Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Daughter I never had.....

The year was 1982 and I was 20 years old and my sister Carmen was 30. We were sitting at the pizza shop having a slice with extra cheese when she tells me that she is pregnant (and unwed) and she was wanting advice from me (yeah right) on how to break the news to our very Catholic, strict and at times puritan mother. I am not sure that I was able to provide much insight or good advice while choking on my extra cheese pizza but my mother did handle it well. Hence the birth of my beautiful niece Veronica, there should be
not misunderstanding for any family that may read this, that all our nephews and nieces are very loved and beautiful, but Veronica practically lived with us from the time of her unexpected yet delightful birth.

My sister being a single parent and let's just say inexperience in any form of res
ponsibility required much help. I being the "all about me" 20 year old thought its her baby, she'll handle it. Problem occurred when my sister came home from the hospital and with her she brought this little pink doll of a child with black curls that made you think of the softest black fur. This baby, so small, and smelling like warm honey on a summer day stole my heart forever. I fell in love and there was no turning back.

My mother became Veronica's permanent baby sister/grandma. I became her watcher, protector and teacher of sorts. Veronica grew and amazed us with her every accomplishment. We were her captive and loving audience. When my sister worked on the weekends I would take over for my mom. She brought joy in ways that I cannot explain but in the way that only small children do with their joy, laughter, and simple curiosity and innocence.

In 1987, I got married and moved to Long Island, Veronica would spend summers and most school breaks with me. The move was very difficult for the two of us. At one point I selfishly asked my sister if I could keep her during the week (so that I was ensured that she would go to a good school) and I would take her back on the weekends. My sister was terribly insulted with this and in retrospect I understand. I worried constantly about my niece and wanted to provide her with the things that my sister could not. My sister understood that it was all out of love and allowed me t
o do so. I took my niece to her first symphony, her first play and first night club. She had her first glass of wine with me and came to me with her many questions about love.

Veronica is 24 now and has had many challenges in her life but she is enormously loved, she's in College (for Speech Pathology), and she's in love. She is a sensible, smart, kind, beautiful girl with a laugh that
makes you want to embrace her for making you smile. A year ago Veronica started dating Nick, a lovely and sweet young man. Similar to a mother, I miss my girl for she visits a lot less, and calls less. I know she is so busy with School, friends and Nick and it warms my heart with joy to know that she is happy and her life is full of wonderful happenings.

On Memorial Day Veronica calls me to tell me that Nick proposed while she was visiting him in North Carolina (he's joined the Army - and how I worry). She said "yes" of course. She was afraid to call me with the news for fear of disappointing me. How could this child disappoint me when all she has done is brighten my life. I did beg her to finish school first and she agreed whole heartedly. I gave her my blessings.

In 1983 I would receive a gift that I opened one day later in life, when I realized I would not be having any more children after my loving son. I realized that my niece would always be the daughter I never had. God has a way of providing us with what we need even when we don't know it.

8 comments:

Big Dave T said...

You're very lucky. Kinda sad for me to read, though, because my wife and I had two sons, no daughters. Our second son (the one in Russia now) was a bit of a difficult child. It took the wind out of our sails so far as our desire to try one more time for a girl.

In fact, of my parents' seven grandchildren, all are boys. Their first great-grandchild? A girl. Maybe we'll be blessed with a girl for our first grandchild, assuming we get one someday. Still a long ways off.

simply me said...

Dave, you know I guess we get what we're suppose to. I only had Jon and he's fourteen, I realize one day he too will go off and be on his own. My husband Allen has two daughters who live in Texas (long way off) and one of them is having her second daughter. I am hoping to one day get to spend some time with them. Life is like that huh,...Maybe thats why I ended up working in an elementary school...in that case I have many kids.

Matty said...

A wonderful tribute to a beautiful girl! I wanted and had 2 sons...and many years later I regretted not having a daughter...and lo and behold....I had a granddaughter, that I've had since birth....so its true what they say...watch what you wish for....!
My granddaughter (9) is more like a daughter than a grandchild...because I've raised her since she was a baby. For that I am thankful and grateful.
God does answer our prayers.

simply me said...

Thank you Matty - You are such a giving person. How many children live with you?? it sounds like your loving hands are full.

Lisa said...

Maria,

How on earth did I miss this post?!? Veronica is just stunning. Honestly, what a beautiful girl--she has the whole package--looks, brains, and personality. I know how much you adore her and how much of a blessing she's been in your life. Please send her my congratulations and my love.

xo

simply me said...

Hey Li - Thanks. I forgot to tell you. I think that I am still in a little shock. Honestly, my gut feeling is that she's still so young and in a perfect world she would have been done with school and at least working for 2 years but I need to surrender....ahhh

Boatwoman said...

Awwwww how wonderful, and you are rightly very proud of such a beautiful young woman.
Everything in life happens for a resaon, I truly beleave that, and it is fantastic that you have been given so much joy by such a lovely girl.
Thank you for sharing a piece of your life with us. Hugsss Jo

Betty said...

Wow, it sounds to me as if Veronica IS a daughter to you. How wonderful. You are both blessed to have each other.

Thank you for the uplifting post!

Hugs,
Betty