I can remember the day you were born as if it were yesterday. Like every other mother in the world, I thought you were the most beautiful baby in the world. We named you Kimberly Anne. “Kimberly” because we liked that name and “Anne” after my sister, your aunt, who is Anne Marie. I cried, overwhelmed with love and joy that only you could bring.
You didn’t have a lot of hair when you were born, but when your hair began to grow, it was curly. I’m talking Shirley Temple curly. And blonde. Natural curly, natural blonde. Years later you would pay megabucks for your hair to be as straight as an arrow and a totally different color. You were still beautiful.
I cried your first day of kindergarten, but I managed to wait until you were out of the car and headed into the school. Buckets of tears followed. My mother’s heart knew that this was the first of many changes. I prayed for your protection and for you to meet new friends.
Soon after you turned thirteen, your world began to fall apart. The next few years were extremely difficult and challenging. I’m sure there were times when you thought you wouldn’t make it. I know, because I felt the same way. But I watched as your backbone stiffened ramrod straight and determination radiated from you. You set goals for yourself, never looked back and you accomplished every goal you set, and more. You were, and still are, my inspiration.
Now, you are a grown woman, on the verge of marrying the man of your dreams. Tonight, you will walk down the aisle in your beautiful gown, and you will be stunningly gorgeous. And I will see the baby with not much hair, the curly blonde-headed little girl walking into her first day in kindergarten and the young woman who faced life’s challenges head-on. I will be as proud of you tonight as I’ve always been. And I will smile. And I will cry.