Not going to lie, I have found it incredibly hard to write this tribute to my daughter, Morgan, on this her 21st birthday. Usually words would have been formed maybe a week beforehand, but here I am at roughly 6:00 am on the day of her birth with a mostly blank screen.
And I don’t know why.
I go to start and the years that have passed since I gave birth to Morgan Cynthia Fargo come crashing down and stifle my words.
Yes, I could reiterate the beauty of Morgan. Her different and measured way of seeing the world. Her fierce loyalty where she places her love. Her strong sense of family and family ties. The deep love she has for her siblings Robbie, Tess and Hart.
I suppose I could then go on to speak about some of the challenge I have faced as a parent of Morgan. Challenge because it took me a while to realise I was trying to parent myself. It was Hart her brother who pointed out that Morsey (we call her ‘Morsey’) and I are the same people. Hell, his first words weren’t even ‘Ma-ma’ or ‘Da-da’ but instead “I’m not getting between the two of you!”
And it’s not that we found ourselves in conflict often, just that when we did the situation would go from 0 to 60 in as many nano-seconds. I think of those times as the teenage madness years where the best parenting tool is a bucket-load of patience. (I had to buy some in on occasion.)
But we got through as we always do, because no matter how irritated or irritating we can be, Morsey and I like each other. If this child was not my relation, she is someone I would choose to spend time with.
Then of course we’d have to talk about Morsey’s special relationship with her father. From the get-go, Bronnie would parade his second daughter around like a chick magnet. Not many people could resist the sight of a 6’ 3” blonde, blue-eyed American carrying the cutest brown baby with a mop of chocolate brown curls on his chest.
And boy, would Bronnie be proud of Morsey today. Majoring in international politics, she and he would have had the most interesting of conversations. That picture is of him saying goodbye to her as we leave her to board at The Leys school, Cambridge. His death hit her hard.
And laugh. I am blessed with children who all have a keen sense of humour – something Bronnie and I shared. And one of Morsey’s best one-liners was when her brother Robbie was graduating from Oxford. The ceremony is conducted in Latin – a subject Morgan took briefly at school. In any case, I say to her during the ceremony “Are you getting any of this?” and she replies quick as a whip “Nope, it’s all Greek to me.” Boom!
But I think I now know why I have found it difficult to put this tribute into words. It’s because that old picture below of us together years ago says everything of how I feel about my daughter. And I will never be able to articulate better than that photograph the pride and depth of feeling I have for this wonderful young woman.