Happy Birthday! I've thought all week about your birthday and how you would be turning twenty-six today. I thought about the day you were born and how excited I was to really have a daughter. I waited a long time for you, and you were everything I ever wanted.
When you were born, you had coal black hair, and lots of it. More than I'd ever seen on a baby. If I hadn't witnessed your birth, I would have said that it was a mistake ... you couldn't possibly be mine. You looked like a little Indian papoose. You were so fat and all that black hair stood straight up. It was amazing. You looked so dainty the day you came home from the hospital. You wore a tiny little yellow dress that my Grandmother made for you. She hand sewed lace in rows and rows on the bloomers.
I still have your baby clothes, and every tooth you lost as a kid, sealed in a envelope, with a letter of what you did that particular day. I still have your hair barrettes and your little earrings. I have little notes that you wrote me, and beautiful pictures of you. I have your homework from Kindergarten and your first diary. The time has never been right for me to give them to you ... or else the time hasn't come for me to let them go yet.
You were so prissy when you were little. It was all about being a princess and definitely all about pink. Kelcie is you made over. Through my eyes, it's like watching you grow up all over again. I think you must know that.
My best memories of you growing up are the times that me and you would sneak away from the boys and go buy "girl things." You always wanted everything and loved to buy shampoo and bubble bath. We talked and laughed during our late night escapades, and I loved the closeness that we shared.
I loved being pregnant at the same time as you. I loved our shopping dates and all that we did together to get ready for our babies. I had great plans of the two of us with our babies doing everything together. Though my road turned a different direction when I had triplets, and we didn't get to do things together as much as I wanted. It's been a hard three years for me with the kids, but now it's easier and we're planning again.
Then you grew up, and left home. You married and had a child, then divorced. Your heart was broke and it broke mine too to see you hurting. You acted so strong, and were so independent, and you've been a terrific single Mother to Kelcie the past two years.
Then you met Derek, and now you're planning a August wedding. Not only did you find someone that is good to you and Kelcie, you're gaining a son as well. I think when you finally turned your life over to God and left it in his hands ... he showed you the plan he had for you.
Juli, your road hasn't always been easy lately ... but it looks like the path you're traveling now is golden! I hope your day was beautiful. Just like you!
I love you Sis!
Sunday, June 15, 2008