To Isabel Ann, my niece:

Today, I met you, for the very first time (barely a day old, born yesterday, around 2:30 in the afternoon, all 8 lbs 4 oz of you!) and I wasn’t quite ready or expecting to fall in love with you instantaneously, but I did, and my heart swelled, and the tears almost came. You are more beautiful than I could ever have imagined, pictures don’t do you justice. You look so much like your namesake – my Nonna – as well as my beautiful sister Jen – with the softest baby skin, long fingers and toes, and beautiful brown hair.

I love you, and from this day forward, I’m going to do my damnest to be the best auntie there ever was, to love you unconditionally, to play with you, watch you grow, and spoil the hell out of you. I can’t wait to hold you again (you were, after all, the very first baby I’ve ever held in my life!) and kiss your cheeks, and watch you grow.

I’ll take you for your first manicure – because isn’t that what “cool” aunties do?

I’ll invite you for sleepovers at my house, complete with a game of “Cooties” (a la my own aunt when I was growing up) and watch movies and let you stay up late.

I’ll revel in buying you clothes and toys and whatever your heart desires – because isn’t that what aunties do?

I’ll look forward to every holiday spent together, watching as you – without even knowing it – bring this family together closer than ever before. You unite us, already, and for that, you are one amazing blessing.

And beyond that, I will spend as much time as I can with you, especially now, as you experience the world for the very first time.

I love you, Isabel Ann, more than I ever thought possible.

~~~

As yesterday began a new life, so another ends…I was so sad to hear of the passing of DepotDad, and can only hope that the birth of my niece is a little slice of happiness amid grief and sadness. To you and your family – you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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