Dearest Ruby Brenlyn,
This is my first letter to my newest little granddaughter and I cannot tell you how thrilled we are to have you with us, sweet child. Your name is quite a hit with the entire family. All of us who dearly loved and cherished your great grandmother, Ruby Mae Petrasek Matthews, were so pleased your Mom and Dad honored her memory by giving you her name. We think it is perfect and suits you extremely well. I am sure someday you will ask your Mom about how your middle name came to be Brenlyn, but I wanted you to hear it first from me.
Like me, your Mom has always been a vivid dreamer. Our dreams are always in Technicolor® with surround sound and occasionally quite bizarre. Well, it seems when you were only four months along your Mommy had one of those intense dreams. In it you came to her and introduced yourself as her daughter and told her your name was Brenlyn....a name none of us had ever seen or heard before....and you even spelled it for her, B-R-E-N-L-Y-N. Pretty bold for someone that had not yet been born, but obviously your Mom took you seriously.
The closest to Brenlyn I could find was an Irish name of Brennalyn, which means "maiden with dark hair". Well, that sure fits with your shock of lovely dark brown hair. You just got the spelling right. And, so, Ruby Brenlyn Cho it is. Marvelous!
O.K., so why am I writing you this letter. Well, by now it is family tradition. Your cousins started getting letters from me when they were less than a month old and I have written them 31 times in the past three and a half years. They came to be known as "Pearls", little pieces of wisdom and observations taken from my nearly 65 years of experience on this planet. Don't get me wrong. I am no guru. I have made plenty of mistakes in my life. But from mistakes you learn a few things. So if you don't mind, I would like to write to you from time to time, sharing things I think you should know or might find useful on your life's journey.
Your arrival here was one of the most anticipated events in our lives since Gehrig and Eliana showed up back in 2007. Granny and I just could hardly wait for your Mom and Dad to get with the program and give us our third grandchild. In fact, we might have badgered them a bit too much.....NAW! Someone once said, "Anticipation is the greater joy", meaning that sometimes the actual event or thing being anticipated, when it finally comes, is anti-climatic. Well, that person never had grandchildren.
Thirty-First Pearl: "Anticipation Is Joyful...Having You Here...The Greatest Joy"
It will be years before you will get to experience it yourself. Oh, you will have very similar feelings when you have your own children. I mean your Granny and I anticipated with great joy your Aunt Brandi and your Mom, Brittany, when they were born, but grandchildren...well...you are the best! Granny and I tingled with excitement when your Mom and Dad FINALLY announced you were on your way. That led to 37 straight weeks of giddy, if not irresponsible behavior on our part. We planned, we schemed, we spent more money than your Mom wanted us to on clothes and baby furniture and toys and...well, you name it. Nothing was going to be too good for you. We marveled as you grew and your Mom's belly got bigger and bigger. Fortunately your Dad is a gifted professional photographer so we have a digital record of nearly all 37 weeks. We were filled with anticipation and joy.
But then, you actually came. A tad early but, in our minds, just in time. We only thought we were joyful. We knew you would be gorgeous. But, my God, you took our breath away! We knew you would steal our hearts. But, for crying out loud, girl, ours melted at the sight of you! We knew when we looked into your blue eyes for the first time that we would love and cherish this little, 5 pound 12 ounce cuddly bundle for the rest of our lives. When we first met, there was the soft light of the setting sun filtering through the windows of your hospital room, your Mom was resting peacefully in her bed, your Dad standing beside her, his hand clasped in hers, and you, wrapped in your pink and white swaddling cloth, knit cap on your head, the tiny features of your angelic face peeking out as you gently slumbered into the twilight, it is a pastoral moment forever burned into my mind, my memory and my heart. No one has ever experienced greater joy....unless they are a grandparent too.
Welcome to the family and the human race, dear Ruby B., and remember always, Granny and I love you bunches and bunches,
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