On November 21st, many years ago, a baby girl was born on a cold night in Germany. I love looking at pictures of her. She had a face like a cherub with flushed cheeks that still seemed to glow even in black and white. As you turn the pages in the tattered album, you see her grow into a stunning girl who at six, the same age as my daughter, changed. Her mother died in childbirth. Her dad, who didn’t know how to care for two girls on his own, cut off all of her beautiful hair. The pictures of her in beautiful handmade dresses were replaced with pictures of a girl in simple clothes and a serious face.
Her childhood was hard. There was an evil stepmother who resembled those we’ve all read about, and a stepsister who was favored above her and her sister. But just like in those hardbound fairy tales we grew up with, her prince came. He spoke a different language, but love didn’t care. She was whisked to a faraway country: America. She started over with a man who saw the same glow in her that I see in those old black and white photos. And they had a baby.
The seriousness in her face changed. Her eyes sparkled. The little girl was given the life her mother never had. A happy life so incredibly filled with love. Every moment this mother and daughter spent together was bursting with magic. Every tree had a story. Not a minute of the day was wasted. There was a whole world to discover, and together they uncovered the simple pleasures that life had to offer.
The little girl is grown now, with a daughter of her own. A daughter who is lucky to be loved by two strong women: her mother and grandmother.
You see, November 21st was my lucky day. It was the day my mom was born. I want you to know her. I want you to know that she is the reason I am who I am. She is the reason I have a daughter who lights up every room she is in. She taught me to love. She is the cornerstone of my family and on this day, the day before Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for her. I want her to know that I remember everything. I remember every kiss. Every walk we took through the woods. Every book she read me. Every tear she wiped and every song she sang. Thank you mom and happy birthday. You mean everything to me. I feel safe in this world because of you. You are the queen of the fairy tale that is our life and I am so proud to be your little princess.