Tonight I got to attend high school graduation of my niece and godchild, Miranda, and I couldn’t be prouder.
Although I love all my nieces and nephew dearly, Miranda has always held a special place in my heart. Maybe because she lived closer and I got to spend more time with her. Maybe because she played the flute and I felt a kinship with that, being a flutist myself. Maybe it was because she had a confidence and determination that I always admired, and wished I had had at her age.
And maybe it was because she had such a wise soul at such a young age and helped me through the death of “Uncle Ray”.
Ray favored his beautiful Miranda and made no bones about it. “She’s the only one in the family who looks like me,” he would say. With their curly dark hair and big brown eyes, you could see how he connected with her. Here is one of my absolute favorite pictures of the two of them together. This was at Ray’s 40th birthday party, when he was still happy and healthy. He was so excited that she let him hold her that day, and that he actually got her to smile. For the next few years, they adored each other.
When Miranda got to the walking and talking stage, Uncle Ray would pull on her socks and give her “clown feet”. It was their secret joke and they laughed about it often. After he passed away, Miranda was a great comfort to me, and would often stay with me overnight. One morning she awoke to declare that she had a dream about Uncle Ray ~ and he was in heaven making rainbows. No doubt about that.
Miranda, Uncle Ray would be so proud of the amazing woman you have become and he would wish so many things for you as you move on to your next adventure. While you were too young to remember the lessons he taught us every day, let me remind you of a few:
Treasure family and friends.
Love with all your heart.
Do things with great passion.
Let music fill your life.
Live your life with joy.
I am so proud of you, and I know you will be successful in all that you do. I can’t remember the last time I saw you so happy, and it made my heart sing! Remember that feeling as you go forward.