As we have hit a milestone...10 years, a decade, I spent some time thinking about what lessons and thoughts I wanted to share with Emmah. She may not appreciate all of these yet, but she will and learn to understand them too.
1. You won’t be liked by everyone and that’s all right. However, I strongly encourage you to BE YOURSELF even if others don’t recognize how special you are. I'm sure this will take awhile to settle in, it did for me, but in the end you're a wonderful person and if someone doesn't see that...they are missing out! "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends." (Dumbledore-Harry Potter) Don't be afraid to fight for what you believe in. As I heard many times from Memah..."Kill them with kindness, and don't stup to their level and be the better person. None of which will be easy.
2. Always ask questions...no question is a dumb question, unless it goes unasked. There will always be something to question and an answer to look for...get out there and ask!
3. Keep smiling. It’s a cure for common sadness and can truely "make" someones day. Laughter is the best medicine and even in tough times a smile can warm the heart.
4. Dream BIG!! Believe that no matter what it is you want to do you can do it and we are always behind you, cheering you on along the way. It may seem impossible some days, but the more you push and perservere the closer that goal will become to reality.
5. Don’t do favors or charity with the expectation of getting something in return, or having the favors returned to you. Do them because it makes you smile and warms your heart. Compassion for others is gift to share...share it!
6. You’ll have your heart broken at some point, and you’ll inevitably break someone else’s. Pick up the pieces, hold your head high and look for love again. Sometimes...when you're not really looking at all you'll find it right in front of you. Let yourself love and be loved. Eventually, you'll find that one true love and when you do, your heart really will skip a beat, and and feel whole in their presence. Love isn't easy, but worth the work!
7. Always write thank you's...take the time to write a short note to the person to let them know you appreciated their thoughtfulness. As your Memah always said "If you're not thankful you don't receive."
8. Dad and I will embarrass you in front of your friends. This is inescapable, and at some point in your life you’ll appreciate the fact that we were weird,. Until then, please try to exercise some patience. Every crazy, wacky, and weird thing we do or say is, only because we love you. And that will NEVER change!! All the crazy years that are to come...the fights, the yelling its all bound to happen, but we'll always be here and LOVE you no matter what! We will tell you "We love you" (and won't tire of hearing you say it!) and will love you everyday, even if some days you don't think we do. You hold a special place in our hearts and that can NEVER be replaced!
9. Keep your family close, and surround yourself with wonderful friends. Family is there no matter what...when you make the wrong choices, the right choices and every step in-between. When you find the right friends they will become like family and fill the gaps, join you in laughter, cheers, and sometimes tears. They will you always believe in you and be there through thick and thin.
10. You are beautiful inside and out. You won’t always feel that way when your stand in front of a mirror, or with your friends. I know this struggle all to well, and kids and the world can be tough and sometimes down right MEAN. Striving to be perfect will only cause you more frustration, be content in who you are and always believe that's enough because to the right people it is.
Emmah Ruth Bloemers...you are an AMAZING miracle that has been brought into our lives. You bring us joy, laugher, smiles, frustration, and happiness. You will never fully understand how much we LOVE you until, hopefully someday you are blessed with a child of your own. Until then know that we are always here and love you til the end. Watch out world she is just getting started and she is going to be SPECTACULAR!