My Stefanie is twenty-seven tomorrow.
She and I live far apart. We have pretty much since she was fourteen, except for the year she was eighteen. I miss her every day.
I wish we could see each other every day. I miss her coming home from KU on the weekends. She would take her Harry Potter book and go down to the basement bathroom for a while. When she came up, she and her friends would raid the fridge while she did laundry. She would shop in my pantry. I was so happy to have her home.
But she chooses to live in Chicago. The city is in her blood. She has a nice apartment that she shares with her boyfriend and two dogs. She enjoys her work and she has lots of friends. She has the support of our Chicago family. That’s her home.
I remember when it was just the two of us. We lived in a buggy garden apartment that flooded occasionally. I would drop her off at the orphanage for day care. One the weekends, we’d go to the bookstore and bounce the occasional small check. We had two cats and lots of fish. We would go to the park a lot.
When Bill came to us, he turned both our lives around. He introduced Stefanie to junk food and she grew like a weed. She called him Daddy. Our family grew. She acquired a sister and two brothers. And now a nephew.
Someday she’ll have her own house, her own family. But she’ll still be my girl. She’ll always be my girl.
I love you, Stefanie. Happy birthday, honey.