When I look at you I have so many hopes and dreams for your life. I pray for you to stay little forever and simultaneously dream of what you will be like as a woman. I know that ours will be a bond that can never be broken and I pray that God will bless us with many years as mother and daughter. One day I will be gone. I want to make sure that when that day comes you never question my feelings and beliefs. I want for you to know where you came from...the stories, the traditions, the history. This is my gift to you.
She was voted "most talkative" in her senior class and never missed a day of work in 30 years. She would sit with me for hours as I struggled through my homework. She was honest and devoted. She was beautiful, yet frugal. She was creative and interesting. She was everything beautiful, kind, and honest. She was my grandmother, my ma-ma.
Her name was Varena Ernestine Gambrell Cooley. You were named after her mother, Lillian. She always told me not to name my children after her, "Don't do that to a child," she would say. She loved her mother, Lillian, so I decided to honor her by naming you after her mother. She was as unique as her name.
You will grow up surrounded by pictures of her as a young woman. These pictures are among some of my most prized possessions. She had green eyes and black hair--a beautiful combination. You have her eyes. The way that she dressed in these old pictures is classic and stylish. She told me that many of her clothes were handmade.
I will share many more stories of her with you. I hope that I can be to you what she was to me. What she will always be to me--my inspiration.