I remember you as a timid but tough little girl.
You, so annoyed with your hair's stubborn mass of pretty curls.
Undeniably beautiful right from the start.
It was clear you were sent to captivate everyone's heart.
I must say, it was a compliment when others thought you belonged to me.
And it's crossed my mind, that's the way it was intended to be.
"She looks just like you." I've heard it more times than I can count.
How many daughters do I have, 1, that's the amount.
So alike in so many ways, not just who we each see in the mirror.
But as time goes on and life takes its toll, our similarities are much clearer.
Neither of us asked for the hands we've been dealt.
No one could understand all the betrayal and pain we each have felt.
You're just starting out on life's unpredictable journey, bold but still shy.
I often ask myself what I can do to help, the reason I was put here in your life, why?
I can only try to be an example of what strength through extreme adversity should be.
And make sure that you know, when life throws adversity your way, you can always turn to me.
Your life so far isn't what you imagined it would be, I'm sure.
But trust me beautiful girl, your innocence in it all is pure.
You carry the heavy weight of the world on your tiny shoulders.
Your life will never be as amazing as it's meant to be until you drop those boulders.
A father's love, so yearned for yet unreceived.
A mother whose own interest is all she can conceive.
Feeling abandoned, unwanted, lost.
That turns to anger and feeling crossed.
Trust me when I say, these feelings are no strangers to me.
My life has had many nightmares that no matter how hard I try I can still see.
So many scars and afraid to be alone, I grasp for love where I can get it.
Then I push it away before they can leave and get the last hit.
I see that in you and it makes me so sad.
I hurt for you and the life that you've already had.
I can see glimpses of the unique amazing woman you will be.
But only when you let your guard down and allow me to see.
What advice can I give to help you get through your pain.
When life can seem so unfair and make you feel insane.
All I can say is our pain makes us who we are.
It's how we handle it that determines where we'll go, how far.
And you have so much strength inside you that you don't even see.
But your strong, gorgeousness is visible to everyone, not just me.
And for those in your life who choose not to look.
It's their tremendous loss and just chapters in your life's book.
You aren't meant to pay for your parents' sins.
Let them carry their burdens or it's them who wins.
You are meant for greater things.
And it's close to time for you to spread your wings.
Your story is just beginning and I can't wait to see where life takes you.
I'm just happy that you allow me to come along for the ride too.
I look at you and can still see that beautiful shy little girl.
But I also see a stunning young woman ready to take on the world.
Please remember there are plenty who love you, myself included.
So when life starts hitting hard and you want to give up, don't get deluded.
You'll always have a soft place to land and heal your wounds.
Ears to listen, shoulders to lean or cry on, and people who would give you all the stars, suns and moons.
I look at your lovely face, see your fearless nature and I need you to know that I am so proud.
"She is strong, intelligent, beautiful, kind, loving, and deserves a wonderful life." I wish I could scream out loud.
And when you go off to fulfill all that life has in store for you, we will all miss ya!
Because there is only one; unique and painfully beautiful, ALYSSA!
For Alyssa, my amazing goddaughter and niece. Nanny loves you! You inspire me!