The Daughter of someone special to me is getting married this weekend. The last six months has been a whirlwind of activity and more than a little stressful as they’ve prepared for this day. It’s a time for the bride to have her time in the spotlight as it should be. I think it’s important however that my friend can celebrate her own role in getting to this moment. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, ignoring everything else and not acknowledging all the feelings that she has to be feeling. She put together a letter to her daughter expressing her love and awe of the woman she’s become.
I felt it only fair that she get’s the same.
To my friend:
Today is a day of excitement! A time of joy. A celebration of family. A bit of sadness and some moments of reflection.
Your baby girl is getting married!
How is that even possible? The tiny little infant you held in your arms wasn’t that long ago. It seems like just yesterday she was taking her first steps; tying her own shoes; a first day at school. There were so many difficult, long days yet they’ve passed so fast. Oh, the crisis’s of pimples and bad hair days. The anxieties of new environments. Her struggles to grow to into an adult. Yet here she is; beautiful, accomplished and strong. That sweet little baby is a woman.
And what a woman she is! Could there be anyone sweeter? She has a career and the brightest of futures. And the strength of character is steadfast and true. And you know why?
It’s all because of you.
Yes, it takes two to create a life. But not everyone is fit to be a parent. Any man can be a father, but that doesn’t make him a daddy. And so it was. You were left with the responsibilities of dealing with the day to day, teaching morals, shaping personalities and creating this young woman who is moving into the next stage. And the credit is yours, and yours alone. It’s difficult enough to be a single parent, but how much harder is it to not be single, but alone just the same? A true testament to your own strength of character and morals. You should be very proud.
I know I am.
It’s a bittersweet time, I know. The joy you share with your baby is tinged with a feeling of loss. Your little girl is moving into a new life. Some grieving at the passing is expected, even necessary. Allow yourself the time to feel that loss and deal with the change. I know you will. I also know that you will always cherish the time you’ve had, and will continue to be a significant part of her life. No matter the changes, you will always be “Mom”. And now you have another son to call your own. Your family is growing, not shrinking. And who knows what else is in store? Only time will tell.
And the future unfolds. Your daughter is moving into a new place, and so are you! Now it’s your time! There’s no reason to feel the best has passed; the best is yet to come! You’ll always have your family, and they will always be the priority in your life. You have the opportunity now to take care of yourself and be the awesome woman you are, unencumbered and without restrictions. You’ve learned a lot over the years, and mostly about what you haven’t had. Those are not lost years, but a preparation for what’s to come. You know what you want; you know what’s important; and now you can have it. The waste of time would have been trying to figure all that out now instead of being ready to come into your own.
You have a beautiful daughter. Both your children are amazing. They’ve chosen wisely and have partners that are worthy of their love, and can love in return. One has given you awesome grand children, and I’m sure there will come a time when the other will give you more. You are an accomplished and successful in the greatest job you could ever have. The evidence is before you, and now is time to reap the rewards of your efforts. Savor each and every moment. Feel the love. Celebrate life.
You’ve earned it. Now enjoy it!