January 18, 2020

A Birthday Letter

A Birthday Letter

A celebration of life on a day of remembrance

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
- Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

I wrote this letter to my younger daughter on the occasion of her second birthday.

To my younger daughter,

Today you turn two! You are bright, in both intellect and disposition. You are cheerful, outgoing, and playful. You are determined and independent, always pushing the limits of what you are capable of at such a young age. You are comfortable in new situations and are a fast learner. Sometimes you can be strong-willed and stubborn, like me, when you do not get your way. Already you look up to your big sister and think the world of her.

The coming year holds so much to look forward to. You will encounter new words, new skills (hooray for potty training), and new friends. You are growing up so quickly, and it often feels like it was not that long ago when I cradled you the day you could finally come home to me.

Not a day goes by that I take your presence for granted.

You are too young to know how it was when you came into this world and what you endure now as a result, and sometimes I fear the day when you will eventually ask me. I fear it not because I am unable to tell you but because I do not want it to limit you. In you, hope was not extinguished even in the darkest of trials. You will face challenges, physical and emotional, that others will not. Do not let this discourage you because it will not define you. A person is not defined by what she can or cannot do but by what she does with what she is given in any circumstance. You are bold, and you have already persevered with gratitude and grace.

One day, you will come to know that you have helped me become a stronger person by teaching me the true meaning of resilience. In my days of despair and sorrow, joy was still embodied in your smile, your gaze, and the sighs of your breath when you slept soundly. You will also come to know that your mother’s spirit will always live on in you. I have not a single doubt that she would be so proud of you.

Today we celebrate your remarkable life, and we will sing louder, hug tighter, laugh harder, and cherish all that we have ahead of us in this journey together.

Happy birthday, my love.

- Daddy