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Saturday, September 29, 2012

1995 and the best day of our life

It was a brisk day in February. We had only been in Charlotte for short time, yet our lives had already changed so much. I had left the drugs behind on the road from NYC. The bible belt had intervened in our lives so much so that my head was spinning. Married. Whew...sooner than I thought I'd be but that was of no concern to our land lord who insisted on the  marriage license before turning over any keys to us. A different world we came to. People waved as we drove by. Spoke when we were in line. Just so different from the Bronx that I left. Different, but good. I had always felt out of place back home. I loved it, don't get me wrong. But I've been a friendly and familiar person all my life. 

Never met a stranger. Today would be no different. Or so I thought. Driving around the corner, on one of our weekly weekend explorations, we saw a beautiful, smiling, chubby teenager, sitting on her porch, smiling and waving like we were just who she was waiting for.  We pulled over and asked her for directions to the closest Payless:) my new husband and I smiled as we got our first taste of 'Charlotte directions' not a single street name or number in the whole dissertation. She amusingly described navigating the streets with a combination of house colors, mr. So and so will be on his porch, cross over the railroad tracks, go past the corner store, etc. believe it or not, WE FOUND IT- LOL. 

Finding our way back home was made simpler by all the colorful directions she had given us. And it was made even more special as we pulled up,close to home and she was right there waiting to see our purchases. With her mothers permission, she came home with us, to examine all our wares and keep us entertained and amused with her playful way and joyful attitude. She was a breath of fresh air in our lives. 

It became a daily occurrence that our lovely girl would make an appearance. Ours became a second home to her. I wonder if she knew how much we looked forward to her visits.  She was my joy. I thank God for allowing us to have her in our lives. I smile when I think of her laughing and silliness. When she was learning to cook. Even when she fearfully announced that she was pregnant. I wonder if she thought we could love her less if she wasn't perfect. We loved her no less. Never will. Never could. She's filled our lives with ups and downs, sadness and joy, but the sadness is but a pale shadow in comparison to the joys she's given us. She became the perfect big sister to him, though we worried she might feel displaced. She loved him and doted on him like a proud little momma. She became a young woman, with children of her own, each one of them giving us the gift of see one or more of her qualities. They keep us in stitches, watching them grow, learn, succeed, fail, fall, get up, and overcome. She is my gift from God. My first daughter. 

I didn't want to wait for a birthday or daughters day or any day because tomorrow is not promised. I just want to say today, that I love you. Period.

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