My Darling Molly,
How can it be another year has passed?
It seems like only yesterday I was welcoming you into the world, and now you are about to turn 23. Which means it's nearly ten years since I was able to physically share your birthday with you. To watch you blow out your birthday candles and listen to you giggle with delight at the anticipation of it all.
I used to love planning and shopping for your birthday. Trying to surprise you with a homemade birthday cake, or buying your favourite red velvet cake. Having your chair all decorated with balloons at the table so that it was the first thing you saw as soon as you came downstairs. And of course the many presents I would buy so carefully, wrapped and gifted with love.
This year on your birthday, March 8th, International Women's Day, I will still have the red velvet cake and I will start the day sending you all the birthday love in the world, but instead of giving you presents, I will take time out to thank you for all the presents you’ve given me and continue to give me every day.
These presents can't be bought, but they are the most amazing precious gifts and I want to say thank you.
Thank you for reminding me to show up to life. To know that life has just as many tough days as joyful days, and they both have a role to play. That sadness and happiness can co-exist and they both make me appreciate the other.
Thank you for reminding me how important it is to be kind. For this, Molly, you are an amazing role model. For helping me understand that mostly everyone is just trying to do their best and sometimes they just need a little bit of kindness to keep them going… for that next minute, hour or day.
Thank you for helping me to understand the importance of each moment in time. Sometimes I forget, and find myself rushing from one thing to the next, and then I hear you. Whispering in my ear: pause and enjoy the moment. Pause. Enjoy.
Thank you for giving me the chance to show Peter, Riley and Emily how much I love them.
I fought so hard to navigate this journey of grief so that they can still have a life of purpose, with me present. Love was what kept me going. Love for you, and love for them.
Thank you for letting me share your story.
You must be so proud of the reactions to our book already, and the way it’s helping others.
Thank you for the most precious gift and present of all: your presence. I feel you with me, I feel your love, your pride and your guidance.
Know that today, so many of us will be sending you all the birthday love you deserve.
Happy birthday my beautiful girl.