Forever, My Girl

“I know a girl, she puts the color inside of my world…” ~John Mayer
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18 years… Seems like yesterday, my beautiful Kiley Dawn.  April 15th, 1998 at 7:25 A.M…they laid you in my arms.  I knew my life would never be the same, and as cliche as that may sound, it’s entirely true.  You were my first overwhelming, selfless love. You were my first in so many ways, and if I knew then what I know now, I’d hit pause for just a while on all those firsts…
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The first minutes of your life, the look in your daddy’s eyes when he first saw you, the first smile you smiled, the first words you spoke, the first steps, the first time you rode your horse, the first time we took you fishing, the first time you bugled elk with Dad, your first days of every year of school, and now the first day of the rest of your adult life…
fb_img_1460562680316.jpgSo, here we are, and I just want to make the moment last just a little longer.  And as much as I want you to spread your beautiful wings and fly, and am excited about all the amazing things you’ll do in this life, I want just as badly to hold on to the last little bit of your time at home with us before you strike out on life’s grand adventures.  I wonder if I’ve given you all the love you needed to succeed, the proper guidance and direction?  Do you know how much you are admired and loved, and just how proud of you I am?  Because I feel I could never tell or show you enough.  Moms are just that way… So, before you go, I give you these words, so you may always know just how much you’re loved and supported, and know that I trust the decisions and choices you make, even if they’re not ones I would choose for you.

Remember that you have what it takes to climb that mountain, and don’t take the easy way. That grit in your gut is pure strength and passion.  The challenge builds character, makes your lungs burn, and reminds you how alive you are.  When you doubt yourself, trust in God. He wants even more amazing things for you than you or I can even fathom. Don’t sell that ride short, ever, because there are no short-cuts to anywhere worth going.

Integrity is everything…Doing the right thing when nobody is looking is your soul proof. I know this is not something you will ever struggle with.  You have strong and true convictions in right and wrong… You always have.  Don’t ever ask of someone what you are not willing to do yourself.  Be the example and the change you want this life to see.fb_img_1460562258527.jpg

Please don’t forget to nurture that beautiful, little girl still inside you. Never ignore her.  You will need her in the years to come, and the passions you lived for as a child, will carry over into adulthood.  Sing….Girl, please sing and share that amazing talent with others.  You’re meant to be heard. Learn to dance, ride wild horses, pick wildflowers, play in the rain, and forget the boys once in a while…always do these things because they will help keep you young.  It’s not ever selfish to get back to the roots of just being you before the world told you who you should be. Don’t lose the smile it brings to your face and soul because yours is simply too amazing not to share with the world beautiful daughter.

Be forgiving and humble…and sort out what is worth holding on to emotionally, and just let go of the rest.  Anger and discontent become extra weight you will be better off without in the long run, and remember you never truly lose in apologizing.  There is always something to learn from every situation or conflict.  There are always opportunities for emotional growth, so learn from them.  You’ve taught me so much about myself over the years just by simply being your mom.  You’re a reflection of me and my actions, and more often than not, I got it all wrong. But from that, I see wisdom and strength in your young eyes, and more importantly, in your heart.

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Travel, explore, and be adventurous.  Try something new any chance you get.  You will need these memories to take out and reflect on now and then. We all need “remember whens”.  But, don’t forget the door to home is always open, and my shoulder is here for you to lean or cry on.  When you have troubles, I promise to just listen and not talk.  When you have good news to share, I will rejoice and celebrate with you.  When you just need a place to be…home is here for you with the door unlocked, clean sheets on the bed, and ice cream in the freezer.

Family really is everything, and so is learning to count on yourself.  Family is your anchor, and a complete pain in your ass, but they have your best interest at heart, and are there when the shit hits the fan.  Listen to your grandmas’ advice, hug your grandpas’ necks, make your brother one of your best friends, be an example for your younger cousins, and know your aunts and uncles are a second set of parents with their own words of wisdom and adventurous advice to share.  Visit them as often as time allows, and honor them because they love you like you were their own.

20160305_151924-02.jpegIf your life and circumstances allow, always own a horse or a dog. And if you can’t have one out your back door, I promise to always have one for you.  You already know all the reasons why…but mostly because it reminds you how to love something bigger than yourself, gives you purpose, and a reason to get outdoors.  And they always provide love in return.  They teach you about yourself, your strengths and weakness, and where your character needs improvement.  Besides children of your own {someday}, they will be your best teachers.

Laugh…laugh at the silly and the stupid and the simple things.  Just laugh. It’s infectious and makes others smile.  Give people a reason to laugh, and do it often.  Laughter through tears heals broken hearts…And cry. Never apologize for tears.  They’re real and exist because of a feeling, and sometimes for no damn reason at all.  That’s just being a woman.

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In the end, be grateful… Grateful for hurt, pain, and triumphs no matter the size.  There is always something to be grateful for in this beautiful life, Kiley.  The more you know yourself, the more there is to rejoice in.  Remember to take the time to get to know the new and changing you, now.  The big choices and decisions don’t have to be made at this moment.  Don’t let this world jade you, chew you up and spit you out.  Stay grateful, stay true….Stay just you.  Boys will wait if they’re meant to be. College can wait. Marriage can wait. Babies can wait.  But life can’t wait.  Some days you will make great strides, and others will feel like two steps forward and one step back; it will feel like you’re treading water.  Go to church now and then… We all need reminders, and wait on God in those moments…Just wait.  He’s busy clearing a path in your heart to prepare you for what lies ahead. Reflect, listen, learn, but always love.

Never forget you will always be your daddy’s little girl, your mama’s best friend and riding partner, and your little brother’s advocate and confidant.  I am so damn proud of you.  Spread those new-found wings, spread them as far and wide as you can, and know that I love you…Yes, to the moon and back. And always…

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8 thoughts on “Forever, My Girl

  1. Oh my goodness I am sitting here crying my eyes out!!!! My baby girl is 8 and I know this will be her in the blink of an eye!!! Beautiful and so true!!! Great job. What a beautiful girl you have. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have done a beautiful job of capturing your love for your beautiful daughter it is a crossroads of your lives as she moves into a young lady. You truly gave her wings advice and lovinget wisdom. Amazing. I am so proud of you and our beautiful grand daughterl

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Heather your such a beautiful Writer and your lover for your daughter shines from the moon and back to each other. Your a good mom and raised a wonderful and beautiful daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

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