Our Rachel is sandwiched between our son, Eric, and our youngest daughter, Autumn; making her our ‘middle’ child. I remember when I got pregnant for the third time…a pleasant surprise…I was upset thinking that my little Rach would have “middle child syndrome”. We were going to the pediatrician and he asked me what was bothering me. When I told him, he just smiled.
“Don’t worry. This little girl will NEVER be a middle child. She will never allow anyone to ignore her.” He was right, of course. In fact, in a previous post I refer to Rachel as “She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Ignored”. The name holds true to this day.
Today’s post is not necessarily a funny one, but a tribute to my little girl, who has grown into an amazing woman. It is one of my favorite “Rachel Stories”…
My Dad is Italian. Rocco Sicurello. With a name like that, what else could he be?
Dad and his older brother, in their younger days, had kind of an on-again, off-again relationship. They were speaking. They weren’t speaking. They were speaking again. I hate to say it’s an Italian thing, but I always thought of it that way. They were both initially stubborn, but they always eventually made amends and we always knew, through it all, that they loved each other.
Anyway, Rachel was born in the midst of a particularly long “not speaking” time. So she didn’t meet my Aunt and Uncle until she was almost three. It was New Year’s day, 1987, and we had all gathered at my parent’s house. We were sitting around the table, enjoying one another’s company, laughing, talking, and being loud. Rachel had never met my Uncle, but went over to him and climbed into his lap. Rachel knew no strangers no matter how much I warned her about them.
My Uncle had never had a daughter and was always, still is, a soft-hearted man, especially with little girls. My sisters and I could get away with anything at his house, and we knew it.
The conversation that followed still warms my heart.
After perching herself on my Uncle’s lap, she looked at him for a few seconds. “Who are you?”
“I’m your Grandpa’s brother.”
Rachel smiled. “You are? It’s like I have two Grandpas and I didn’t even know it for my whole life!”
She gave my Uncle a kiss and one of her ‘squeeze-your-guts-out’ hugs, and went off to play. My Uncle melted into his socks. He looked at me and said, “I’ve missed so much.”
I’d love to say that the “not speaking” times ended there, but I think there were a few more. That day, like many others our little spit of a girl spoke words of healing. She still does…
There is a fierce love of family in her. She honors us, as her parents, and all of her grandparents. She finds a seemingly endless joy in giving to others, almost to a fault. She still makes us laugh is a blessing to us all. She is our Rachel, funny and feisty, loving and loud. She has the uncanny ability to make everyone around her feel like she’s their friend. She is truly an incredible young woman and today is her birthday.
Happy Birthday, my Darlin’ Rachel P! You are one of my greatest joys and a very big deal!