The memory is as vividly clear now as it was the day it happened, and it always leaves me feeling nostalgic. August 11th, 2013 was and still is the best day of my life. I became a different person that day all because of the 6.2 pound, 19-inch miracle that was you. A perfectly flawless little human who stole my heart in the blink of an eye.
I instantaneously fell into a love that I had never experienced. This inconceivable, conditional, extremely terrifying love.
As you continue to grow, here are some things I hope you never forget:
1. You are a magnificent creation, a gift from God, and the brightest and most beautiful girl I know.
2. Be brave enough to tell the truth with no remorse, even when it’s challenging because you are tougher than you may think.
3. Be bold, fierce, and strong. As Robert Frost said, “Freedom lies in being bold.”
4. Be generous and search for the good in others, even when seems like there is none.
5. Be thankful to be alive and live every day like you’ll never have another.
6. Be humble, stay grounded, and never forget where you came from. We are all equal and deserve to be loved.
7. Keep your eyes and ears open and all times. Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.
8. Laugh a lot and smile at strangers. A smile costs you absolutely nothing and could be the only one they see all day.
9. Choose a hardcopy book over an electronic copy. “Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.”
10. People are going to disappoint you. Don’t let high expectations be an obstacle. You can only control yourself; never lose your courage or faith.
11. Remember that no two people walk the same path. Stay sensitive, kind, and considerate. Empathy is one of the greatest traits you can have, keep it in practice every day.
12. Trust your gut. Someone doesn’t have to tell you how they feel, they will show you. Walk away from anything that doesn’t feel right.
13. Travel frequently and make as many memories as you can. “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
14. Never regret making a mistake, but never make the same one twice. Figure out what you can do differently next time.
15. Apologize less and learn to accept apologies you never received.
16. Know that if you work hard, you can be anything you want to be. The things you earn are the things you’ll appreciate the most.
Though I wish it weren’t true, one day someone will break your heart. You’ll think it’s the end of the world, but I promise you it is not. Understand that no person or thing should ever make you feel small. You are a wonderful force of nature; know your power.
When you find yourself heartbroken, remember this last part: the first man who ever told you he loved you meant what he said and always will. The first woman to ever hold you in her arms and kiss you on your sweet little cheeks will forever love you unconditionally. You are the one who stole my heart, and I will always be your shield and support. I’ll always be your shoulder to cry on and person to confide in. You, my niece, are one of the lucky ones.