Seven years ago Wednesday, the 12th day of August, a little girl announced her presence in the world that has enriched the life of her family immeasurably. I am so proud to be her grandfather! She is ball of energy and wonder and love. Filled with the zest and eagerness for learning, she is her father's girl through and through! She reminds me so much of Josh when he was growing up.
There is a sweetness about this little girl that reflects her outlook on life that is even apparent at the tender age of seven. She has a way about her that wins you over from the first. Her eyes exude the love that only a child holds dear in their heart before the cynicism of the world can have the chance to take hold. There are the giggles of little jokes told almost aside. There is that certain look that she gets that is her father all over again that sends chills up my spine whenever she flashes it. But mostly, what you see in Aliyah is the love she has for her family. Her world revolves around her dad and mom and she loves her little sister Keirah with all her heart.
Always curious, Aliyah is ready with the most unexpected questions. And they are questions you would not expect from a young child. She is thoughtful. When she is mulling something over, you can see her busy mind turning it over again and again in an attempt to discover the key to unlock the door to the mystery she may be contemplating.
Her energy is boundless. From jumping as high as she can to running and swimming and chasing her way through the long, sun-drenched days of summer, she lives life to the fullest. Those days spent in the summer pursuing the things that children should pursue will go with her throughout life forever and have a profound impact on her family in years to come.
In addition, through the careful nurturing of both mom and dad, Aliyah has learned much about God and, in the process, loves him deeply. She has a real enthusiasm for participation in her church and it is my hope that this lasts a lifetime for this zeal will sustain her during those inevitable dark days that all of us experience from time to time. She is truly a child of God!
Finally, when you look at Aliyah, you see mom and dad and little sis. They are truly inseparable. In a world where we all go our own way even from the earliest of ages, this is truly refreshing to behold. Children are nurtured and develop character within the family. There is no rush to set out to conquer the world for the world is actually unconquerable! Because she basks in the bosom of her family, her chances of dealing successfully with all that life will one day fling at her, is greatly increased. She could not have better parents and a sweet younger sister.
So, Aliyah, on your special day, I wish you all the happiness that a very special little girl deserves. I know that we don't see each other often enough because of the distance that separates us, but please know that you are very close to your grandfather's heart and he thinks of you often. You are loved by us and you are truly God's gift to all who know you. We look forward to seeing you this weekend and to enjoy and, perhaps, catch a bit of the enthusiasm you have for life!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALIYAH!!!!