Fourteen years ago Jared and I and seven anxious siblings welcomed our baby Beebz into the world. And welcomed was she! I don't think a little girl could ever have been more loved than Hannah. With the birth of Hannah, our family was finally complete and even. Four boys first and Hannah was the fourth girl.
Hannah was different than your normal Rust baby. She was born with lots of brown curls (the others were bald), beautiful olive skin (the others were white), and lots of chubs (the others were relatively skinny), and she strongly resembled her daddy (the others resembled each other). That little brown haired, brown eyed, brown skinned girl wiggled her way into each of our hearts in a very big way.
Being the last person in a ten member family is a huge responsibility but Hannah does it well. She puts up with being referred to as "the baby", taking orders from nine others; never being able to ride shotgun, and merciless teasing of much older brothers. But aside from all this, she has developed a quick sense of humor and a pleasant, but quirky personality.
Let me tell you about that personality.
Hannah is a deep-thinker. She is a watcher of people and a surveyor of situations. When she was little, I chalked up her silence to being shy and reserved (which she was to some degree). As she got older, I began to believe that it wasn't so much shyness that kept her silent, but that she was simply thinking, taking everything in and then would offer her opinion, advise, words of wisdom, etc., if she deemed it necessary and desired. She doesn't say much but when she does, it is of value and well thought out and should be paid attention to.
Hannah is a natural-born leader. I love watching her interact with her friends. She is just fine to take a back seat and "let them be the boss" but when there is a problem her friends automatically turn to her for direction and leadership. AND SHE IS AN AMAZING LEADER! Hannah instinctively commands respect of her peers by the way she handles herself; never trying to be the center of attention, but rather the voice of reason. She has innate skills of organizing, public speaking, managing of time, inclusive involvement of others, and well thought out solutions. I can not say enough of what type of leader Hannah has become and how she continues to develop those god-given talents and traits.
Hannah is a goal-setter and a goal-achiever. She isn't showy in what she has obtained and what she seeks to obtain, she is just constant in her pursuit. She has set academic goals early on in her life so that her college career is all that she has envisioned and planned for it to be. She has set domestic goals early on in her life to help her become the mother she hopes to be. She doesn't easily get discouraged, but when she does, she seeks positive solutions and picks herself up and gets back on track.
Hannah is kind. I have never had one single person tell me that Hannah has ever been unkind, said something mean or inappropriate, or acted in a way that is unbecoming of a righteous daughter of God. On the other hand, I have received many compliments on how kind, helpful, polite, and mature she is. It seems that every school year I have a teacher tell me how grateful they are for the help she is to other students who struggle in class. Whether she has been asked by the teacher or by the students themselves, Hannah patiently and respectfully helps them LEARN.
Hannah is valiant and pure. I emphasis "learn" because Hannah is so careful to never give answers or let the kids abuse her kindness and knowledge. She lets them know that she can help them by teaching, never by cheating. The thoughts of cheating are repulsive to her. She certainly wouldn't ever cheat herself, but her valiant nature makes sure that no one can cheat off her. Her valiant nature causes her to cringe at words that are crass and offensive. I am not necessarily talking about just cuss words, but any word that is demeaning or crude. Her spirit is easily offended and I love that in her. Purity flows through Hannah and it shows in her face, words and actions.
Hannah is comforting. Every night I can count on Hannah to seek me out, put her arms around me and just hold me for a few minutes in a sweet, deliberate embrace. It is not a limp hug or an obligatory goodnight routine; it is a heartfelt display of her love and gratitude towards me. Two nights ago, I came home from doing Relief Society service all day long. I was exhausted, emotionally drained, and it seemed every joint and muscle were throbbing in pain. I felt like I would burst into tears at any moment from sheer fatigue. My eyes must have been shut because I don't remember seeing Hannah stand in front of me but suddenly I was very aware of sweet loving arms that had encircled me and Hannah had gently placed my head on her chest holding it near her heart. It was one of the sweetest gestures of Christ-like love that I have ever experienced. She was silent, and I was comforted. For a few moments our roles were switched. She was the mother making everything right and I was the child who just needed to be held.
How I love my Hannah. Words can not express my gratitude to Heavenly Father for sending her to me. Happy Birthday sweet daughter. I Love you. Mommy