September 13, 2015
I am writing you now a year after your birth. It is a little early as your birthday party was on the 6th of September instead of the 13th, because that was when we could all come to your house. I am actually writing this on the 10th because, well, because I’m your Poppie and I can be early if I want. Time flies so quickly, I have decided whether one is having fun or not, that is a cliche’ you do not understand yet. I remember a year ago driving home from the hospital before seeing you or holding you in my arms and the anticipation that was almost unbearable as I prepared to return to see you a few days later.
I remember when I arrived and the first time I gathered your tiny self into my hands and held you close. Sitting on the couch with you close and hearing your breath and being present with you and your parents. I worried about you because you were so very small. I suppose that is a Poppie’s prerogative to think of things to worry about when there is not anything to worry about.
I wrote you a letter when you were born that, one day, like this one, I hope you read and find in them all the love and hope your Grammy and I have for you. I wish I could tell you things have changed in the world since that first letter and your first day here among us. Sadly, so many of the world’s struggles and problems are still very much raging in our midst.
I will not revisit all the things I lifted in the first letter other than to say we continue to be a humanity and country bent on war and violence rather than peace. Racism is just as prevalent now as it was a year ago, but even more volatile now than a year ago. Inequality for women and the poor continue to be fostered in government, culture, and our society. Gay and lesbian persons, though there have been gains in equality, still have a long way to go before they are welcomed, appreciated, and equal not only in the eyes of the law but even in the church, where our faith should be used to welcome and love others rather than shame, belittle, and exclude. Too often, it seems in our country especially, religion is used to reject rather than love, it is unfortunate at best.
Fear of those who are different, whether it is religious practice or the lack thereof, gender, sexual orientation, race, or a multitude of other divisive issues continues to be fostered in our country and too often leads to violence of word and deed, and I believe, presents an even worse threat through access to firearms with little or no regulation.
Kadee Bug, I can become pretty discouraged when I look into the world and country of which I am a part. With all that is wrong in the world it can seem like a pretty scary place, but please know in the midst of all those scary things, there are faithful people of all kinds, religious and not, who work tirelessly to make this a more compassionate and justice filled world.
Your Poppie is a die-hard optimist, and it will always be my hope that by the time you can read and comprehend these letters, you look to me with disbelief in your eyes wondering how all of this could have ever been possible in the peaceful, just, kind, and loving world of which you are a part. All of this being said I want to make something very clear, while the world can seem a scary place filled with fear and distrust, fear is not ever a message I want you to embrace.
Now at one year old I am already beginning to see the essence of who you are. That one eyebrow raised, the mischievous smile that appears after we have put the camera away, the joy in the clapping of your hands, the glint of recognition in your beautiful eyes, and the way you hold so many things with those tiny feet and toes. You are already a beauty inside and out and know that will only continue to be so. Your beautiful emerging personality is evidence of the loving and nurturing environment and home your mom and dad are creating for you. And your Grammy and I are eternally grateful for the gift of being able to be a part of yours and your folk’s lives.
Kadee, no matter the world you find yourself in as you grow and mature please always know in this family you are surrounded and immersed in unconditional love. In our faith tradition we believe that kind of love casts away fear and renders it powerless when we have to face it. As you crawl and begin learning to walk your world will expand almost exponentially. I hope and pray you see that world as an endless source of possibility, never as one to fear.
I am starting to feel like I am rambling now. I will close with this; I love you, period, and there are no possible circumstances, situations, happenings, or choices that will ever, ever change that fact! I cherish and relish every single moment I am able to be in your presence, whether it is in my arms for a sacred nap, giggling on the floor, sneaking you sweet munchies, or just sitting watching you go, and I hope and dream you grow up to change the world!
Happy First Birthday Kadee! The coming year will continue to be filled with new and wondrous experiences and learning’s for you and we will learn along with you and be amazed with each new step!
May Your Life and Journey Always be Surrounded in The Light!