Sunday, April 21, 2013

On Watching You Play Your Very First Sport

My Sweet Girl,

I've been watching you play soccer via the cellphone videos your mommy posts online.  You are clearly a gifted player and by far, the best runner on the field (in my expert opinion).  Plus, you are so stinkin' adorable I want to scoop you up (I can't help it, God Mommies sometimes do stuff like that without warning). 

Your intensity and effort to get the ball are excellent and I hope you always attack the things you enjoy with that much gusto (look this word up).  I also love your energy and inquisitive (oooo, look this one up too) way of approaching the world.  I love the way you aren't afraid to speak up when you have something to say.  You are vibrant and lively and have a wonderful laugh.  And you look so much like your Daddy, who is--let's face it--a good-looking guy. 

Watching you run around the field in your jersey, hustling after the ball and chasing it toward the goalie's net is way better than even the Olympics.  I am so proud of you for getting out there and giving it your best shot.  Especially with such fearsome teammates to back you up.  Nobody's gonna mess with you guys on the field.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much I love watching you play.  You are growing up so fast! Not a baby anymore--now you're a big girl with a big heart and a smile to match.  Hopefully, I will get to see you play in person one of these days.  I would like that very much.

Keep your eye on the ball and kick it as hard as you can!

Much Love,
Aunt Green

Sunday, May 13, 2012

On Dating: Part 1

All right, Baby Girl.

It's time to talk turkey about dating.  Your mother will go over these things with you too.  Pay close attention, okay? And re-read these letters as many times at it takes until you know each rule by heart.  Consider this your ongoing homework assignment from age 12 to 45 (or longer, if needed).

I'm going to share with you a few of my experiences so you'll see why these rules are a good idea, even if they don't sound like much fun sometimes.  Trust me, in the long run you'll have way more fun by using these rules than you will by taking shortcuts and getting all lost in the big emotion moments.  When you are a beautiful young woman coming into your own, these rules may seem to take forever and be unwieldy (look this word up).  They probably won't be the rules your friends are using in their relationships.  In fact, your friends will probably tell you not to bother with them.  My friends told me the same thing.  What I realized later was my friends were wrong and their relationships often turned out badly.

See, the thing is, most people go out into the dating world without knowing how to do it well.  They make lots of mistakes and mess it all up.  Now, I can't promise your heart won't ever be broken (even with these rules).  You will make mistakes.  We all do.  But by following these rules, your conscience and God's will for your life, you will find the love you're looking for.  And you'll be able to give your whole heart to that man.

#1 Treat the young men you meet with respect--even if they aren't your Mr. Right, they are somebody else's future husband.
 There will be young men who like you more than you like them.  Trust me, even if it isn't happening now, as you grow into a confident, beautiful young woman, men will recognize those qualities and see you as desirable.   But you might not feel the same about them.  Nobody likes to be rejected. 

So, if a young man you aren't attracted to makes a romantic gesture, be gracious.  Thank him for his kind attention and let him down easy.  Don't embarrass him.  Tell him gently, but firmly that you care for him as a friend or acquaintance but your feelings go no farther and that won't change.  Tell him you want him to find the right girl for him and though it isn't you, you wish him every happiness and you know he will find her.  Whatever you say, don't be wishy-washy (it gives him hope you'll change your mind) and treat him the way you would want to be treated if somebody had to let you down easy.

#2 Allow yourself to be pursued.  While dating, refrain from being the pursuer as much as possible.
We're living in an age that values equality between men and women so much that sometimes we get confused on how men and women are supposed to act while dating.  Who asks who out?  Who pays on the first date? Do we need to bother with the whole chivalry thing? 

The answers to the above questions are: He does, He does and Yes!  I will explain.  It's okay to start a conversation with a young man who has potential.  Get to know him in a friendly way.  But the first romantic gestures should come from him.  The bottom line with guys: if they like you, they treat you with respect and they ask you out.  If they don't ask you out, they don't like you (or don't like you enough to do anything about it).  Don't waste your time trying to convince the object of your affection that you're worthy of his.  A man wants to pursue the beauty.  If he doesn't choose to pursue you, then he doesn't see your value.  You want the guy that sees how wonderful you are and doesn't need convincing.  To become the woman you are meant to be in a relationship, you must be valued! You are worth the effort!

If he demonstrates he values your qualities (not just your pretty face), you may certainly reciprocate (look up this word too) appropriately, if you feel the same.  He won't continue if he gets no encouragement.  But, make sure that he continues to pursue and woo you.  He will enjoy doing so and find you even more desirable because you expect to be treated like a lady.

#3 Define physical boundaries while dating and stick to them.
I know how badly a girl can want to touch or kiss a young man when she starts to have feelings for him.  Sometimes, he's all you can think about.  In those moments of weakness, when your heart seems to be running away with you, it's crucial you have some clear boundaries in place to protect both of you.
  • Touching: Don't.  You don't know this young man yet, so don't risk wanting more touching and being so overcome with loving feelings that things go further than you intended.  A simple touch leads to a little kiss leads to so much more.  And that's just for the girl! For the guy, it can be even more intense. When a woman walks into a room, men are acutely aware of her body.  They are hard-wired to notice her every move.  Imagine how touching a man you don't know might heighten that awareness and make him uncomfortable.  Just because we women can have that effect on men doesn't mean we should.  You want a guy to want you for you, not because you put him on sensory overload. 
  • Dress Appropriately.  If a woman can have every man's attention just by walking in the room, imagine the effect she can have in low-cut or suggestive clothing.  The first thing she is communicating is sexual awareness of her own body, so is it really a surprise if the attention she receives from men is also sexual?  If you want your date to notice and admire you for who you are, dress beautifully, confidently.  Show him your value by the way you value yourself.  Dressing suggestively indicates you value sexuality more than respect and your date may act accordingly.  
  • Don't give yourself away.  Honor who you are with your body.  My dear girl, you are a child of God.  You are a precious gift.  When you find the man God made for you and you're ready to marry him, you will be fulfilling God's wondrous plan for your life.  Trust me on this, you will want to do that with no regrets.  Marriage is an incredible blessing.  It is also some of the hardest work you will ever do in your life.  You don't want to add difficulty to that by making bad choices beforehand.  
  • A little more on purity: In waiting to have sex until you are married, you will avoid a lot of problems.  You won't have to have the uncomfortable conversation with your new husband about how many people you've slept with.  Your husband won't ever wonder if he measures up sexually to your previous partners.  You won't have to worry about getting tested for a sexually-transmitted disease.  You won't have to go into a brand-new marriage with regrets about one night stands, abortion or blending a family because you became pregnant before marriage.  You can give yourself to your husband with your whole heart.  You can begin your marriage knowing you kept your word to God.  Trust me honey, you want that.  I know because I made the choice not to wait and experienced some of the things I listed here.    
Okay, that is a good place to stop for now.  There is so much more to say, but I'm sure your head is spinning so I will pause for now.  Just remember, sweet girl, if you settle for less than you really want and deserve in the beginning, you'll never have what you really need later on.  And God's plan for your life will be so much more than you can dream of.  I can't wait to see you grow and walk beside you on this journey.

Much Love,
Aunt Green  


Sunday, November 6, 2011

On Taking Risks

Hello Baby Girl,

God is moving in a big way in my creative life these days. Leaps of faith have been much on my mind, so I think it's time we talk about taking risks.

In your life, dear one, you will take countless risks.  Big ones you agonize over before you make them and afterward.  Zillions of tiny ones you don't consider important at the time, but the sum total of which define your experience each day.  In that respect, risks are like a pair of shoes or a good handbag--there's one for every occasion.  Like the does this shirt work with these pants? sort of risk.  Not much of a downside if it doesn't work out.  Unless there's a big date or important work event involved.  There's also the I cooked it myself without a recipe kind of risk.  This may turn out very badly.  Or crazy good.  If you turn out to be a romantic, the biggest risk of your young life might be who will I fall in love with? or does he like me the way I like him?  We'll talk about falling in love later.  Much to say about that.  But today, we're talking risk. 

As you get older, you'll find the big risks get riskier.  The costs, consequences and the potential benefits all become greater.  You'll have more to invest when you risk--more time, more resources, more hard work to give.  But you often have more to lose--more sacrifices to make, possibly negative financial consequences or maybe a relationship or your reputation could suffer.  Taking risks is not for sissies.

But, sweetheart, that doesn't mean we shy away from them.  Quite the contrary.  The risks we take will define how we choose to live.  So it's very important to know why you are here and what is worth risking everything for.  I'm talking about faith here--which we will get to in another letter.  Suffice it to say for now, that what you believe in determines what you value and what you value determines what you are willing to risk.

Let me give you an example.  Last month, I took the biggest risk of my budding photography career by photographing the wedding of some family friends.  The back-story on this: God blessed me with a talent and desire to take pretty pictures.  He also gave me the drive to get my work out there--to bless others with the gifts he's given me.  But, up to this point I'd shied away from anything as big as a wedding because it seemed overwhelming.  The pressure of getting someone's special day just right was (and still is) very scary.  Plus I didn't know enough.  And I didn't have the necessary equipment or help to do the job right.  The whole thing was too big, too scary and I was sure I couldn't possibly do it.  Now or ever.

(A word of warning here: those things we're absolutely sure we can't do often turn out to be the very things God has in mind.)

But then word came that two dear friends were planning to ask me to photograph their wedding.  I'd taken photos of them before at horse shows and we all were pleased with the results.  Nevertheless, I was immediately caught in a cold panic.  Oh no, I couldn't possibly!  I can't do this!  I'll have to tell them no.  What am I going to say?

But when my friend called the next day and said how much she liked the photos I'd taken and that they really wanted me to shoot their wedding, I didn't tell her no.  Instead, warm words of acceptance and joy came out of my mouth.  I said I would be honored to take her wedding photos and all the sudden, I knew it was the right thing to do.  True, I didn't know a darn thing about shooting weddings, what was involved or how to go about it.  But, in my heart, this was what God wanted me to do.  This was part of why He'd given me these gifts and I had four months to figure out what I needed to know to pull this off.

So, I researched and read up on techniques, what to expect, how to do it, how to organize it, what equipment to buy and what kind of contract to use.  God sent me a teammate to help in the form of my brother who spent several weekends assisting me with practice portrait shoots and scouting the venue.  We planned and discussed every contingency (look up this word) we could think of.  And I prayed.  I asked a lot of other people to pray too.

Finally, the big wedding weekend arrived and I was ready.  I had extra batteries, extra memory cards, a back-up shooter (my brother again) and a game plan that could be adapted to whatever situation we found ourselves in.  Apart from a minor equipment issue (my external flash broke right before the ceremony), the whole day went beautifully!  We had perfect weather, everything ran smoothly, everybody had a great time and looked happy--it was lovely!  My brother couldn't have been a bigger help--positioning portrait subjects and getting shots I had missed.  We had done it!  And after much review and editing, I had beautiful pictures for the bride and groom.

I took a big risk and God guided me through all of it.  This time it was huge success.  But, other times it won't be.  Sometimes we'll even use the f-word: failure.  The thing is, dear one, God is with us even in those times.  Even in the times when everything feels so dark and heavy and inescapable that we can't move.  He is always there.  And failure is not something to fear because you will learn far more from the things you do wrong than the things you do right.  God uses those experiences to prepare us for the next season in our lives.  So keep that in mind, every event in your life will teach you something you can use later.  Every risk you take will yield something positive...eventually. The next time I shoot a wedding (yes, there will be a next time), it probably won't be perfect.  There may be equipment problems, people problems or problems you can't anticipate.  I will learn from those things and plan accordingly for the next wedding.

The goal, sweet girl, is not to come through life with the least amount of dings and dents, but to have taken every opportunity to love God, love one another and shine the light of that love into the world for others to see.  Take every risk with that purpose in mind and you will be amazed by what happens.

Much Love,
Aunt Green       


Sunday, September 11, 2011

On the 'Where Were You?' Moments

Dear One,

It's the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001 today.  For you, this is an event with no personal memories.  All that you learn about what happened that day will be through history books, video or audio clips, or the stories of friends and family who experienced that time first-hand.  I hope you will ask for those stories, that you will seek out information and understanding about this event and how it shaped the world and culture that is all you've ever known.  The world was a different place before that morning.

Through the eyes of hindsight, you may wonder why events leading up to that terrible day went unheeded.  We've all asked that question, I think.  Whatever the answer, it doesn't change what happened.  Focus instead on the heroism, selflessness and resilience (all good words for you to look up) that are part of every 9/11 story you will hear.

Look for God in what you hear too.  Look for him in the 70 plus people saved from the 88th & 89th floors of the WTC North Tower by two men who themselves didn't make it out of the building before it fell.  Look for Him among the small group of firefighters who stopped--knowing the North Tower would collapse any moment--to help a woman whose slow descent down the stairs miraculously (another wonderful word) allowed them to survive in a tiny section of stairwell when the building came down.  Look for Him in the impossibly brave actions of common people on a plane who knew they were going to die, but refused to be used as a missile to kill others.

I wish the story of my experience that day was remarkable in some way.  But it isn't.  However, on the chance you might find it illuminating, I will share it here with you.  I was just beginning my 2nd year at the University of Maine at Farmington, a small school in a small town in the mountains of western Maine.  Penniless college students, my roommate & I didn't have money for cable TV, so I didn't know anything about the attacks until I went to a Health lecture class at 12:30 pm that afternoon. It was a Tuesday and I walked through the Student Center on campus, thinking nothing of all the young men crowded around the big screen TV.  They were often gathered there to watch ESPN highlights of the previous night's Patriots' game.  But when I got to the large lecture hall where my class was held, students were all clustered in seats, talking with wide eyes.  Some were tearing up.  I looked at them quizzically but no one explained, so I got out my text and notes and prepared for the lecture.

Then the professor, a small, dark-haired woman with a clipped southern accent, came out and began speaking.  Instead of a lecture, she made several sweeping but ambiguous (definitely look this one up!) references to "what happened today" and "today's events".  I waited for her to explain what she was talking about but she never got specific.  Students asked her questions that seemed very strange to me.  What will happen now?  How are they handling this?  Are they sure there aren't any more?  The professor tried to answer these and other questions that made no sense to me.  She was obviously trying to keep people calm.  I wondered if something had happened on campus.  I asked aloud, to no in particular, what they were talking about.  But no one near me answered.

Finally, I raised my hand.  The professor called on me and I said, "I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you're talking about.  What happened?"

She looked at me strangely and said, "Two planes flew into the World Trade Center this morning."

I thought at first this was some kind of military fighter accident or air show disaster.  But students began taking about commercial passenger jets and something else happening at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  After that, I sat there, feeling nothing.  I couldn't get my head around that.  It seemed completely surreal, like fiction or some sort of bizarre dream you want to shake off upon awakening.

The professor dismissed us early and I walked back through the Student Center, noticing this time the crowd staring intently at the big screen TV, watching repeated images of the Twin Towers being hit, collapsing and of the Pentagon on fire.  A young couple, whose names I knew, stood there silently.  She was weeping, holding her little toy dog in a pink harness close to her chest.

After that, I went home to change.  I was scheduled to work in the school cafeteria that night.  As I came into work, I was immediately overwhelmed by the tension in the air.  It was nearly impossible to concentrate on feeding the 2,500 students expected for dinner.  Afternoon classes had been canceled and many students had opted to go home for the night, so the actual count was much less.  The Sun Journal, one of the local newspapers, put out a late edition on the attacks and a stack of them were dropped off at the Student Center.  I went out and got a few, passing them out to co-workers and fellow students working that night.  I couldn't believe the photos I saw in the paper and kept sneaking into a side room off the serving line to peek at the stories.

Someone said there was a girl from Massachusetts on campus whose father was rumored to be a commercial airline pilot on one of the planes that hit the towers.  I don't know if that was true.  A fellow student working with me was just out of the army and had friends stationed at the Pentagon.  He was angry and worried, not knowing what may have happened to them.  I got out of work as soon as possible, not staying to eat with the others. Instead, I went home and called my Mom.  We talked for a long time about what happened and what it all meant.  I felt very alone being so far from home.  Later, we found out that one of the terrorists had entered the country through our lovely, quiet Portland Jetport.  He then flew on to New York.

I was supposed to fly home to Illinois two days after Sept. 11th for a wedding.  I made repeated calls to the airline to see if my flight was canceled.  On the morning I was supposed to leave, my flight from Portland to Dulles, in Washington was scheduled to fly, but my connection to Chicago was canceled as no flights were going into O'hare Intl Airport.  Chicago remained closed for several days.  I missed the wedding but was relieved to not have to fly.  That is my story.

I hope, dear one, that this account helps you understand what it felt like for the rest of the country who could do little but sit and watch what was unfolding in New York, Washington & Pennsylvania.  Ask your Mom and Dad about their experiences too.  Learn as much as you can about that time.  Seek to understand the context of what was going on in those days.  The love and courage and sacrifice you will find there are sacred things.  Pray about them and ask God to show you wisdom and guide you in the way you live, knowing these things.

There will be 'Where Were You?' events in your life too.  When they happen, make sure that you pass along the lessons you learn from them.  Share your experience with others, however painful.  Help them understand how that moment in history has defined your life and theirs.  Show them the fingerprints of God that you find there.

Much love,
Aunt Green                           

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On Finding Your Passion

Dear Baby Girl,

Had a chance this weekend to practice my passion.  You should know, sweet little one, that having a passion--an art, sport, hobby or activity you love to do more than just about anything else--is one of the best blessings God can give.  It energizes you, gets you focused and offers a vehicle through which you can use the wonderful skills God has given you to bless others.  If yours turn out to be a creative passion (like mine), you'll find endless hours of fulfillment in doing it.  Of course, the more you do it and the better you get, the more you want to do it.

We are each gifted differently with specific talents and aptitudes (another word to look up). I can't wait to see what yours are.  I grew up writing.  As you can see, I still enjoy it.  Have a degree in it.  But when I first picked up a camera, I finally discovered what would fill the visual longing I had to share the beauty I see all around me every day.  Photography is my favorite way to show what I love most about God's creation and the people & places I encounter.  I could spend all day at it--from shooting to the selection of photos to edit and all of the minute details involved in cropping and editing an image until it reflects exactly what I saw through the lens.  I want to do it justice--to capture the wonder, awe and humbling sensations we feel whenever deeply contemplating God's handiwork.

When you find your passion, you won't need anybody to explain.  You'll just know.  Your thoughts will drift to it often and put a smile on your face.  It will be hard to put down and you'll long to get back to it.  You might praise God for this thing you enjoy so much and pray for Him to show you how to use it to touch other lives.  Whatever it is, give it your best.  Enjoy it fully and allow it to give you a personal sense of satisfaction, so you can go about all the other things in life with a balanced sense of who you are.  Never underestimate a passion as just something frivolous (another good word).  Sometimes in life you need a diversion, something that brings you joy 'just because'.  God has a plan for your life, dear one.  That includes your passion.  So be open to unexpected possibilities.  Passions are wonderful things.  Let them shine and bring joy wherever you can.

Much Love,
Aunt Green          

Sunday, August 28, 2011

On Motivation

Dearest Girl,
I've been thinking about motivation quite a bit of late.  I know this is a big topic for you at the tender age of almost-two.  But one day, you might find yourself wondering about it too--so I'll share with you what I think just in case I get senile down the road and forget to mention it. 

Why do we do the things we do?  Why do we not do certain things?  What's so hard about mustering (another word for you to look up!) up enough energy and will-power to do something we know is good for us but that we've been putting off?  What gets us all jazzed up to do something?  Where is that moment when 'I couldn't possibly' becomes 'yes, I can!' ?

A lot of big questions, I know.  At the bottom of procrastination (ask your mother) must be a certain amount of fear.  What if I can't do it?  What if it turns out badly?  I'm not ready for this.  I don't know how to go about it.  I don't want to face what this really means.  I just don't want to...  We put whatever it is off as long as possible.  Which doesn't help, of course.  In fact, it kind of self-fulfills most of these concerns, often causing bigger problems.  So, how do we get the gumption to get up & go?  What pushes us forward? 

The answer is that depends.  Sometimes it's discomfort.  For example, just before the summer of 1998, a silly boy away at college broke my heart over the phone.  Well, I knew in just a couple weeks school would end and he'd be back in town.  The idea of running into him all over town that summer made me cringe.  So, when my food service job offered opportunities for us to go and cook at girl scout camps over the summer, I jumped at the chance to be somewhere else.  Me--the girl who'd never been away from home for more than a couple weeks at a time, who didn't have a car and who didn't know anything about camping was going to spend the summer two and a half hours from home down in Peoria, IL with a camp full of complete strangers.

When my mother and aunt saw the screened shack I would be living in and the fist-sized, eight-legged current occupants, they almost refused to leave me there.  But, in the end, they removed the wild occupants and decided they would not forbid me to stay.  My first night at Camp Tapawingo was just flat out creepy.  My boss was not yet staying on site and my coworker-to-be was not due to arrive until the next day, so I was all alone, attempting to sleep in a creaky shack in the woods, where the nearest help was out of earshot, no matter how loud I might scream.  I didn't sleep well.

But the next day, after I spent hours cleaning and scrubbing the old camp kitchen, my boss arrived with my new coworker, a quiet (only at first) girl from Oklahoma with brown, curly hair, who talked about 'dillers' on the road side and turned out to be your mother.  The rest, of course, is history.  Thank goodness for that idiot boy who broke my heart--without him, I'd never have gone to have an adventure living in the Treehouse with my best friend!

While that time it worked out beautifully, and necessity is often the mother of invention, being motivated solely by discomfort is probably not the best way to go about things.  So, then what else motivates us?  What motivates us to try something new for the pure joy of it?  What pushes us to take a risk and start a business doing something we love and excel at?  What's at the heart of a burning desire to serve our country, climb Mt. Everest, or be a First Responder who charges into burning buildings to save lives?  You may hear people talk about a 'calling' to do these things.  They just knew this is what they were supposed to do.

We will talk about callings and purpose in relation to God's plan for your life another time.  For now, let's just say that God created each of us to be special and unique and He has a plan for you.  So, you might be motivated to do something for others that fulfills His plan because you love Him for the amazing way He loves you!  You might want to do something challenging because it could bring great rewards or you'd feel great if you accomplished that.  Or, maybe you do something just because you know in your heart it is the right thing to do--this is called integrity.  All of these are wonderful reasons (motivations) to do something.  Often, they overlap and you might do a good or great thing for all these reasons.

The important thing to remember, dear girl, is always ask yourself what is your real motivation for doing (or not doing) this?  Recognizing what's behind the choices and decisions you make allows you to decide if that choice really represents what you believe in and how you want to live your life.  It can be scary to pick up that rock and look underneath at the real motivation.  Sometimes it isn't pretty, but by facing it and seeing that fear or issue for what it really is, you can choose to act in a way that honors God and your relationship with Him.  And that will bring you a life of wonder and great love.

Sleep tight, dear one.

Much Love,
Aunt Green 


Saturday, August 27, 2011

To Begin

Dear Baby Girl,

We've already met, though you probably don't remember.  The first time I saw you, you were very tiny and sleepy--all dark curls and soft fleece snuggled into a carrier and docked on a Wal-Mart shopping cart.  It was February in Texas and I was wearing a black and white houndstooth coat.  You wore fuzzy socks and curled your perfect little pink fingers around my thumb.  Your father quickly introduced us and then left you in my care near the Customer Service desk while he went to help your mother, my best friend, find something in the store.

I had waited a long time to meet you and was a bit nervous.  You were very nonchalant about the whole thing, opening your eyes for just a moment to check me out and then going right back to sleep.  It may not have seemed like it at the time, but that was a big moment.  We meet at last.

It didn't happen the way I thought it would--you'll find life is often that way--but instead came quietly, unexpectedly, a moment of wonder in a tumultuous (look that word up) time in my personal life.  But the great relationships in our lives usually have inauspicious (look this one up too) beginnings.  It was like that when I met your mother.  When the girl with the twangy southern accent, sticker books and platform sandals walked into that run-down, screened shack we would share while working at a girl scout camp for the summer, I had no idea that she would become the best friend I would ever have.  So be on the lookout for inauspicious beginnings.  They can lead to something that shapes your whole life.

Okay, a few facts about me that you should know.  I love Jesus.  I am your God Mother and your mother's best friend.  I like chocolate.  A lot.  I take pictures and live in Illinois with a cat and a yellow hibiscus.  I am not married but might like to be someday.  Hmmm...and I like to cook.  Yes, that will do for now.

You may be wondering what these letters are about.  Well, the simple truth is this: during this season of life, God's plan has us living far from one another, though I think about you often and pour over every photo of you that your mother posts on Facebook.  There are so many things I want to share with you--adventures and stories and all the things that I've learned and continue to learn about life & living.  I know right now Bear in the Big Blue House and Barney are vastly more important than contemplating the important things in life.  But, trust me.  The day will come when you might be curious about such things.  And these letters will wait for that time.  I hope that you will find them useful and maybe a tad illuminating.  Also, that you will see how greatly you are loved.

Welcome, dearest girl, to this adventure of life!

Much Love,
Your Aunt Green

P.S. The background photo you see was taken many years ago of my Grandmother Flo, my Great Aunt Lou and their childhood best friends, Edith & Silla.