By Ariane Cunningham
My Dear Kayla,
The day you were born was and will remain the happiest day of my life. The Doctor laid you in my arms, and I didn’t want to let you go. Your dad and I rejoiced and shed many tears over the wonderful gift that God had given to us. A beautiful, gorgeous baby with a full head of black hair, ten fingers, ten toes and a healthy weight of eight pounds and 11 ounces. Raising you from a beautiful baby to the beautiful young woman you have become has been the absolute joy of my life. You are my gift from God. You are my sunshine when skies are grey. Your radiant spirit touches me everyday, as it touches everyone with whom you encounter.
You are an amazing source of encouragement. As much as I would try to shield my not-so-good days from you while you were growing up, you would make pictures for me to make me smile, surprise me with hand-crafted cards to tell me how much you loved me, and even wrote me a letter including 40 things you loved about me, your mom. I could not ask for a more caring, empathetic, sweet soul in my life, who just happens to be my only child, my beautiful Kayla.
As I had you at a young age, I feel that in a lot of ways we have grown up together. It has often-times been you and me against the world. Every day has not been sunshine and roses, but such is life. When I am not being the mom who sets and enforces the rules, nicely of course, I feel you are my best friend. You are always encouraging, always uplifting, always hoping and praying for the best, and always blessing me with your amazing smile and amazing presence of light.
I have watched you grow up to be a beautiful, accomplished, determined, ambitious, driven, empathetic, humble young woman. I cannot be more proud of you. My love and belief in you runs deeper than the deepest sea. You are my angel on Earth, my gift from Heaven.
As you embark on your journey to University in Georgia, know that God is with you every step of the way. You will continue to excel academically, continue to build amazing relationships, and continue being my beautiful Kayla, and Kayla is enough. You are enough. You are worthy of and deserve greatness, kindness, respect, love, and loyalty. You are always worthy of God’s everlasting grace, which will never leave you.
I will leave you with this, as this is our favorite song since you were a beautiful little baby, a song I will continue to sing to you as long as you will allow me to do so.
🎼You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are grey; you will never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away 🎼
I love you, my sweet wonderful Kayla, always ever and forever.