My Dearest Baby Daughter,

Today is a milestone in your life! It is your first birthday as I am writing this letter and looking back I am amazed of how fast the previous year has went by. It seemed just yesterday that I held you in my arms for the first time. Just yesterday you depended on me for everything, now, looking into your beautiful blue eyes, I see my independent little one-year-old baby. Though so independent, you still rely on your mommy for many things. You trust that when you cry, I will care for your needs. You trust that I will be the last face you see as you fall into slumber and the first when you awake for the day. You trust that I will show you the world and hold your hand as we face each new day, and that we will do it together.

The world can sometimes be a very ugly place, but your life will only be as good as you make it. Each day you awake, I want you to feel fortunate that the Lord has blessed you with another day. Take time to look at the sun as it sets across the sky, to walk barefoot in the wet grass, to smell the air right after the rain. While all of these are small, medial things, they will teach you to appreciate life and what you have. That’s what makes a life worthwhile, it’s not what you don’t have or what you can’t do, it’s what you DO have and what you CAN do. And baby, you can do anything you put your heart into.

I watch you everyday, playing with your toys, dancing to the TV, climbing all over and I am so amazed by how smart you are. How special you are to everyone who crosses your path. Only on this earth for a year and you have touched so many lives, I can only hope that you continue to do this. You have a special love for everyone and a special way of making them smile. Always love your fellow man. Pay no attention to the color of their skin or to the way they look, they are children of God just as you are and that makes them your brother’s and sisters. Love them wholeheartedly and in return they will show you gratitude.

Always remember who you are, where you came from and what it took to get you where you are in life. Throughout your life there are going to be many ups and downs. Sometimes people in your life are going to let you down and sometimes you will fall on your face. Never feel like you are alone. God is always with you and he will be your strength. Have faith in this! Your family loves you and through it all we will be the ones to stand by your side. I will do my best to protect you from any heartache and pain you may face, but I can’t shelter you from it all. Rough times will make you a very strong person and you will appreciate it in the long run.

Never be afraid to be yourself. Never be afraid to be honest with anyone. Don’t be scared to trust others. If you become that person you will build a wall around yourself and no one will be able to get close to you. If someone hurts or betrays you, turn the other cheek and forgive them. If they do it again, remember this and take it in stride; Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Don’t ever do something for revenge or to be spiteful because of the pain caused by someone. That is not why we were put on this earth. We are not here to judge others; we have no right because we are not perfect. Everyone’s judgment day shall come when they reach the golden gates.

Mercedes, you are all I ever wanted in a child. In you I have it all. You have taught me to love again, you have given me something to wake up every morning. You are my sunshine on a dark day, my breath when I can’t breathe, my heart, my soul, my everything. If I never get another gift in my life I will be fortunate because God blessed me with you. You have loved me in this short year more than I ever thought possible. Your smile lighting up your eyes makes me know that everything is going to be all right. Your wet, open-mouthed kiss shows me that I am loved. All you have given me already, and all that you will give me through the years makes me the most fortunate person in the world.

We are only beginning our life together, before I know it you will be starting school, then college and someday your own family. Our time together seems so short, but I will treasure each day I hold your little body in my arms. I don’t know what lies ahead for us. And I’m not going to try to predict it. I am going to be the best mommy I know how to be for you and I know I will make mistakes; I’ve already made plenty. But I will always love you with all my heart. My greatest hope is that you will have peace and joy in your life. Continue to love with all your heart, laugh like you never have and dance like no one is watching.

All My Love,
Your Mommy

~ I Hope You Dance ~

(c) Janet All Rights Reserved

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