Sunday, November 16, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEIGH HARPER AND ANNE PARKER!












On November 20th, my twin daughters will be thirty-one years old. It seems like only yesterday they were born a month premature. Anne weighed 3 lbs. and Leigh weighed 6 lbs. but promptly lost a pound. Leigh had to be taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center because she was suffering from a condition where she had too much blood and a hole in her heart. Anne had to remain in the local hospital until she reached five pounds before she could be released to come home. I went home to the farm without either baby!

I had to travel back and forth to the local hospital to feed and visit with Anne each day. Their father, John, went to UK Hospital to visit Leigh. Since I had a cesarean section it was hard on me to do much traveling.

On the sixth day, John, went by the hospital to see Leigh and they told him she was being released. We had no idea she would be coming home and he had no idea what to do. He had no clothes, blankets, or anything. The nurses wrapped her in a big adult size hospital gown and a blanket, gave him some bottles with milk and he carried her out to his truck.

In order for anyone to fully appreciate this story, I have to tell you a little bit about their father. John was 32 and had never been married when we met. I was 30. John was a cowboy. He wore wrangler jeans, boots, a big cowboy hat, drove an old pickup truck, liked his beer and could ride a horse and rope a steer with the best of them. He loved to rodeo, rode the bulls, and was great at the calf roping events. He stood six feet tall, with red hair, freckles, and a mustache, carried a snuff can in his back pocket and kept a dip of snuff in his lip. His favorite past time was telling stories and he could entertain anyone for hours. He loved people and people loved him. He was smart, educated, and a fun person to be around but he had no earthly idea what to do with this baby girl in his pickup truck that only weighed 5 lbs.

Leigh was screaming like a banshee while her dad tried to find someway to keep her from rolling out of the truck seat. Looking in the bed of the truck, John comes up with one of those empty cardboard beer cartons that used to hold a case of beer. He stuffed Leigh into the carton on the seat beside him, put a bottle in her mouth and headed for home. The drive took about an hour and fifteen minutes.

I saw him pull into the driveway at the farm from the kitchen window. He was very carefully carrying this box with stuff hanging out all around the sides. There were no cell phones in those days and I had no idea Leigh was with him. John burst through the back door yelling, "you are not going to believe what I have in this box" to the top of his lungs. That was Leigh's homecoming.

Anne remained in the hospital for a month and came home on December 20, 1977. The nurses spoiled her to death and she was the hospital's little darling. She was our Christmas bundle of joy that year.

Finally, both our girls were home doing well.

Today, they are beautiful, young women that make me so proud to be their mother. They are successful in their careers and bought a farm where they live together with their dogs and horses.
John lost his battle with cancer several years ago but he is alive in their hearts and his spirit guides them in their lives each day.

Happy Birthday girls. I love you very, very much and you light up my life.
I hope you enjoy the pictures.
Johnny, Leigh, Anne

Bathtime on the farm.
Mom, Dad, Anne, Leigh

Waiting on the horses to come in.
Ready to ride.


Waiting on the school bus!

You can visit Anne and Leigh by clicking on the link:
Twin Crossroads

33 comments:

amy phillips said...

They are so Beautiful!!! You most be a proud momma such wonderful kids. (now women) I love the pics! I often think how our pics will look when our girls are all grown up. Did you weep while thinking about all those wonderful memories? Thank you for sharing.

Jeannie said...

What an amazing story of your beautiful family. Happy birthday to your girls.

Sylvia K said...

Judy, that's such a beautiful story and so are your girls! Sorry you all lost their Dad, but I know he lives in your hearts. Thank you so much for sharing the story and the pictures! Happy Birthday to you all!

Sylvia K said...

Judy, we just crossed paths! I'm glad you enjoyed the humor and I'm glad it came at a good time. I went to your daughters blogsite, they are beautiful and I know they are the joy of your life, as mine are to me!

Leigh said...

Hi Mom,

You always make me cry when you do stuff like this. Thank you for such a beautiful post to Anne and I. We are both so blessed to have you as our mother, you are the best mom in the world and I love you more than anything. Thank you for always being there for me and being my best friend!!!

Love you always,

Leigh

Tabby @ ♥I Choose Bliss♥ said...

Happy Birthday To Your Beautiful Daughters!!

Anonymous said...

This story should be made into a movie. It was facinating!! The girls are lucky to have you for their mom. I love all your blogs but this is the best so far. Stories about loving families gets to me everytime, and it is obvious from your blogs that there is a lot of love in your family.

Lilly's Life said...

Judy, I so loved your post - It made me cry. What beautiful, beautiful girls they are. I love the way you describe Johnny and how he bought his your tiny baby home and how he is with his daughters every day. You so should try and get your story published. Loved it. Plus all the adorable pictures. Oh and Happy Birthday Leigh and Anne. Something tells me they take after their mother too!!

anewwayoflife08 said...

What a good looking children you have, and what a lovely story of the home coming.

bobbie said...

A very Happy Birthday to both women.

The pictures are priceless!

Beth said...

Judy, the story of Leigh's homecoming is absolutely wonderful, and you told it so well! I could very readily picture it in my mind. And I loved every one of the photographs. Your girls are beautiful---both you and they are richly blessed. A very Happy Birthday to Anne and Leigh!

Ladyfromthewoods said...

Judy,
What a wonderful honor it is to hear you being called "blessed" by your children. And you told the story of their amazing entrance into this world so wonderfully! It's obvious they adore you and vice versa.

Happy birthday girls! I do believe that if I were you, I'd print mom's post off for my scrapbook! You are both so cute and richly blessed!

xo teresa

Anne and Leigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

What a wonderful uplifting story and pics to match. It really made my day to read,
My only grandaughter was born 10 wks early 7 years ago weighing 2lbs ......on my birthday she is now a mischievious 7 yr old,
Happy birthday to your twins you have done a wonderful job Judy.

Yvonne.

Anne and Leigh said...

My goodness Mom, you always know how to make my cry! You are so amazing and we couldnt be MORE BLESSED to have such an amazing mother. You are our heart and soul! Thank you so much for the wonderful memories, and the wonderful blog entry! I love you very, very much!

The pics are so great!

Love you!

Anne

JunieRose2005 said...

What a beautiful story, Judy. Thanks so much for sharing it!

I know those girls are precious to you! :)

I will visit their blog site soon.

Junie

Grammy said...

Dear Judy,
What a wonderful story! I was right there with you as I read the story and saw the pictures. How very fortunate you three are to have each other with the memories you have together. God has truly blessed you and your family. I will be checking out your daughters' blog when I can. Thank you for your story. Love,
Ruby (aka Grammy)

Balisha said...

Beautiful girls, beautiful story, Judy. What wonderful memories for all of you.

June Saville said...

That's our Judy - full of life and love. Ups and downs, good and bad, humour and sadness - all in this post. Onyer Judy
June in Oz

One Woman's Journey said...

Judy, what a beautiful story. Could be a novel or a movie. Tears in my eyes. Your girls are beautiful and I know you are proud of them. God has surely given you a wonderful blessing.

Kelly said...

What beautiful girls and such a lovely tribute to them on their upcoming birthday! Today is one of my sons birthday also. He is 24 yrs old! I know how you feel, where has all the time gone??? You are so kind and such a loving person, Judy! This story just brings me to tears of joy!

I have something waiting for you on my blog.

Jamie Dawn said...

I'll pop over there and wish them both a Happy Birthday.

I love the story about John!!
I can just picture it.
Great photos, but my favorite by far is the one of them in the tub. Cute to the max!!!!
Your daughters are gorgeous ladies, and I hope they have a wonderful birthday celebration!!

Sweetie said...

Judy, your daughters are beautiful and so is your story. Your girls were really cute children. I particularly like the photo of them in the washtub and also the photo of you, your husband, and your daughters.
Sweetie

Clara....in TN said...

Oh Judy, I loved that story. I can picture it in my mind. Their Daddy driving home with the baby in a beer box. I'm glad you told us that story. Your girls are beautiful and so full of life. I think they take after their Mama! Tell them both "Happy Birthday." I have been to their blog bit will go again...right now. Aren't daughters wonderful?

Margaret Cloud said...

Your daughters are very lovely, I went to their blog site and wished them a Happy Birthday. Thanks for sharing your story about the girls.

Charles Lister said...

Mom,
What a great post! Some wonderful pics too... I don't think I'd ever seen some of those. You're the best Mom ever!

Love,
Rob

ugich konitari said...

Judy,

What great stories and what wonderful daughters....

I wanted to wish them a happy birthday and just visited their site. (Actually, at the moment it is 20th morning, here in India , and you guys are still on 19th evening. )

But I suppose I can visit and wish them again after its 20th in the US!

Nancy said...

Happy birthday to Anne and Leigh! I loved your story about their births and homecomings. It was definitely a tale to remember! I also loved the old family pictures. You have a lovely family!

judypatooote said...

Oh judy, I think this is my favorite blog post that I have ever read....I love your husband too...LOL.. what a hilarious story you tell...I can just picture the situation...I'm so happy to see your girls turned out so well...they are just so beautiful...and look the same size now....My middle daughter Lisa was born a month early too at 3 lbs 11oz. and I had to leave her in the hospital...that was an awful feeling to walk away empty handed. But we took her home the normal way (hehe) at 5 lbs a week later.. and she will turn 45 the end of this month....

It's the wonderful stories that we can remember about our husbands and fathers that keep them alive.. have a happy Thanksgiving judy... your friend judy

AnnaMarie said...

Oh Judy, I've heard the story of Leigh being brought home in the beer carton before, but I'll never get tired of hearing it.

Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on creating two beautiful, smart, wonderful women!

Grannyann said...

What beautiful girls and an interesting story. I am curious about the girls. What do they do for careers, and do they farm?

patsy said...

hi, how lucky you are with two daughters.

Anil P said...

Among the warmest post I've read. Truly wonderful to learn about them. Wishing them well always.