Tuesday, July 24, 2012

For Natasha.

Natasha Louise Richards Willmore. 29 years old. And better than ever.

To start, I want to thank you for allowing me an opportunity to go through all these old pictures. There are many gems hidden in the past. I preface this my saying that it is not my intention to make you sad or bring up sore subjects. Rather, I would like to celebrate them. So, here goes. 

press play.


ParabĂ©ns a vocĂȘ,
Nesta data querida.
Muitas felicidades,
Muitos anos de vida!

I know this song is a tradition for us. I contemplated singing it to you on the phone but, luckily, I rethought that plan. Besides, this guy sings a whole lot better than I do. 



There's 29 hugs and kisses from, yours truly. 

I wish I could spend your birthday with you but since I can't be there, here's a little present for you until you can get your real one.

Natasha, 29 years have come and gone. With many ups and downs along the way. You have done so many splendid things. I know sometimes you refuse to believe it but I am determined to prove it to you. So, here's a rough draft on your life story. 

Keep in mind that for a good portion of your life I was either:
A: not alive, or
B: too young to remember

Natasha Louise Richards Willmore

On July 24th, 1983, a beautiful ginger baby entered this world (I have hard copies of your baby photo's that we'll have to look through sometime). That baby had no idea how many lives she would impact.

She grew into a lanky, freckled adolescent with enormous glasses and fluffy red hair.
(This is based off a picture I found)

Puberty smiled kindly on this girl and she grew into her lanky limbs and tamed her wild hair.
She was beautiful. 

In high school, she excelled in sports and dancing. Man, could she dance. This woman possessed such grace, it would leave you breathless. 

Natasha had a family. Parents and three younger siblings. 
Heather, Caleb, and Danielle.

The four would be inseparable.
In time.
(That's foreshadowing)

Her Mom & Dad divorced, and she grew.

She married James Willmore and after a time, they had a son. 

Chance Arliss Willmore

He was beautiful, just like his parents. He had a gorgeous pair of baby blue eyes that captured the hearts of all he knew. This boy grew and discovered his talent for drums and karaoke. He bewitched us all with his pure heart and innocent laughter. 

In truth, he was a miracle. Natasha should have never been able to have a child, but she did.

She beat every odd.

In my opinion, Chance is her greatest accomplishment. 






Side note: I want to thank you for this little boy. He has helped me discover extra compartments of love within my heart that I didn't even know I had. He has brought me unimaginable joy. Don't be sad. Even though you aren't with him now, I know you will have memories with your son again. 

Then came the days when she got to add these lovely people to her family.

And after awhile...they grew up.

And we learned that they fit in way too well with the original four amigos.


(Remember these moments?)

Natasha proved her strength, yet again, when she had open heart surgery in her early twenties.

You did so good, baby.
When we told you we loved you, you would use your hand to sign back to us that you loved us too.

Life went on. And our family was separated by states and circumstance.
Natasha divorced. 

At one point, she became involved with a man who tried to take her life. After jaw surgery, she amazed us, yet again, with her strength. She pushed though, persevered, and didn't allow her situation to overtake her. She fell down and picked herself back up again.
 Even though she and her family were separated, they remained close. And the times that they did have together were legendary.

To be continued...

Out of the three girls, you always did have the best butt. And the best hair.

These 29 years have been wonderful. Don't be ashamed of the trials and dark parts, it has all been apart of the journey. I have watched you fall and pick yourself back up. You are truly remarkable. I have loved watching you grow and blossom in response to your hardships. You can do HARD things and you're stronger than you know. I know the mountain may seem insurmountable. Just remember to keep your chin up. Tomorrow is another day and you have already accomplished so much! Know that I will always love you and nothing will ever change that. You have the greatest support from your family and from the Lord, Jesus Christ. Trust in him.

The memories we have are priceless and I look forward to the coming years and continuing to watch you grow. Thank you for always being there with advice on boys, tips for laundry, doing my hair, and, most of all, listening. You had a huge part in raising me and I know it came at great personal sacrifice. I will always be grateful for that. 

Happy Birthday, my gorgeous sister!
Today is YOUR day. A celebration of your life, so far. Though it hasn't been perfect, it has molded you into the person you are. Never forget that.

I know you.

You are an original. A truly remarkable woman. 

You're my best friend and I will love you, eternally.
Happy Birthday, love.