Almost from birth it was obvious that you were going to be a happy child. When you were born you didn’t cry like most babies do. You were born sucking your thumb with eyes wide open and looking around, almost as if you were letting us know that you were already making plans for your life.

As soon as you were able, you would laugh at anything and everything. The twinkle in your eyes became even brighter as you laughed. With the exception of having colic for 3 months, you were a happy baby and you made everyone around you happy. This trait continued as you got older. You always wanted to be sure that everyone around you was happy and having a good time, neglecting yourself at times.

You had an infectious laughter. You would laugh and laugh so hard that we would sometimes wonder if you were going to stop long enough to take a breath. Then there was the silent laughter. Your body would be shaking, you would have a big smile on your face but not a sound would be coming out of your mouth. At times you would all of a sudden explode into a laughter, making high pitched sounds and when you would finally stop, you would comment on how much your stomach and cheeks were hurting from laughing so hard.

It came as no surprise to us when you said you wanted a personalized tag for your car. We expected it to be something pertaining to Clemson but we should have known better. You wanted it to reflect the joy that you had in your heart and you wanted others to know, so you decided on LOV2LAF. How appropriate that was! You stressed over how to spell it with a 7 character limit so you came up with 3 choices and to your delight, you were granted your first choice. You couldn’t wait to put it on your car. You commented on the many smiles that you would get from people when they read your tag. Your tag was doing exactly what you wanted it to do. I believe that when people saw your tag it would cause them to laugh at least for a short while.

As I am alone at the beach on what was supposed to be our mother-daughter week before the rest of the family came, I have had much time to reflect on the past 37 years that we were able to spend with you. There are so many precious memories that have come to my mind. So many things at the beach that remind me of you. Were the past 37 years perfect? No, because we are human and humans are not perfect. There were bumps in the road along the way but they were only bumps. Would I change the past 37 years? As a mom, of course I always wanted you and your brother to be happy and always have what you needed. One thing that you and your brother always had above anything else was an abundance of love. You were a precious gift and we loved you before we even knew you.

There are so many things that I had hoped to be able to do with you. The joy on your face when you and I went shopping for your wedding dress and you found “the dress” is a look that I will never forget. You were a beautiful bride. You were simply glowing on your wedding day because you were marrying the love of your life. I looked forward to shopping with you whenever you became pregnant. You wanted to start your family soon and I couldn’t wait for the day when you and Doug would tell us that we were going to be grandparents again. Oh the plans and dreams that I had for you and me.

Those plans and dreams weren’t meant to be though. I miss you with every ounce of my being. It is hard to see through my tears right now as I am writing this. If I could see you but for a moment, how wonderful that would be. I miss holding your hand, giving you hugs, seeing your beautiful, smiling face and, I miss your laughter.

I love you and miss you so much.