Dear Katelyn

Dear Katelyn,

I know this may be difficult for you to believe, seeing as there are hundreds of babies born every day, and you might be concerned that your parents were exaggerating, but, your Mom and Dad are correct when they inform you that on June 12, 2014, you were the most beautiful, perfect soul to enter this world. For the first few days of your existence, your mother was heard to utter over and over, “Isn’t she the cutest thing EVER?” to anyone who would listen.

Right now, things are still really fresh and new (and cold) to you, and you’re awesome at sleeping a lot, so I’m happy, as one of your surrogate Aunts, to give you a quick family history, and to talk about perfect timing.

First of all, let me explain my authority. Your Mom was an only child, and as such, while she is technically my first cousin, she has behaved like more like a little sister since the day she came into my life (I was two, so really, I don’t remember a time without her).

This is why, I can assure you, I am an authority on our family’s past. Whenever we are together, we have laughed, played, giggled and not acted our proper age for over thirty years, and we have copious amounts of pictures to prove it.

I think you’ll be interested to know that your parents have the rare distinction of having fallen completely in love almost at first sight, and the further distinction of still being madly in love after six years of marriage. They lived a good life before you, but they now will realize a complete life with you.

When you get cross with them later on, as most children eventually feel cross with their parents, realize that you were wanted, Katelyn, when so many children feel like they aren’t. You are a result of months, no, years, of carefully planned life goals. They made sure that when you entered this world, there would be absolutely nothing, within their power, that you would do without.

However, no amount of planning could have prepared them for the wave of love that came crashing over them at your first appearance, or how life without you now seems impossible to imagine. You are a living doll, and I can assure you, your Father currently worships the bassinet you sleep in, and your Mother prides herself on being the one who is able to calm your fussy moods (of which there are few).

You will, sadly, grow up without the influence of some extended family that we loved very much. Your Great-Grandparents were all characters, and wanted to meet you even before they knew you would exist. They loved your Mother and Father, and they would have loved you. Your Great-Granny Raymer’s last coherent thoughts were about you and how much she wanted to hold you before she left this world.

Also, please believe me when I say this; the Grandfather you left in Heaven could quite possibly be the reason you seem to be bathed in light wherever you go, so great is his pride in you. Your Mother was the light of his life, and you would have been his very best friend. You would have loved him, but don’t worry, you’ll get to know him through the hundreds of stories you will hear growing up.

I tell you these things, not to make you sad, but to help you realize the perfection of timing. Just think, if your Mother hadn’t decided to work at Kroger for the summer all those years ago, she may never have met your Father–if your Grandmother hadn’t taken a certain administrative job at a certain factory, she never would have met your Grandfather, and if your Great-Grandfather hadn’t gone to the movies on leave from World War II, he never would have met your Great-Grandmother.

When you step back and look at it, life is is an amazing path of perfect timing. Everyone in your past met at just the right time, and all those meetings have produced you. You, Katelyn, have arrived at the perfect time, and we, your extended family, welcome you with open, loving arms. The family you have right now is an eclectic bunch of people, with a strange sense of humor, and an odd fascination with dinosaurs and chickens. No, most other families do not love those two things this much, but it’s what makes us unique. We’re not perfect, but we’re yours.

I want you to know that when things get tough, or life seems hard, you will never be alone. There is an entire group of people who share your DNA who will be there for you, without question. The reason is simple; you are loved.

Above all, you are loved.

With great affection,

Auntie Ashley

 

4 thoughts on “Dear Katelyn

  1. Duke Thomas Low says:

    This is, without a doubt, the most beautiful piece of writing I’ve ever seen. For anyone who does not know the author, as I do, she has a beautiful soul, a big heart, and a loving way about her. This tribute to her new niece displays all those attributes. How lucky for Katelyn to have Ashley as her Auntie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my….thank you so much for those kind words, my sweet friend. 🙂

    Like

  3. Erika Shauck Wardlow says:

    I am very late in reading this – I just came to your blog for the first time today. Ashley, I don’t know you very well, but I feel like I have learned a lot about you from reading this. What a moving, articulate and truly sweet piece you have written for your niece. I can see her reading this in 5 or 6 years and knowing, and understanding deeply, from her gut how much you love her. Wow.

    Like

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