I received a gift beyond measure today. The gift was so meaningful and so powerful it brought tears to my eyes.
I have loved and adored my niece for more than 13 years. I am so proud of the intelligent, caring, beautiful young woman she is becoming. My sister is one heck of a mom to raise this girl on her own.
I was only 13 years old when she was born, and I didn’t know the first thing about being an aunt. I loved dressing her like a mini me and playing with her. As I grew into the person I am today, and my nieces life changed, our relationship evolved.
I am proud to say that she is one of my closest friends. I’m honest with her even when the questions are tough. I tell her what is right, not what is easy. I don’t always tell her what she wants to hear, but she knows I mean well. And she knows that she can tell me anything. And as long as it isn’t anything dangerous or harmful, I keep her secrets.
I’m so grateful that HOS understands our bond. I told him once that if – God forbid – anything were to happen to my sister, I would fight tooth and nail to keep my niece with me. I would never lose her. He would fight for her by my side.
My goal, especially since becoming an adult, is to be a role model for my niece. I want to be someone she can turn to. Someone she can look up to. And someone she can be proud of.
Most people spend their whole lives never knowing the impact they have on another person. We never really know what sinks in or what matters. … But today, I learned that I am exactly who I wanted to be for my niece.
I received the greatest gift today in the form of a PowerPoint. My niece’s teacher sent it to my sister who shared it with me. The presentation was all about my niece – who she is, what she likes, what she wants to do when she grows up…
And on one of the last slides she wrote this:
“My Aunt taught me that if I’m not happy with something in my life that is in my control then change it – therefore I’m never unhappy with anything that is in my control.”
When I read that, I knew my mom would be proud of who I am. And I cried happy tears.