My Dearest Daughter,
Today is your eighteenth birthday and I have to say my emotions are even more tumultuous than they normally are this day every year. I think about you every day, but your birthday always makes me think more about the things you have probably experienced throughout the last year.
Your childhood is over and you have become an adult. I imagine you either graduated high school last year or will this year and are ready to start college. The world is opening up for you and I trust your parents have prepared you to make your own way in this world.
I wonder what your plans for the future are. Do your career interests lie in the artistic or academic worlds? Do you have a definite plan for your next steps or are you trying to figure them out as you go along? Are you going away for college or staying at home with your parents and attending a local university?
My sister gave birth to your first cousin on my side of the family last year. She had a little girl. Every time I look at her, I think of you even more. I wonder if you looked like your cousin when you were a baby, if you had similar expressions, if you were as happy as she is. More than anything I hope you were happy.
One day, I hope you and your cousin have the chance to meet. I hope I get the chance to meet you and your parents. I owe them so much for the life and the love they have given you and will provide in your future. But whether or not those things every happen, I wish you and your parents joy and success. Be well.
Happy Birthday. I love you.
(Letters from previous years can be found here: http://blog.jenaray.com/?cat=24)