Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog

Thirty six years ago today, God blessed us with one of His greatest gifts, a daughter we named Jennifer.

She didn’t always have life easy but she was a blessing to us from Day One.

She was so cute, blond, and a ball of energy.

She is smart and courageous, while being compassionate, and kind, with a faith in God which has served her well during tough situations.

When she was little, I took her flying in my plane, a Piper Tri-Pacer. She was too small to reach the rudder pedals, or to see over the instrument panel, so she sat on my lap with her hands on the control yoke. She liked to pull back and put the plane in a climb, and then push forward on the yoke, putting the aircraft in a nose down attitude and creating a near zero gravity situation.

She would giggle and laugh while her Mom turned a bit pale.

When her older sister, Kelly, was killed in 1990, Jennifer was devastated but chose to grieve by competing in Speech contests at school.

The subjects she chose to speak about were frequently about losing someone you love. Of course she spoke from the heart in these contests.

When she spoke, there was not a dry eye in the entire room.

I remember us standing outside the room, listening through an open door with tears running down our cheeks.

Jennifer won nothing but Blue Ribbons while her Mom and I were emotional wrecks every time Jennifer gave a speech.

Jennifer backpacked the Grand Canyon with us when she was 12 years old. In spite of the fact that we sometimes thought we might have to drag her out, she accomplished something that few her age have ever done.

When she was 16 years old, we gave her a car, a red Mustang Convertible. Even though the car was more than just a couple of years old, she was so happy that she cried.

Her sister had always called her “Peanut” so we had the license plate read “4U P-NUT” . That was special for her.

Jennifer was a cheerleader all four years of High School, just like her sister had been.

During Jennifer’s time as a cheerleader for the Football team, they won the State Championship and for the Basketball team when they went to the Final Four.

She carried a 3.8 GPA at Northwest Missouri State University her Freshman year, and went on to become an RN.

She worked in the Hospital as an LPN and then as an RN for 13 years. We are so proud of her for the kind of person she is and for what she has accomplished.

She and her husband, Steve, have blessed us with two wonderful grandchildren.

I guess the whole point in writing this is to share with you dear readers, how we have been blessed by this wonderful daughter.

We wish her a Happy Birthday today.

After all, it is in a large part, because of her that we can say “Life is Good!”

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