Dearest Marcie –
Girl! You are one whole hand! How did that happen? How did your parents LET that happen?
What can I say about your turning five? You are a whirling dervish of a sweet kid. I absolutely love to see you interact with your cousin Hannah and hovering over her to make sure she is safe. Uncle Sammy and I talk a lot a out how much we admire you not taking crap from anyone (a lot like your momma), but managing to do it with a smile (like your daddy).
Right before your birthday, we had a funny conversation that really sums up your personality:
Aunt Jackie: Do you want Barbies for your birthday?
Marcie: No, I have a lot of Barbies.
Aunt Jackie: What about a Ken doll?
Marcie: Who’s that?
Aunt Jackie: Um, Barbie’s boyfriend, or guy friend.
Marcie: Oh. She doesn’t need that.
Aunt Jackie: You’re right. Go play.
I was so happy that things were getting back to normal annd we could hang out more often. You are always the life of the party.
I love you kiddo. I love your wild curls, your huge smile, your generous heart, and your always thinking brain. Oh, and your hugs. I can’t forget your hugs!
Aunt Jay Jay xoxo
Dear Miss Marcie Jane –
You are 1 (and a few weeks)! When on earth did that happen? Some days I feel like you are still a couple months old, but then I remember how much you’ve been through and I think you should be 16 by now. But alas, you are wonderfully one.
My sweet niece, you came into this world with so many people loving you and wondering what your future held – more so than other babies – because of your cleft. Once you were here it was obvious you were not going to be held back by that or anything else for that matter! We spent a lot of time together in the hospital MJ and while I hate that you had so many hospital visits, I am glad I could be there for you and your Momma and Daddy.
You have a personality bigger than I think we were ready for and that is going to take you places! If I had to place a bet, I think you are going to be the one to stand up to injustice. Why you ask? Well, you sit quietly and observe. You take in what’s going on and who is doing what. THEN when you think you’ve been wronged you voice your concerns. Loudly. More ice cream, warmer bottle, being picked up … we know what you want. I think you are going to use that quietness to see things that aren’t right in the world and then use your loud voice to make a change.
Your cousin Mikey is smitten with you. He always says ‘Mah-see is coot’. He will see a toy commercial on TV and say he wants to give it to you. I think between him and your sister you have quite a posse.
You have such an exciting life ahead of you with so many people in your corner. Sweet MJ, if you need anything ever Aunt Jay Jay has your back. I love you!
Dear Miss MJ –
Have I written you a letter yet? I must have, I have so many things to tell you! But today the one thing I want to tell you is how much you have been on my mind and my heart. Today, my little love, you are getting your forever smile!
Everyone agrees how strange that is. Before you were born we looked at pictures and researched and tried to know what to expect. Then you arrived and it was like, ‘oh, yep. There’s the cleft lip’. Then after your first surgery we saw you again and thought, ‘oh, yep. They changed it’. They didn’t FIX it, they changed it. You were already uniquely you! And now you are getting another smile.
Guess what I will say when I see you again? Oh. Yep. They changed it.
But they can’t change the spunky, resiliant, outspoken (without speaking) you.
I love you MJ!
Aunt Jay Jay