The Post I’ve Dreaded To Write

by Sherry Riter in Alyssa,Birthday,Family

This is hard to write.

The words are flying through my mind and yet none of them sound just right.

I’m sad for me because it is the end of a this part of a journey and I don’t like endings especially when it has been the greatest experience of my life.

I also don’t like changes. The same old thing over and over, day in and day out is perfectly fine with me.

However, life changes every day and people grow.

Friday, April 15th, 2011, is a special day for my only daughter, Alyssa.

It is her 18th birthday.

So I want to tell her a few things…

Today, Alyssa, is the day you have been counting down to get to for a long time because you think 18 is a magical number. In many ways, turning 18 years old is almost mystical, but it also marks the beginning of a life of choices…

The choices are yours, as well as the associated consequences whether they are good, bad, happy or sad.

You have been prepared for this day. I taught you the basis of everything you now know.

Often you say that I am weird, strange, different, behind the times, sheltered, old fashioned and not like anyone else, so I can say anything I want now because apparently I am an alien.

Doesn’t that mean you are part alien too?

All the choices you make now will determine the life you live. The choices of what you do and how you live your life are endless…

  • doctor
  • drug addict
  • mother
  • dental hygienist
  • housekeeper
  • alcoholic
  • brick layer
  • real estate agent
  • liar
  • secretary
  • cosmetologist
  • actress
  • teacher
  • prostitute
  • wife
  • chef
  • politician
  • mistress
  • race car driver
  • criminal
  • and many, many more

There are no limits to the things you can be or accomplish. Where your life ends up will be decided for the most part by your choices…the ones that you make.

The moral values I’ve taught you can be your anchor and guide or you can toss them all to the wind.

You can live a life of freedom or you can break every law and become a prisoner in jail paying heavily for your actions.

You can find a spouse that will love, honor and cherish you or you can become enslaved by a wicked person who treats you cruelly.

Honesty, respect and loyalty can emanate from your character or all manner of corruption and wickedness can drag you into a life of darkness.

I know you think that being old is so far in the future…that you have so much time, but you don’t and it goes by way too fast.

Believe me because yesterday I was 18 years old myself and today I woke up and thirty years had passed.

You are a princess to me…the greatest accomplishment and joy in life.

For whatever reason, you have a second chance to live. By scientific and medical standards, you should have remained dead last year. You didn’t because there is a purpose that you must fulfill. A purpose that only you can accomplish. Death did not rob you of the days you are now living.

Make these days count….because they do. Each one is more precious than the last. Hold tight to the things I have taught you because you are different and special.

Do you remember the story that Aesop told about the Ant and Grasshopper?

    In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; “We have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food, and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.

That is when the Grasshopper knew:

“It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.”

I’m sure you are thinking, “It is just a story,” and that is very true. However, many people are like the Grasshopper…they miss so many of the precious moments of life because they live just for today.

You’ve known people who have been Grasshoppers. When some of them reached the end of their life, they lived in agony, guilt and regret. It was too late. Sometimes it is too late. I don’t want that for you, my dear child.

Think of the consequence of your actions and choose wisely. Fill your life with goodness for it will bring you happiness, laughter and love. Life is an adventure, so enjoy it, but don’t squander it like the Grasshopper.

Thank you, Alyssa, for being my daughter. Saying “I love you” is not enough words to express my emotions. From love, within my body, you were created, grew and eventually was born. Every second of every day since, you have been my first and last thought and sometimes filled all my thoughts. It is very hard for me to let you continue on the path ahead because I am so fearful that you will choose unwisely or be hurt, in pain and sad.

I want to hold you close and protect you like I did when you were a baby.

I will miss those moments, but I hope that we have many more albeit different kinds of moments in our futures.

Happy birthday Alyssa. I am so thankful for you and thankful to God for the miracle of your life…twice.

Love always the old fashioned alien,


Yeah, you were more tanned than me even when you were born.

My hand and newborn Alyssa

The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 By Word of Mouth Musings April 15, 2011 at 4:27 am

What a beautiful tribute!
Wishes and dreams, hopes and an outpouring of love … how very special.
Happy Birthday, and yes, well done MOM!


2 babyrocasmama April 15, 2011 at 4:34 am

My baby just turned six and it seems like I blinked and she went from baby in my arms to this amazing little girl who truly wants to be a big girls. I do not want to think about her turning 18.

Not yet anyway.

Happy birthday to your baby. May she make the right choices and use the skills you have given her wisely.


3 that's life! April 15, 2011 at 4:54 am


Red, your best is all anyone can ask of you.

To know that you've devoted your very best to the rearing of a child…wow!

Depressed?! No way I'm gonna let that last! Sending you a bottle of champagne!


4 TJ April 15, 2011 at 5:12 am

Hi My Sherry, I only hope she will be just the half the woman you are, I pray she will have the morals you have and to keep her self clean from all the wickedness the world offers. I pray she will have the care for herself to stand up and be different and lead instead of being a follower like the poor lemens that fall off the cliff and die. I pray she will hold tight to the blessing she was born with and maganify it to the utmost . You taught her all she needs to become the daughter of God she is, lets pray she can find the path that leads to happiness, for " Wickedness never was happiness"



5 Marlene April 15, 2011 at 5:38 am

Happy Birthday, Alyssa!
And Congratulations Red! You've raised a wonderful daughter!


6 Kathy April 15, 2011 at 6:57 am

What a beautiful post. There are so many choices that our children will make, some with thought and some without. I too wish that I could hold my babies and stop time from moving so fast. Parethood is such a strange job with the whole goal being unemployment. Thank you for your wonderful piece. I hope you all have a great celebration and that your daughter has a great birthday!


7 Teresha@Marlie and Me April 15, 2011 at 9:33 am

Happy 18th Birthday Alyssa! Live it up! and Listen to your mother, she speaks from experience.


8 KathyMorelli April 15, 2011 at 9:56 am

A wonderful post! Really good, concise & wise! Mine is 16 we are close to this milestone!


9 Joan April 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Dear Old-Fashioned Alien,

You are not so old-fashioned in my eyes — just a mother who loves her daughter with all her heart — and wants the best for her that life has to offer!

Hodding Carter said, "There are two lasting bequests we give our children. One is roots, the other is wings."

For 18 years you have given your precious and beautiful daughter, Alyssa, roots — now it is her time to fly. Do not worry about her flight, because she will always fly back to you when she needs good motherly advice. In time, as Alyssa grows older, she will come to understand that you were not old-fashioned at all. You were wise and loving and you gave her the best roots possible for her journey through life.

Happy 18th birthday, Alyssa! How lucky you are to have an old-fashioned alien for a mother who loves you so much that she lovingly invested ever ounce of her wisdom into you — so that you would be able to safely spread your wings and fly in this journey called life!


10 ArtMuse Dog and Carol April 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Red ~ You and your daughter and your Mom are 3 special women ~ I know it is hard to see our children grow up although we know that was our goal ~ take time to honor all that you are feeling ~ Glad you wrote this ~ It is a wonderful tribute to you all ~ hugs, love and namaste, Carol and ArtMuse Dog ^_^


11 Shifan April 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm

What a beautiful tribute.A wonderful post.

If you have a time please visit my blog too.


12 Bossy Betty April 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Gorgeous post and happy birthday to your baby girl! (She'll always be your baby girl.)


13 Kristi April 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Happy Birthday, Alyssa!! Embrace this time in your life and make wise choices in the people you spend time with and those who can be role models to you. You have been given a wonderful gift of more time on this Earth and a loving family. Celebrate!


14 Danielle-Marie April 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Happy Birthday Alyssa! What a precious baby you were and what a beautiful woman you have become! Lovely post Mom 🙂


15 Pleemiller April 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Red….this is one of your best posts…real and from the heart…
thanks for letting us be part of her day and her life.


16 Katina April 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm

LOVE THIS!!! What a wonderful mommy!


17 Lori April 15, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Happy Birthday Alyssa! I hope it's your best one yet!

Cherry, I am all teary-eyed. My son will be turning 18 at the end of May. What a turning point in our children's lives. What an exciting time and a time of change. I completly related to every word your wrote.


18 Kate April 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Your post was so beautiful! I hope that if my husband and I are ever blessed with a child, that I will remember to share this post with them on their 18th birthday. 🙂


19 Patti Hanan April 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm

This is a beautiful tribute to your daughter. I can tell you as someone with four grown children and grandmother to four, that Alyssa will always be your precious daughter, no matter how old she gets. Your relationship will just change, to become more like contemporaries and friends. The love you have for each other will always be there, and grow 🙂


20 Scrappy Grams April 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Happy birthday, Alyssa. For your mom, time flew by all too fast, and now you're an adult. Live life to the fullest as best as you can. And keep in mind how much your mom loves you. ~hugs~


21 melody-mae April 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm

what an adorable picture of her…awww.
Know this, I have raised three daughters, yes…I said THREE…can you say: HORMOONES? 😉
I have raised 3 daughters, one of the hardest things I have done in my life is let them use their wings. The worries we have when they are tiny, are nothing compared to letting them go, test the wind and finally leave the nest. I will be thinking of you my sweet friend!!

from a fellow 'red head'


22 Joan April 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Dear Old-Fashioned Alien,

I just wanted you to know that the Joan who left the comment and quote by Hodding Carter, "There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots, the other is wings" — is me, Joan from A Bad Marriage Is Fattening! (Do you know any other Joan's who would address you as an old-fashioned alien? LOL)

I tried leaving my earlier comment to you today on your blog through WordPress — and I was signed into my blog so that your blog would not see me as an anonymous poster — but I still got the same message back that I had originally gotten when I e-mailed you telling you that I was having problems commenting on Blogger blogs. So I am again sending this comment through google. I sure hope I can figure out why I have been unable to comment through WordPress.

Happy 18th birthday again to Alyssa!


23 The Aud Author, Audrey April 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Aww, that picture of my little niece, so sweet. She was such a momma's baby, I know I didn't get to hold her but 10 times max! She was such a cute little peanut.


24 Bev April 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm

A wonderful mother you are. I hope the move to the next level of parenting takes you to more joy. Shine on in your new role as it too is a component of aging with dignity.

Please send Alyssa a big happy birthday from me. She has a wonderful group of women to guide her; you, your mom and Aud! May God bless you all more abundantly than you can ever ask or think!!!


25 Recovering Church Lady April 15, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Beautiful letter to your daughter on her 18th! Now the hard part will be yours, letting go, but it sure sounds like you already know that and are ready for it! Blessings on you both!


26 bluecottonmemory April 16, 2011 at 3:23 am

A beautiful love letter from mom! So perfect. So True. Filled with lots of love and good advice! Happy 18th Birthday to both of you:) 18 makes you kind of weepy! Way to be strong Red!


27 Suzanne G. McClendon April 16, 2011 at 4:14 am

Awww how sweet! It tugs at my mama-heart. It sounds to me like you both are very blessed. 🙂

I hope that it has been a wonderful birthing day, Red, and a wonderful birthday for you, Alyssa.


28 L.A.C.E. April 16, 2011 at 4:36 am

awww.. that's ages away for my youngest three, however, my oldest is not far. They grow oh so fast. You are an alien now, but in time she'll become your alien child 😀

Happy 18th Alyssa.


29 Mry Jhnsn April 17, 2011 at 12:27 am

Such a sweet post! Great job on raising what I am sure is a wonderful young lady!


30 Joan April 17, 2011 at 2:19 am

Redhead Riter, a very heartfelt post!


31 Carolyn April 17, 2011 at 5:40 am

I am so not ready for my girls to turn 18. We try so hard to teach them how to make good choices but in the end it really is up to them. All we can do is hope they've been listening… even a little bit.


32 Joan April 17, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I liked this post so much that I re-read it for a third time and I am commenting again for a third time! (Actually I am commenting again to see if my comment goes through! You know how much problems I was having before commenting on your blog and other Blogger's blogs!) Fingers crossed — I am now going to submit my comment!


33 Katherines Corner April 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Oh what a lovely post. I'm sorry sweet bloggy friend. I know the passing of time, it is a toughie. My daughter will be 31 May 18th! My daughter and I were inseparable until she was a teen and all of a sudden I knew nothing! We have had a strained relationship over the years. I still struggle. I am happy for you both all though you are sad ( does that make sense)Hugs and I hope you'll stop by and enter my latest giveaway to win a gorgeous dress!


34 PJ May 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Hey Gal! With a mom like you teaching her what you know and have learned and with a strong foundation of God in her life, I'm sure she will stay on the right path. BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALYSSA! (I'm gonna be late to my own funeral!)

God Bless!


35 The Redhead Riter May 2, 2011 at 3:36 am

Thank you all for your well wishes and thoughtful words. They mean a lot more to me than you can even know.


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