It seems like just yesterday that you were 2 1/2 and waking me up at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday to watch a movie. We must have had twenty movies to choose from (thanks to Poppy!) yet for nearly two years all you wanted to watch was The Little Mermaid.
I blinked my eyes and it was time for you to go to first grade. I remember having to catch my train to work and even though you’d been in day care since you your born, you cried and begged me not to leave. One of the hardest things I had to do that day was walk away when you were in tears yelling “Mom don’t leave me!” I was thrilled when weeks later I got a note from your teacher in your backpack letting me know that you stopped crying by the time you hung up your coat.
I blinked again and I was sitting in a full auditorium for the school talent show. I watched you walk out onto the empty stage all by yourself in your jeans overalls to sing a Mariah Carey song. You were amazing!
And then I met Tony and our lives took a different path. I’ve always regretted that your biological father decided your life would be better without him in it – only to start a family a few years later and end up being a principal of a Catholic high school! (and in case anyone was wondering – his wife and children don’t know that Hannah exists. Could you imagine being married for twenty years and your spouse not telling you he had a child?! – another side note – Hannah follows his 18 year old daughter on Instagram – but that’s for another post!).
I know you and Tony had a rocky relationship and he probably didn’t measure up to the father you wished he would have been for, but you put up with it because you knew I loved him. I will forever be grateful to you for that considering our time together was so short.
Was seemed like a minute later you walked in the door with your learners permit and were adamant about logging all of your 50 required hours. I loved our road trip to Milwaukee so you could get in lots of highway driving. To this day I think its hilarious that you insist on driving everywhere, even if it’s to Walmart or driving across country to Virginia!
And then you moved in with Jacob to Chicago. While you were only 90 minutes away, I missed seeing your face everyday, but I was happy that Tony and I could enjoy an “empty nest” the last few years of his life.
Two weeks after Tony died I remember you called me to tell me that you and Jacob were engaged! I was so happy for you, but I have to be honest, I was in the lowest possible place in my life, I had just lost not only my husband but my best friend too. So much was changing so fast – it was like a was on a perpetual loop of a roller coaster and I wanted to get off but no one was paying attention to me. This I do know – having you, Jacob and the dogs move in with me literally saved my life. If I didn’t want to get up and live for me, I knew I could get up and make you guys pancakes and that helped me find purpose after losing my title of wife and caretaker.
I wouldn’t trade these last almost three years of having you as my roommates. Not only do I know that you are marrying your best friend, but I know how much he loves you and respects you and I could ask nothing more from my son-in-law. So while your “happy ever after” may not look like it does in the movies, it does exist. In the highs and lows of any marriage, as long as you continue to love each other, show gratitude, encourage one another, be patient, and Jacob – agree to at least one Walmart and/or Target shop per week!
So while I go between wanting you to be my baby forever, I am so excited about all the amazing things you’ll do in this life. You are an amazingly independent woman, smart, funny and beautiful.
I love you to the moon and back – Happy Wedding Day Hannah!