You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey...
You'll never know, dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away
I remember when Joey and Court told us they were pregnant for the first time and the excitement I felt to be an AUNT! I remember hoping that I would be a "good Aunt", that this baby would like me...Well, Bri came along and stole my heart. She set the stage (as she usually does!) for my role as "Aunt Dane Dane" and we were instant soulmates...and I have always told her that she's my "sunshine". I remember when I moved away to Charleston, SC for a year how much I missed her, a baby at the time---I had pictures of she and I framed in my room and I remember showing them to people all the time and telling them all about her. I was so proud of her! I remember when I moved home I'd get her to spend the night with me at my Mom's house and we'd jump on the beds and giggle, giggle, giggle...and it always ended with a sleepy-eyed Bri saying, "Tickle me, Dane Dane"... You see, I was the original "tickle princess". For my whole life I have asked everyone who knows me, at some point, to "tickle my arm"...and my sweet little sunshine inherited that from me...her mama has always said she could have been mine...and in my heart, I kinda love her like she is. :) There are so many other ways that she and I are so much alike...like how she loves silly little things, like I do...little creatures or funny little stories...and art, she's a true little artist! There have been so many times that I get a random phone call from Court telling me Briley just had to call her Aunt Dane Dane and tell her..."I WON AN ART CONTEST!!!" or "MY TOOTH'S COMING BACK IN!!!" or "I GOT NEW CHICKENS!!!"...and no one will ever know how much it warms my heart that she wanted to call me...she's just my sunshine. When I was pregnant with Jade, she made me promise I'd have her a girl and I remember worrying that if "it" was a girl (what can I say, a promise is a promise, people!)---how was I gonna really handle it with Briley? I'd never want her to feel "second" in my eyes! :) Well don't you worry---Bri made sure she was in every picture on the day of the birth, right on the bed with me through just about all of it (she even secretly stayed right outside the door through my labor so she could be the first to know boy or girl!!!)...and she was the happiest of all to have a girl! And oh if you could only understand how much Jade ADORES Briley, too! It is amazing to me that even at such a young age, she loves her so much, and her eyes light up at the very mention of "Bri Bri"...she stole her her, too, from the beginning...
So, needless to say, I'm really gonna miss Briley Elizabeth. She insisted that she have one last "spend the night" at my house last night where we rented movies and popped popcorn and all snuggled in on a pallet together...
...And as her little eyes got sleepy she stretched out her arm and said, "Will you tickle me, Dane Dane?" For one second I started to say, "Not now, Bri...I don't feel like tickling right now"...but in a second I realized this might be the last time, for a good while, that my sweet Bri asked me that question, one of my favorite requests...and so with big tears rolling down my cheeks (which she never even saw) I tickled that little lady's arm for the rest of the movie. Gladly. Thankfully. So thankful for the deep, deep love we share for each other.
It's funny how in life there are some people with whom age simply does not matter...for no matter how young they are or how old you get---you just kinda "get" each other. It's like that with she and I---she'd tell you that, too, if you asked her. So, even though my "sunshine" is going away for a little while, I know when she returns, it will be like it never changed. We've made promises to write lots send each other our "creations" by mail...and think of each other lots. I know God has big plans for Briley Beth and I am so excited for the ADVENTURE she's about to take! Africa will NEVER be the same, for sure, once this ray of sunshine hits the ground there!!!