If God had come to me a year before you were born and asked me to design the exact daughter I wanted – that your mother and I wanted – I would have worked on your design day and night. Every waking hour spent thinking of every detail, your hair color, your eyes, the way you speak, your voice, your personality, and anything I could think of that would make you perfect. Would you know how to play every musical instrument, speak every language? Would you be tall, short, medium height? There would be details of details to consider.
And I can tell you this. Had I spent that year dreaming up the ideal daughter, the daughter your mother and I are so lucky to have, I would have missed the mark completely compared to the perfection of the daughter we received. Even if I had spent a lifetime in a cave working every moment of the day, I would never have come close to the marvelous person you are. I would have failed and been so happy that I did. (I’m happy I was not given the task to begin with.)
You are perfectly imperfect and a once in a lifetime combination of spirit and intelligence and Tabasco sauce. And you are brave. You have handled my hospital stays with courage and grace. I know you will continue to do so no matter what happens, and that you understand your search for happiness and love and humor trumps anything bad life might deliver. Tell life what you want it to be – command it like it’s your Labrador. Be patient, kind, and give clear instructions. It will retrieve everything you need when you need it. Trust me. It will.
I love you.