On your birthday last year I stepped wildly outside of my comfort zone and publicly wrote about why I loved you so much. I remember seeing how happy it made you, so I decided to do it again for your birthday this year. Only this time, I don’t feel like I’m stepping too far out. Although, I had this really weird internal conflict about writing this because of my feelings towards PDA, which you probably know better than anyone. But, to tell you the truth, I was actually kind of looking forward to writing this this year. The reason is because, while having the fortune of spending nearly every day with you since your last birthday, I really don’t express how truly lucky I am to have you in my life nearly enough.
When you have something for a long time, you start to get used to it and when you get used to something, it’s natural to start taking it for granted. But Beatrice, I will never, ever take you for granted. It’s impossible. Because even though it’s almost the same thing every day, just being with you makes me incredibly happy. I’ve never felt so loved or special in my entire life. With you, just coming home from work is a joyous occasion. Every day, I come home and you are there, running to the door to greet me with open arms, just excited as you were the day before. This is going to be a terrible comparison, but people often ask me why I really don’t want a pet. Yes, mostly it’s because I am lazy and don’t want the extra responsibility, but also it’s because I already have someone that loves me unconditionally and gets super happy every time she sees me.
Maybe I’ve never acknowledge this aloud before, but your unconditional love has changed me. It took me a while to notice, but your positive attitude has turned me into a happier, more positive person as well. Any insecurities I had before have disappeared to the point where I forgot I ever had them. When I daydream, I sometimes don’t know what to wish for (besides maybe winning the lottery) because we already have everything we need to be happy. Having you makes me feel like I’ve completely succeeded in this aspect of my life. And the confidence I get from knowing that I’ll have you forever makes me feel like I can accomplish anything.
Even though I might not be as expressive or as affectionate as you are, I hope you know that I really love you so much. And I don’t just love you; I really, really like you. I find you interesting, funny and super entertaining to be around. There’s nobody in the world I’d rather spend my time with. Whenever I think about you doing whatever it is that you do, whether it’s a bad reenactment of something or some dance you made up, I can’t help but laugh. I also like it how you laugh at all my stupid jokes, and similarly I like it how you laugh at all your stupid jokes too. Additionally, I admit that the lingo you invent is pretty catchy and maybe somewhat useful.
This year has been a big year for you. You graduated from your master’s program, got a job, and got another job immediately after. It was fun watching you go through the transition of student to self-sufficient adult. I know you sometimes stress about your job and the future, but I never worry about you. This is because I know what kind of person you are. I can rattle off a long list of great characteristics, but I think the most important thing about you is that you are super likable. I believe this is a huge reason for why you will be very successful. You are charming, make a great first impression and people are naturally attracted to your demeanor. So it was not very surprising to me when you told me your patients make you custom t-shirts, buy you books, and even give you money. You make a great occupational therapist and I am extremely proud of you.
While a lot of exciting things have happened since your last birthday, this has also been absolutely the most terrible year. At only twenty five years of age, you lost your mother to cancer. It is truly heartbreaking watching you suffer through this loss knowing there is absolutely nothing that can be done to make it better. And with your friends and family physically far away, it has been especially devastating. Only three months have gone by and the wound is still very fresh, but you’ve been so strong throughout the whole ordeal. It’s natural to go to a dark place after suffering through so much agony and heartbreak. And while I know I can’t take away the pain and suffering, I know I can pull you out. Things might not be the same again, but I can see you getting better each day and I will be here for you to lean on every step of the way.
Today will be your first birthday without your mom and I know you will be thinking about her more than usual. I feel like I know her well from all the stories you’ve told me about her. She was such a generous and caring person and touched the lives of so many people. She loved you unconditionally and only wanted the best for you, Herman and Olivia. I am so thankful to her and your father for raising such a beautiful family and such a loving daughter. And while she isn’t physically here today to call you at the time of your exact birth like she does every birthday, she still loves you absolutely. A lot of people love you, Beatrice. Your family, your friends. You’ve always been there for us and now we are here for you.
While today is full of mixed emotions, there is one thing that I always feel. Confidence. I feel confident in our future and confident that we will always have each other. I will always be there for you no matter what and I know you’ll do the same. It’s you and me against the world and we will take it one day at a time, because that is how time works. I love you Beatrice, and I wish you a happy birthday.