06 August 2010
Yesterday I celebrated the beautiful life of my youngest daughter Anna-Lee, who graced us with her lovely self 18 years ago. I can remember the first moment I saw her sweet face as if it were yesterday. And today, she has grown into a young woman who makes us all quite proud.
As a young child, Anna-Lee was terribly shy with strangers, not one to venture far from family, but very cuddly with those she loved. Eventually she moved away from her shy temperament and transformed into a young girl with a passion for creating a better world for the oppressed, especially those without a friend or a voice. Many unlikely people have been the target for her Godly heart. Orphans in Honduras and Guatemala, low-income families in Mexico and the Mississippi Delta, Haitian children in Eluethera – all of them have been touched by the love and compassion of Anna-Lee. I think she knows she is good at what she has chosen to be good at – sharing herself with those who are often tossed aside in this world.
Here is a story about Anna-Lee recently written by her sister Allyson:
Anna-Lee genuinely cares about the well being of other people. I remember one Christmas when she waited last to give out her Christmas presents to our immediate and extended family. She came out with two big trash bags and presented each of us with a warm blanket. Before any of us had a chance to say anything, she started to speak. She told us of the statistics of homeless individuals in the Little Rock area. She explained her time at a nearby soup kitchen and how these people wore clothes with holes in them, and lived in boxes underneath the bridge, even during below freezing weather. She said that she had given each of us a blanket in hopes that we would return them to her and allow her to present them to these people on Christmas night. That was one of the best Christmas experiences I have and it's all thanks to Anna- Lee.
The past six months, Anna-Lee has unfortunately had to grow up quite a bit. From the beginning of this cancer diagnosis, I told her that she would never be expected to serve as my caretaker. Instead, the expectation was for to continue to be a 17-year-old high school senior, to keep her focus on school, friends, church and her many activities. Somehow Anna-Lee managed to squeeze me into her life with movie nights, cooking extravaganzas, girl chats and shopping sprees to get her ready for college. Every moment has been special – except maybe the summer standoff about cleaning her room.
Yesterday and today and for all days, I will celebrate this Godly child who celebrates life, understands what’s important in the world, and shares her heart and smile with those oppressed and vulnerable.
Thank you God for sharing Anna-Lee with us. And Happy Birthday, Anna-Lee!
Posted by Stacy Sells at 8:24 AM