I want to know what you think about life. I imagine you’ve seen so much, some things you probably remember in exceptional detail and other things must have frayed edges. There have to be memories that are so vivid, and yet, maybe some you wish would have blurred with time. 

I think about all you’ve been a part of, all your heart has gone into, and how many times that heart has been broken. I wonder how high your hopes have gotten and how low your spirits may have dipped when life was inevitably unfair. 

I wonder how much the family has changed since you first came into it. You’ve seen so many new faces, whether they were born into this family or found themselves welcomed by you in a different way. You have heard baby cries, teenage drama, and adult uncertainty. And you’ve been there to comfort any and all, reassuring us as the one who has seen it, lived it before, and knows the way through. 

I am curious what holiday memory is your favorite, which birthday sticks out the most, and which anniversary present still means more than the rest. I think about if there is anything you would have done differently or if there is something you would like to do again. Or maybe you are a person who believes it all shakes out the way it is supposed to anyway. 

I wonder if when you look at me you see parts of your life, maybe the same challenges or similar moments of joy. I am guessing when you see my daughter, you see everything – all the firsts that lie ahead and the struggle that will come at times because as we all know, struggle does come. 

The difference is when the struggle comes for me or my daughter or anyone in our family who has been able to live with you, the struggle isn’t so bad because we’ve had you as the example. We’ve had your smile and your laugh breathing life into our family, building generations of love. 

I hope, one day, my daughter or my granddaughter or my great-granddaughter wonders about me. I hope she’s curious about the life I’ve led and all the things I’ve seen. It means I’ve influenced her. It means I’ve left a mark. It means I’ve lived a story worth retelling. 

Your story, well, it is in your smile, in the corners of your eyes, in the sound of your laughter, and I love every word.

Article by: Brittany Renee

Images by: NVS Photography

*The parties in the images are not related to the author of this piece and did not participate in the writing.

**The images are solely meant to add visual interest to the story.