The Home Church
April 17, 1999
Susie Jane Belton
What a truly extraordinary creation you are, Missy.
I keep thinking of you as you were in April, exactly this time of year, fifteen years ago.
Your uncle and I visited you in Palo Alto, along with your new baby cousin, Elizabeth. (About whom, you and Sarah observed, "That baby sure gets picked up a lot.") But you were something special.
Determined, solid, undaunted, you silently careened about the "complex" wearing huge, white roller skates. You sailed with a mastery far beyond your three and a half years. Occasionally you'd swing onto the two-wheeled bike and, with skates still on, you'd pedal around and around, another skill beyond your years. Sometimes you'd switch off the bike to a tricycle, then back to skating and then back onto the bike again. Around and around, on and off, swooping and wheeling. You simply dazzled.
Into the pool we went, first swim of the season. Swimming in April ... imagine. Your father stood at the edge of the pool, watching us all, telling us all your news, then quietly, mid-sentence, he slid into the water to push your sinking form to the surface.
"Missy's forgotten how to swim since last summer," he laughed.
You paddled on. Your dad climbed back out and continued our chat. A bit later he slid into the water again, just as he'd done before, and expertly pushed you from underneath, back to the surface.
Did you notice that you had sunk and been rescued?
With joy and determination, you paddled on. Again, your dad slid in and boosted you bubbling to the surface. Though seeming to be engaged in our talk, he was always watching you, ready to give you that powerful, quiet, invisible push from below to send you soaring to the top. At the end of the hour, you'd remembered how to swim.
You went on to swim and ride your two-wheeler in Missy fashion, with skates on, in your own very special way throughout your life. We all simply watched and marveled.
Missy, I pray and know that you are, right now, feeling that loving hand of your Father, pushing you up to the surface and the Light, where you'll burst smiling forth, and continue your proud and independent journey of discovery.
And I know you're simply dazzling.
Aunt Susie Jane Belton