And friendship and solidarity...but, mostly love.
This past weekend, we had the opportunity to do a lot of celebrating. We celebrated being able to watch my youngest Angel Niece shake her booty in her dance recital. Yes, she is the second one from the left with the shimmy in her hips!
She bounced. She wiggled. She levitated.
And she listened to the beat of her own drum.
The next day, we went to watch my oldest Angel Niece in her dance recital. It was pure joy to watch her as she took center stage and then hip-hopped her way across my heart.
I cannot even begin to describe the utter joy, sadness(that my Angel Niece's daddy could only watch from above), and pure love that I felt while sitting with Mark and our own Angel Daughters as we cheered on these beautiful little girls.
After the recitals, we got to present these little Angels with flowers. We got to put our arms around them and hug them like there is no tomorrow. And we got to experience the essence of my brother through these incredible little girls that he so sadly, had to leave behind.
Angel Daughter Number One, now a woman, yet not so grown up that she forgets what it is like to be a child, swung Angel Niece up into the air. For a moment, I was reminded of how my brother used to do this to my own children when he saw them and I smiled. Because somehow, no matter what, the rhythm of the lives of those we have lost still beat loudly in the hearts of those that they have loved and who have loved them.
On Sunday, my oldest Angel blew out the candles on her cake for the twenty-second time. There is no denying that she is a woman now, but to me, she will always be that curly-haired little girl who danced, sang and performed her way into the hearts of everyone she met. There is something so incredibly special about her. So lovely and self-assured. If I could describe the essence of how she comes across, Audrey Hepburn would be the closest that I could come.
Happy Birthday, my dear daughter.
As my own birthday quickly approaches, I feel a sense of introspection and self-examination that always comes with this time of year. I am listening very hard, for the music of my own heart. I would really like to remember what it sounds like.