Dear Daughter: August 29, 2011

Dear Daughter,

I’m so excited to meet you. I seriously am growing impatient, finally, and I’m just looking forward to putting the finishing touches on ‘home’ before you get here. We’ve got some serious things to do before then — we’re having a shower so people can give their favorite gifts to you, and we need to go to a class or two to figure out how to birth you and care for you and feed you. (Honestly, I’m hoping that instincts and guidance from your Grandma Wendy and your Auntie’s will be the best preparation information I get).

Anyway, I have been thinking of writing to you for awhile now. But, I’ve been sort of waiting, not wanting to jinx anything. In lots of ways, I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for you, already. In some ways, I’m overwhelmed by your pending arrival. But, I’m WAY more excited than I am overwhelmed.

More than anything, today, I wanted to write to you because it’s an anniversary, today. Not of anyone or anything per se, but of the thing that happened in my life that set me on the path to meeting your Dad, to loving him and us deciding that we wanted a ‘you’ with ‘us’.

Five years ago today, your Great Grandpa Jerry died. Not really a fun anniversary, right? It’s not. It makes me incredibly sad every year. I don’t imagine that will go away. Ever.

It was really shocking that he died just 20 days after your Great Grandma Judy did. None of us – your aunts and uncles, cousins, me – were ready for him to go. We weren’t ready for her to leave either, but she’d been sick.We were relatively prepared. But him…

Him, though. That was just cruel and unusual punishment for something we still don’t understand.

Because he died, I stopped going to Clear Lake EVERY weekend of my life. I hardly go at all any more. I started looking at things that other people did on the weekends. And, on August 8, 2008 I met your Dad. And the rest is our own little story.

But, because Grandma Judy and Grandpa Jerry were no longer there – the glue holding our family together – things sort of started slipping apart and we all kind of began to make our own way in the lives that we were figuring out how to live without them as guides. In some ways, it hurts to say this, but I’m glad that I was given an opportunity while still young enough to make my own way, to figure out how to reconcile the things I wanted in life without the pull of my heart toward them and the little haven they had created for our family. And, that road away from Clear Lake led me eventually to the friends that I have now, to your Dad, and to the life that we’ve begun creating together. I guess everything happens for a reason…

My great hope for you is that you have someone like him in your life. Maybe it will be your Grandpa Carpenter or your Grandpa Mason. Maybe it will be someone totally different, someone who hasn’t even made an appearance in our lives yet. But, I hope you get someone like him. Because in my life, he made all the difference in lots of big and little ways. I hope that someone like him makes you a priority in their life – someone who is terribly smart and challenges you; who loves you unconditionally.

Someone who believes that you are their life’s bonus.

Someone who will show you how to love and be loved.

Someone to buy you Tiffany jewelry.

Someone to teach you how to drive…and how to drive a stick shift.

Someone to buy you gummy worms and candy at the store, someone to build your imagination, someone to encourage you and scare you (but only a little bit).

Someone who makes you smarter, who challenges you, who loves you unconditionally even though they didn’t know they could.

I will always be terribly and incredibly sad that you never met them, your Grandma Judy and Grandpa Jerry. They were incredible people without whom my life in general would be very, very different. Different in an awful way.

The cool thing is that even though you won’t meet them and they won’t meet you, I get to be this cool intermediary. I get to tell you all about them, and as you grow up, I get to hear their voices in my head helping me figure out how to handle all the demands that I know being a Mom will create. I get to gift you your Grandma Wendy and your Great Aunt’s and your Cousin/UncleAunts and know that they will impart to you the same wisdom and knowledge and love of life and all things family that Grandma and Grandpa did for us.

I am waiting, waiting patiently (though getting less patient daily) for you to arrive so we can begin to tell you all about Grandpa Jerry and Grandma Judy, so you can meet all these people who already love you t o n s TONS. And today, even though I’m still sad (five years later) that my Grandpa Jerry is gone from us, I can’t even explain to you how I’m a little less sad because we’ll be meeting you so soon.

You are already loved more than you know — I cannot imagine life without you, so hurry up and make your grand entrance into our world and our lives.


Mom (that was a little bit weird to write… 🙂


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