Hello, love! How exciting that you are 19 years old tomorrow! You can buy cigarettes! And sign a lease! And get big girl shots! And let me be the first to tell you that I am so very proud of the person you are, and I am incredibly honored and blessed to be your friend. You simply amaze me; you have one of the most compassionate and gentle hearts I’ve ever had to pleasure of spending time with. You love me endlessly, without questions. You don’t mind that I come with baggage and that sometimes I get snappy and every now and then, I am just plain mean. You just love me like it’s your job, and I hope you never stop. I want you to know that we wouldn’t be complete without you; you are the third musketeer, the snap to our crackle and pop, the paper and to rock and scissors. You bring me more joy and sunshine than you can possibly comprehend- there isn’t a time that you can’t put a smile on my face, and if I am half of that to you, I would be proud. I want you to know that you’ve made this Coke scholarship worth it- it has been more fun than I ever thought it could back when I was dreading coming to Alabama Action. I think we were the luckiest ones of the whole group because we didn’t just get the money; we got a best friend, too. If you ever start doubting that you’ve got a friend, I want you to pull this letter out and remember that if I’m not with you, I’m wishing I was. Gracie, lastly, I want to tell you there if there’s ever a day when your heart is breaking, and tears are falling, and you can’t find your way out, I will be there to hold your hand until the clouds part and the sunshine dries your tears. I am here, and I will be, even if being your friend isn’t always the most convenient thing because, hey, you need me to do you a favor or you just need me to sit with you for awhile. I am so grateful that the Lord placed you in my life, and I promise I will try my best to be the kind of friend He wants me to be for you. I hope this nineteenth year offers you more happiness and laughter and brownies than you can stand! (You know the part about the brownies is true because we’ll have our own oven!)
Happy birthday, sweet girl. I hope it’s the best one yet.
All my love,