My Darling Niece.

21 years ago. I can remember every detail. I was 14. My Aunt Lois had picked me up from school earlier that day because the doctor had decided to induce her mother early....5 weeks early. I was going to be there for the birth of my niece! I was so excited. I had waited months for this! I was going to hold her, feed her, teach her to walk, talk, and be mean. She was going to be my little buddy. I was raised having some fantastic aunts, and I wanted to be that for her. I couldn't wait. Hours went by. So....many....hours. They finally decided, after A LONG time, to go ahead and take the baby. This was it! GO TIME! I was sad because I wanted to be there in the room when she was born, but with a c-section we had to wait. That was the longest wait ever. Then finally, after 23 1/2 hours of labor, my brother and nurse step out from the elevator.The nurse was carrying this little bundled up blog because my brother (It won't let me tag you bub!) had on cowboy boots and was concerned he may slip with her. Oh the look of pure joy on his face and he proudly handed her over to my mom. She was just so little. This teeny tiny human with glistening blue eyes. I was the 3rd person in the family to hold her. I had spend months feeling her kick, listening to her heart beat, seeing her on ultrasound and now....finally, I was holding the first person to ever steal my heart. She still has it. I was blessed to be given such a huge part in her life, and for that I am forever grateful. She is more than a niece. She's like a daughter, the daughter I never had. She was my little buddy. I took her shopping, out to play, to fairs and to school. I sat up all night when she was sick just making sure she was still breathing. I went to all of her school parties, and double checked her homework. I would sneak back to the parking lot nearly every day the first couple of months she was in Kindergarten to watch her play and make sure she was safe. She would wrap herself around my leg crying, wanting me to stay with her in school. I'd pry her little fingers away and walk to my car and sit there for a good 30 minutes crying, praying she was ok in there. I held her little hand the day before I graduated high school, and again the day she graduated herself. I suffered through every broken heart, and taught her how to "properly" dispose of ex boyfriend gifts. She's more than a niece. She's the daughter I never had, the little sister I always wanted, and a friend for life. 21 years has come and gone in blur. A blink of an eye.I don't know where the time has gone. Just yesterday you were holding my hands learning to walk. A couple hours ago you were wrapped around my legs in kindergarten. Now you are a fully grown adult, and my only hope and prayer is that you always put God first in all you do. Pray to Him for guidance, for direction, for wisdom. Do all things to glorify Him. I pray you always have something that brings you so much passion you are willing to stand up and fight for it, because with out that life is just boring. I pray you recognize your true friends, and hold them dear. Because a true friend, a friend who will grab you in a hug and ask no questions because they know you better than you know yourself....they are few and far between. I pray you learn from my mistakes, and don't make the same ones. And I pray that sometime, somewhere along the way, you know exactly what you mean to me. I loved you then, I love you now, and I'll love you forever and ever! "Winnie the....."