My Little; Then and Now

Her favorite things used to be nite-nite bunny and playing ballerina; now they are owls, her cell phone and practicing driving…

Barney and I were her favorite singers; we have been replaced by Drake, Lorde, and Lana…

Our late night conversations about princesses, fairies and Winnie The Pooh have morphed into discussions of safety and colleges and a military future.

I used to thank God every night that she was healthy and happy and pray for another day without scraped knees, a bruised forehead and (goodness forbid)- any stranger danger; and now my prayers are for strong convictions, smart decisions, a lasting faith…and still to keep the ones that would harm her far away.

Every day of the last 17 years I have been amazed by her intelligence and ability to make me laugh. I am increasingly aware of her strength and resilience in light of the last year of tragedy, change and hardships she has taken on without complaint or one bit of self-pity. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that she has been blessed with a capacity to withstand more than most of those her age. And though I cringe when I can sense her voice of justice and reason coming through without filter or tone appropriate for the audience that may be surrounding her; I am most grateful she somehow managed to acquire an unwavering gift for standing up for herself and others when she knows it would be wrong not to. This is a gift I wish I had myself. And something I know will serve her well when she serves our country in the Army as she has chosen to do after graduation. A decision that both scares me to death and makes me more proud than anything else I could mention about anyone I know…

My baby girl, my sunshine…my Little born on October 17, 1996 at 10am; 6 pounds and 11 ounces; who smiled at me with one dimple and a sparkle in her eyes that made me feel immediately like she would always be okay; my tiny ballerina; my little tabi-toes; don’t ever forget how much you are loved and that there is a God watching over us (trust me I know) and that no matter what, you can always come home. You always make me proud. Happy 17th birthday!


About Christine O.

I had been a young, single Mom to two girls for ten years; until March 9, 2014 when I married my soul-mate Jason. I’m a former 20 year+ full time executive in a demanding field turned business owner (this year); marathon runner, daughter to the perfect parents, oldest sister of a highly successful ‘normal’ younger brother and ‘functional’ single-mother (of 3) sister, coach, boss, best friend, member of the church choir, volunteer for the local NAMI, AFSP, and CASA organizations, and have over time become well acclimated to the world of mental illness after a life changing event or two. I have also become known in my community as the one who takes on the High School year after year in attempts to have a Suicide Prevention Program in place (as in Texas statute). My goal in writing, blogging and learning as much as I can about such subjects is to defeat stigma associated with brain disease, preventing suicide in the future, and saving my family.
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