Beautiful Mary Kate...cherish your body. Look at it and know beauty, health and strength. When you look in the mirror, be grateful for your vision...notice the sun-kissed freckles of so many happy outdoor memories. When you hear someone call your name, feel the strength of the multitude of amazing women named Mary that are part of your family; hold within you the grace of Mary, the mother of all saints, and smile at that little bit extra we added to it: Katherine. Your name holds faith and family and fun all within it. It's the first gift we gave to you. We cloaked you in those three important threads of life hoping they would take root in your heart and be a guide.
Being a woman is a gift. You are blessed by your feminine side...a sensitivity to the outsider, to the isolated, to the lonely. You are a nurturer. You have a softness and a tenderness but it is shielded by an outward strength. Be aware and generous in letting others know that soft and tender core.
One of your greatest attributes is your ability to "go for it". You put on the tap shoes, pick up the lacrosse stick, belt out a song at an audition, bake an apple crustata and seize the day. I cannot tell you how much that humbles me...over and over again. You do not hold back when you think there is an opportunity or something that intrigues you. Transfer that uuumph to people too. There are so many fantastic people that will cross your path and influence you if only you let them. Give them a chance.
Give second chances. Forgive people's mistakes or oversights. Forgive your own. We all blow it...almost every day. That's my favorite part about going to sleep -- the gift of a new day. We get to start over. Every, single day. Cherish the fresh start, the blank page and the new chapter.
Enjoy today. Don't live for the future and don't steep in past mistakes. All you have is today. All that matters is now. Whoever crosses your path today is who matters. Stop and notice. Don't bank on seeing the person tomorrow. We never know. That is both the blessing and the curse of life. Enjoy today.
And now here is my final pearl on your very long necklace of advice I have beaded for you: attitude is everything. You cannot change the circumstance. You cannot change the hardship and trust me, you will have hardship. Adversity will knock on your door and you will have no choice -- you must answer it. How you greet that moment will define the path you take. One of my favorite quotes is this: "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." Will you suffer? Will you sink? Will you succumb to the heartbreak? You don't have to. The choice is entirely up to you. You decide the direction. Do you choose hope? Love? Kindness? All of those opportunities are present in any moment of difficulty. Notice the blessings. Create your reality -- attitude is everything.
I know, I know...you've had enough. But, I never have! I could talk to you forever...and who knows, maybe with my blog I will. :) I love you...