I missed the last one, and now this one, and really, there's a strong chance we won't be close in distance for your birthday anytime soon. That distance also means we won't be close for the every day stuff, the little ups and downs you have always handled so gracefully, watching you raise a son, or visiting your first house to have lunch and coffee. There are many things I will miss in your life based on our living arrangements (what has to be the farthest two corners on the map), but if we were together today, maybe out celebrating with coffee, laughing at the silliness of life, I would tell you that even though I don't see you most of the time, don't know what fantastic outfit you're wearing, can't see you smile as I remind you of all our inside jokes (strike through poetry!), I carry you with me always.
When we met, I was a basket case, piled under a heap of work brought on by a lit journal with very little staff. I worried and worked frantically, trying to keep it all together. You came in, smiled, and ironed it out, to put me at ease in a way that I still, almost six years later, rely on at times. You are kind, compassionate, and patient when anyone else would have given up and gone home. You remind me to laugh and you give me reasons to keep laughing. You remind me, even when you've already done so plenty of times, that everything will be okay, and I always believe you.
And so, this birthday letter is a thank you card of sorts, because what I really want to say is how grateful I am to watch you grow up, the opportunity to watch you become a mother, and to watch all the other amazing opportunities you master in the future. Finally, I want to thank you for being my friend, because it makes me pretty lucky.
I predict 2010 is going to be a big year for you, New Year baby, and I can't wait to watch it unfold.