sara says:

    You are my beloved, Mama. I’m looking forward to the four of us going out again. You made my birthday special. Thank you for “growing” me : )

  6. Lorna says:

    Treasures, most certainly. To Sara, Carolyn, and Sharon; what beautiful, loving, intelligent and noble women you all are. (Good job, Julie!) I’d love you all even if I didn’t love your mom so much!

  7. Ginny the Yalker..."One Who Can Yarn Talk" says:

    I know the joy of having an unbridled “Chica Fest”, as I have named the gatherings of the girls in my family. Not many can get what is so darn funny or why they are the only ones I will share food ‘n fork with! It is because we all carry the same mutated gene that still has not been discovered by man. Only God can and wants to see it! I think He gets a Royal Kick outta seeing sibs and mommas having way too much just us fun! I strongly advise frequent Chica Fests. For those of you who haven’t been doing these with your siibs and/or mommies, I am establishing MAY as official Chica Fest Month! You be the instigator! You have boring families? Do it anyway… There are treasures just waiting to be uncovered and memories yet to be made!
    The happiest of years to you sweet little Bubbagirl, Carolyn you have the finest taste and wear it well and Sharon’s hair rocks…her coloring is way perfect for the color of hair. Them are some handsome women ya got there, Jewel! YOU ARE BLESSED!

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