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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Teresa's 39th birthday tribute

Teresa, we miss you very much. I remember when you were born. Your dad held you in the hospital room and fell in love with you immediately. You were so tiny. less than 7 lbs. You were my tiniest baby. We looked you over and were mesmerized by your tiny toes and fingers, your dark hair..and so much of it! You were so beautiful.
You grew to be an adorable little girl. You were so much different than your sister, Becky. She was a girly girl. You were like a little tomboy. You loved sports and playing outside with the boys, even though they weren't always very welcoming. Who wants a baby sister tagging along, anyway. But that never deterred you. You found a way to fit in as best you could.
You were very accident prone. I remember a large plate glass window breaking and you received a nasty gash on your upper arm. You carried the scar from that the rest of your life.
On the school playground, in 4th grade, the teeter totter came down on your knee and gave you a 4 inch gash across the inner fleshy part of your knee. I don't even remember how many stitches it took to sew you up. I couldn't watch. Another scar for you to wear your entire short life.
As a teenager, you loved playing sports. Volleyball was one of your favorites. Every time I go to the Jr. High School I look for your name on that wall for your perfect serve game. We are so proud of you for that.
Basketball was another favorite for you. It was maybe a little harder for you, but you were aggressive and a good guard. We loved going to your games and watching you. You loved playing with the Francis kids. You messed up a leg playing there. It didn't keep you down long, though.
Softball was your favorite, though. Unfortunately, it was rather dangerous for you. One game, while we were in California, left you with a broken fibula. Surgery involving a plate and screws and then removal of the hardware left you with more scars on your leg.
You were independent, but needed help. You had a child while still in high school. No one could ever love a baby like you loved yours. You gave up on a lot of social activities and events to care for your child. She became your life. Grandpa and I tried to help as much as we could so you could have some social life. We all loved little Regan more than life.
We were proud of your studies to become a nurse. You were working full time, going to school, studying every evening while caring for Regan. I know it was so hard for you. But you wanted to do it. We were so proud when you took your State Board exams in Topeka. That was on February 15, 1999.
On the 20th, you stopped by the house to ask us to check out your furnace, because your pilot light kept blowing out. It was so dark outside that we asked you and Regan to stay with us. We promised to check it out that next day. You were angry when you left. If we had only known that would be the last time we would see you...ever.
The phone call at 4 a.m. woke us up. We immediately got up and headed to Clyde. We could see the orange glow in the sky and dreaded to see what we knew was coming.
The fire department was struggling to get inside the house because the flames were so high and so strong. Their equipment was malfunctioning. But it was too late, anyway. When they came to tell us they had seen your body through the bathroom window, they had tears in their eyes.
We drove home, woke your brothers and told them what had happened. They drove over to see for themselves what they could hardly believe. We prepared for the onslaught of well-meaning family, friends, and neighbors we knew would be coming to our home. We called Becky, who was with Rusty in Colorado. It was one of the saddest days of our lives.
We buried you on my dad's birthday. I took off about 3 weeks from work. We were busy that entire time, writing thank you notes and cataloging all the cards and gifts. Becky told Regan about her Mommy going to Heaven. Regan, in her 3 year old innocence, told Becky that it was ok that Mommy's in Heaven, because that's where the doggies are. She had just wanted All Dogs Go To Heaven.
Your short life was a blessing to us. We are so proud of you, and we cherish your daughter and now your granddaughter. I think you would like Tim, Regan's husband. And I know you are watching over all of them and us. Thank you, Teresa. God bless you and keep you. We love you. Mom.

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