GLEANINGS from Claudia: Happy Birthday Becky!

Becky Collage 12-7-11

It is a hard day and a day of delight! Thirty Three years ago today Rebecca Dawn Lee made her appearance in our world. What a blessing ‘Becky’ is in our lives. I hope you’ll humor a loving Mom as I remember more about Becky.

Becky was by far our hardest tiny baby. Her first week of life she was a quiet, cuddly, and easy baby, but after that she developed a colic of some kind and cried nearly continually except when eating and for about half hour after a meal. It was bad enough that I actually asked our doctor about it and he said there was nothing to be done but for Becky to outgrow it, although he was happy to prescribe tranquilizers for me and Steve. We ignored that offer and put significant miles on the car driving her to sleep. At about 4 months Becky did outgrow the colic and became a smiley, sweet, and active baby.

Becky had a way of capturing hearts with her outgoing personality and ready smile. Our next door neighbor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a place we lived from just before Becky’s first birthday until she was a second grader, called Becky ‘Bubbles’ because she just seemed to overflow with life and good cheer. Becky would go and go often not slowing down until her slow-down was a break-down. I have a couple of pictures of her very grumpily stepping away from the swing in our backyard because she had actually fallen asleep while sitting on the swing and swinging! She also didn’t know how to respect other people’s boundaries at times. For her teasing and joking and touching and attention were the way she connected. There would be times that I needed her to stop and would ask nicely several times for her to do so. She was unable to stop until I had to get demanding or even discipline her. Then there would be tears and hurt. She was very demonstrative in her affection. Even into her teens Becky would sit cuddled up to me in church and lean her head on my shoulder. She taught me a lot about the importance of demonstrating love with hugs and touch since I come from a loving, but, at least when I was young, not particularly demonstrative family.

There are several stories from Becky’s childhood that continue to delight me and now delight her girls. When Becky was about 18 months I had put her and Kristin down for a nap. After a bit I heard a strange squeaking hinge sound come from their room.  Upon investigating I found Becky astride her bouncing rocking horse, a huge smile on her face, jumping away! She had never before gotten on her horse by herself, but boy was she having a great time. Another time when she was around two years old she came running out of her room breathlessly telling me that there was a rabbit in her room! I went to investigate that claim, decidedly skeptical, and found no evidence of even a stuffed rabbit.  Becky was insistent, but we just had to let it drop.  Not too long later, I saw a mouse in the kitchen, right next to her room! I think her rabbit had a long tail and a pointy nose, but she didn’t know what to call it at that time.  Another time when Becky was just beginning to talk we had a huge thunderstorm. I had the front door open with the screen shut so that we could sit and watch the light show in the heavens and the downpour of rain. Becky turned to me eyes wide and exclaimed “Kaboomers and lightballs!” One time when we were camping at a state park in Oklahoma the three girls made the short trek to the restroom near our tent. When they came back five year old Becky was carrying a baby bunny in her arms that she had caught! We made her release it into the wild to find its Mommy, but to this day I can’t imagine how she caught it! On that same trip the girls and I were heading down to the dock to fish. Becky was responsible for carrying the bait box. She was a step or two behind me and I began to hear whimpers. I turned to see a long nightcrawler dangling from the box intent upon escape and Becky petrified by that worm. This may have been the trip that turned her off to nature except as an intent observer. The final story I’ll share is a time when Joni was a year, Becky was almost three, and Kristin was four.  Steve — and I’m still astounded by this — let me fly to Oregon to attend my cousin’s wedding while he stayed with the girls. This was back in the day when you could stand by the runway and watch the planes take off.  As Steve and the girls watched my plane climb into the clouds little almost three year old Becky turned to her Daddy and said with certainty “God is up to Oregon.”  While I don’t disagree with that concept, it was pretty awesome to watch her almost three year old reasoning that decided since Mommy was going to Oregon and Oregon was up in the clouds and heaven was ‘up’, then God must be in Oregon!

Becky is the middle girl of three sisters. How they fought and played and loved each other. Kristin was born in April of 1977, Becky in December of 1978, and Joni in September of 1980. They were close in time and became close in relationship. It wasn’t always easy, but the love the girls have for each other as adults reflects the bond they developed growing up.  There are stories to tell of their teen years and the trouble the got into together, but I’ll leave that for another time because I have a party to prepare for! Tonight Joni, Jake, Amity, Dara and Steve and I will eat Becky’s favorite foods and then spend some time decorating our house for Christmas. I may read this post to the girls because they delight in hearing stories of their Mom. They left for school today excited for tonight – I’m so glad!

I’ve said it before, I’m saying it now, and I’m sure I’ll say it again to remind myself if for no other reason — I wouldn’t give up having known Becky to save myself and those I love the hurt that we know now.  A Becky-less life would be a shade less brilliant and significantly less sweet. What a blessing both the little Becky and the grown-up Becky are in my life! I’m looking forward to seeing Becky again – thank You Lord for giving her to us for a season! I know You and Becky are enjoying celebrating her life in You today!

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.  I thank you, High God — you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration — what a creation!  You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”  Psalms 139:13-16 ”The Message”



About Gleanings from Claudia

I am a wife, mother, grandmother,sister, and friend newly introduced to grief as I lost my 32 year old daughter in an auto accident in December 2010. I am a follower of Jesus and am journeying through grief while abiding in Christ.
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3 Responses to GLEANINGS from Claudia: Happy Birthday Becky!

  1. Tonya Ziese says:

    Precious memories and tears filling my eyes today for all of you….enjoy Becky’s birthday party and celebrating her!

  2. Carol S says:

    Great stories! Becky continues to bless the lives she touched. Praying for all of you.

  3. Jean I. says:

    God bless you and your family. He has definitely given the gift of writing and expression to you and it is wonderful that you are sharing stories of Becky with her children – and with us. You (and Steve) are marvelous teachers.

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