Fast-forward through first steps, sibling rivalry, the pre-teen drama of rotating best friends and first crushes and on to the stress of high school. Through it all, this girl grows up and through the moments of brattiness, the tears of hormones and into a shockingly beautiful -- and, not-so-surprisingly, a smart, caring and compassionate -- young woman. She dates, and breaks up and dates some more. She tries college, and finds far more success in the working world. She meets The One. The Keeper. We all fall in love with him, and with the sight of her falling in love and growing in love with this deep, funny and thoughtful man.
When he presents her with an engagement ring on her birthday we are thrilled, but hardly surprised.
May 3, 2015: I am at her wedding shower with my partner. It's a tea party, with antique cups and saucers, cucumber sandwiches, breezy summer clothes and most of us wearing hats and gloves. My sister's living room is crammed with family and friends and the buzz of animated conversation. I recognize a few of my niece's friends from her school days, all equally grown up and living their fascinating lives.
At one point during the gathering, Simi is sitting on the floor next to a couple of her friends.
As she turns her eyes upward to talk with a friend sitting in a chair, I catch her face. Her eyes are radiant, full of sparkles and excitement and the joy of being young and in love, not only with someone but with life. And in witnessing that small, sweet moment of grace, my breath is taken away and I feel so blessed.