A few weeks before I turned 14, late on a Sunday night, Katy and I were coming
with our parents after camping all weekend. As we pulled into the driveway the headlights shone on something bright white covering our, normally very dark green, back door. We hurriedly jumped out of the truck and ran to opened the screen door. The entire door was covered in bright white butcher paper and on it painted in bright color was “It’s a girl! – Stacey Danielle”. It was so exciting. You know I never thought about it until now but how cool was it for my Aunt, my dad’s sister, to make that sign for us?!
Debbie was so wonderful as a new, very young, fun, mother and was so sweet to bring her little family by weekly to visit. Each Sunday, I couldn’t wait for them to get there. We didn't know what time exactly they would come. They had others to visit as well and that’s the way a visit works, right? You just stop in. Stacey was the first grandkid. She was also the first baby I ever saw my father (known as the Griz at work due to his stature) hold. It still strikes me today how he was so comfortable and gentle with her.
As she grew, she was like the best toy a teenager could have. We’d dress her up in hats and different clothes (I don’t know why) and push her around on my skateboard and put her in the tree to take pictures of her and oh, the card houses. I loved to build card houses. The first time she saw one, she seemed to light up and so I was hooked. After church, I’d get home, eat, and start building a card house. Sometimes they would be as tall as Stacey and she would walk in, see it, stretch her arms out and walk straight into it. I have a feeling I'm not doing the description justice but it was awesome!
When we all moved to Arizona, I was lucky to live with Debbie’s family for
awhile. Stacey was, I think around 8 at the time. She was a very mature 8 year old and an awesome big sister who was protective of her younger brothers along with maybe bossing them around a little. I’m not sure quite when it started, or why, but somehow we, Stacey and I, used to swing dance occasionally. For her birthday, we would go to a restaurant in Phoenix which had a band and Stacey and I would dance, dance, dance. She was a
great swing dancer and easy to dip at 8 ;-)
Eventually I moved away but would come back to visit. During one such visit when she was a teenager her then boyfriend and I entered into a little friendly wager over a game of pool. And, NO, I did not shark him, contrary to what
others say, he knew what he’s what doing. Anyway the wager was if he won, I would jump into the pool (I believe it was winter and so this was a real threat), if I won, he would have to allow me to teach him to dance the two step with Stacey. Yeah! I won and the dance lesson began. Hopefully they had as much fun as I did as they learned over and over again for the next hour or so.
But my favorite Stacey dance memory doesn’t include me, it’s seeing her dance with our dad. to my all time favorite Garth Brook’s song “The Dance”, at
Katy’s wedding. Holding her just as gently, and comfortably as I’d seen him do when she was a baby, they seemed to glide across the floor as if they had danced together her whole life. It was graceful and seemed almost in slow motion, well until he started swinging her around, which she kept up with nicely I might add! It was simply beautiful.
I doubt Stacey realizes how often I think of her or how much I admire her. I feel lucky to have known her from a baby to now, all grown up, with a husband who seems like he’s her best friend and kids of her own who look to her with such love, and trust. She’s funny, fun loving, still protective of her brothers, respectful and loving to her mom, wonderful with her husband and children but most of all able to laugh at herself.
Stacey, I love you so much and hope you have a wonderful day!