a letter for Finn (and Lizzie too)...
Sweet Baby Finn,
Do you know that I love you? I do. I love you so much my heart aches, and I haven't even held you yet. I love you because you are a part of your mama; and Your mama, although not physically, is such a big part of me. Do you know I cried the day you were born. I cried and cried and cried. I cried because I couldn't be there to hold you, and kiss you, and tell you that I love you. I cried because I wasn't there to kiss your mama's head and tell her how proud of her I was. I cried because I couldn't give your daddy a hug with tears in my eyes and tell him thank you for taking care of your mama, for giving you life. I cried because I didn't get to see them wonder at the new life in you, I didn't get to see that first joy, that first love. That love so great it could move mountains, love so true their hearts were in danger of bursting. Love for you, love for each other, love for their life, and the new life in you. It doesn't seem right to be so far away. It doesn't seem like this should be our life at all.
Do you know just how very blessed you are? You have parents who love you, who will do anything for you. You have parents who are willing to give up of themselves, for whatever may be best for you. You have parents who are fun, and kind, and honest. You have parents who love; love each other, love people, love nature, beauty, and life. You have grandparents who will love and support you, no matter who you will become. You have aunts and uncles who are so proud of you already and can't wait to see you grow. You have endless possibilities in front of you, and your family will help you accomplish your dreams.
Know, sweet Finn, no matter how far away I am, and no matter how little you remember me, that I love you. Know that I pray for you every day. Know that I wish we were closer, that I dream about who are and who you will be. Know, sweet baby Finn, that I will always be here. If you ever feel the need to get away, no matter how young or old you are, know that I am here. No matter who you become, no matter what you choose, I will always love you. Asher loves you too, you know, already in his barely 2 years. As soon as he saw your picture he took it in his hands and kissed you, one, two, three, four, five times. He coos wonders for "baby finny", and asks to see you again. He can not wait to meet you. I wish so badly that you and Asher could grow up together. I wish I could watch you play and grow together. I wish you 2 would have to opportunity to grow up like your mama and I did... together, with ins and outs and ups and downs, but always with love and acceptance, knowing the other would always be there.
I can not wait to hold you sweet Finn. To whisper in your ear, to sing to you, and smell you, and wonder at all of you. I can not wait to be your Auntie Melinda, and see how you grow. I can not wait to see who you become. I am proud of you already, and this I will always be. Because you are Lizzie's biggest love, you will always hold a place in my heart.
Forever, for Always, with a prayer and a hug.
sweet baby finn the day he was born 8/12/12, picture taken by aunt sarah
Lizzie, best friend, sister of my heart,
With every picture and every word about your new life with Finn, tears flood my eyes. I can not believe I am not there, I can not believe I am missing all these monumentous new moments in your life. And I know I don't have to explain it to you, I know you understand. Because you have been there, and because you know just how much I love you, because you love me the same.
I am so proud of you dear Lizzie, of the woman you have become. I never would have guessed the women we would grow into, and really who could... we are not the people we dreamed we would be, but instead we are so much more. We may not live in Paris, or New York, and we may hold jobs of little importance, and neither of us are rich enough to hire the other to help us live... but we have great love. I was so happy to stand next to you last year as you made vows to the one you love. He is your perfect match in every way, and I am proud to call him yours (and mine too, because in some weird convoluted way he is my family now too). Thank you Dan, for loving her, for caring for her. Thank you for challenging her to be better, thank you for everything you are, and everything you two, together, will become. Lizzie, you are stronger than you know. You are kind and honest and loving. You are beautiful, and giving, and so much fun. You are bright and quick, and witty, and you have impeccable taste in friends. Watching you grow up, into this woman you are today has been a privilege, an honor, and pure joy.
I am so glad you chose me to be your friend for life. I am so glad, in the millions of times you had to opportunity to give up on me, you never did. Thank you for loving me despite my faults, despite my choices, and in spite of all the ugly things in me. Thank you for choosing joy, and encouraging me to do the same. Thank you for holding my hand when things are tough, and for making me laugh when it is just what I need. Thank you, Liz, for being my best friend. For 21 years of friendship, and all our ups and downs, you will be there forever, one of the few constants in my life. You mean so much to me, and I am so blessed to call you my friend.
I am sorry I moved away, and made our friendship harder. I am sorry we can not be a part of each others daily lives. It kills me to be so far away, and in moments like these, it kills me all the more. I wish I could have been there when baby Finn entered the world. I wish I could have held your hand when you were scared, and rejoiced with you at his birth. I wish I could see you looking at the wonder of him, falling in love in a whole new way. Please know I was praying you through. Know how bad I wished I was there, know that I cried more than just a tear or two. I know the scary wonder of bringing a new life in the world, and I hate not being there to experience this with you.
Even among all the fear and uncertainty, which I know there is plenty of, I know you will be such a good mama. I know this, because I know you. I have experienced your unconditional love first hand. I have seen your love for life in so many things you do. I know how much you love Dan, and how much he loves you. I know that you will care for Finn and always do what is best for him, even if that means you will have to do without. I know you will teach him, and grow with him, and that you will allow him to be who is.
I can not wait to witness your life changed as you adjust your life for him. It is the scariest most wonderful thing in the world, becoming a parent. Some days you will be so overcome with love and appreciation you will not be able to help but cry. And some days you will be so overwhelmed and unsure you will not be able to help but cry. But now, dear Lizzie, that you are not in this alone. Millions of woman have done this before you, and millions of woman will follow in your steps. You are surrounded by friends and family that will love to step in when you simply can not do it for one more second today. You have friends and family who will love to advise, guide, and encourage you, while letting you figure it out in the best way for you. Don't take other's criticism and advice to seriously... for no one is you, and no one knows your family, your child, better than you do. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't be afraid to admit it is overwhelming- it is. Don't be afraid to let yourself feel... feel everything. The fear, the uncertainty, the love, and endless joy. Feel it all. It is what will make you a better mama, it will make you into who you were always meant to be.
Know, Lizzie, that I am just a phone or computer away. Any day, any time, any hour, I am always here. And when it becomes too hard, or you just need for me to be close... I can be there as fast as southwest can carry me there.
Enjoy these new scary moments, before you know it Finn will be almost 2. He will be naughty, and silly, and not want to stop moving, so that you can cradle him your arms. Hug him, kiss him, hold him, smell his head, and remember it all... but don't remember it so tightly that you forget to watch who is growing up to be, allow him space to learn and grow, allow him space to be.
I am so proud of you, and will enjoy watching you both grow into each other, into who you were meant to be. Whether I am close or far, I love you forever and always, best good friend, sister of my heart, mama extraordinaire.
With unending prayer, abundant joy, and many many tears.