Friday, May 30, 2008


It's your birthday today. Unfortunately, you're far away. This year has been a hard one on both of us and I hated being in different countries. As Thompson's, we brush it off. It's not a big deal because you're busy doing God's work. But truthfully, it is a big deal and I wish you were closer.

Recently, I've gotten in contact with some of the Spain people that we knew so well. I chatted with Mari Jose and we were reminiscing about old times. I realized that I try to push those memories away. Partly because I miss Spain and it's painful. She mentioned in our talk that Spain was a part of my legacy and I need to share it with my kids. She's right.

Thinking about Spain, got me thinking about my childhood. I browsed through old pictures, laughing, crying, remembering. I saw you for what you were. An American living a very foreign life but embracing it and helping us embrace it. You married a very adventurous man and he took you places that I'm sure you really didn't want to go. You did things that went against your more cautious nature. But you did them.

Here is a picture of you doing a very uncharacteristic jump. I remember this day. I recall your trepidation.

You didn't want to do it. But you had a husband yelling, I mean encouraging you, at the bottom. All your kids were looking up at you, doubting yet hoping that you'd pull through. And you did.
I was so proud.

Here you are, victorious but still a bit stunned. Being a Fairchild, you didn't hoop and holler with victory. You kept those emotions inside but I know you felt proud of yourself.

Here's another adventurous trip for us. I still think it's a bit crazy that we took those canoes down a river with rapids, to a campsite, with a poodle no less. Fun, yes, but crazy. And you did it.

Not only did you do it but you made that very rustic camp spot home. You planned out amazing meals. And it seemed effortless to you. Making a home, wherever we were.

I know being in a family where being cautious was looked down upon, was hard. But I want to thank you for letting us have those awesome adventures. Thanks for bringing balance to our family. Without you, we would have been tipping the scale and most likely breaking it. You gave us culture. You gave us a love for books. You showed us that being an American was not a death sentence. You made our family a family. You are part of my legacy. I am what I am because of the work you did. And I love you.


Ellen and Kevin Fay said...

Shelley: What a great tribute to your Mom. It's so great you have those memories. God bless, Ellen

Anonymous said...

I wrote Mom a note on her blog yesterday thinking of her. I know your words and pictures will speak volumes of life into her. she loves you so much.
I'm having a hard time knowing we will not get to be at the reunion - I tried thinking of a way to at least get Dennis there but we just don't get to do all that we want and I have to come to grips with that again. Enjoy some moments for us too.
How's the patient?
thinking of you

Mom said...

Thanks so much for the beautiful birthday card. Those two moments you captured are forever etched in my memory. They were uncharistic things for me to do, so I will remember the exilliration forever. I do realise that Dad and I are an unlikely pair, but gave you kids a good mix of adventure and culture. Your words yesterday made my birthday very special.

I hope Samuel is doing better.