I'm a day late with this one. The computer was acting up. I overslept. The dog ate my homework. I had to fold laundry. I had to foil an ISIS attack. My time was taken up curing cancer. Whatever excuse works. None of which detracts from the fact that Ceili is now 21! A legal adult! What happened to the time?
Catherine Delaney Dowd was born at Georgetown University Hospital in the early hours of the morning. Our first grandchild and as cute as can be. She was serene that day, just taking it all in -- this wonderful world that she had just entered. She was happy to be here, happy just to be -- just as we were to have her.
I thought it would be great to shorten her middle name and call her Laney (Elaine, a favorite cousin of mine had recently died) but her parents outvoted me. They combined her first two names and called her Caylee. Over the years, the spelling has changed to Kaylee and probably a dozen other variations until it became Ceili, a name for an Irish dance but pronounced the same. That's the spelling I'm sticking with. Today, she more often than not goes by Catherine, but I'm old and I'm her grandfather so she has to put up with whatever I call her.
She lost her father to a heart attack when she was nine and he was thirty-one, so things have not always been easy for her. Nonetheless she came out on the other as a child and person we are p[roud of.
Ceili was a beautiful child and remains a beautiful woman. Our smiling, giggling, wiggling little girl has grown up to become a brave and outspoken defender of human rights. Discrimination against minorities, women, the LGBT community, or other marginalized peoples offends her and she lets her opinion be known. (Let's not mention Trump.) Her parents did something right there, aided by both sets of grandparents and her extended circle of loved ones.
Ceili lets me hug her and does not get too upset because I never learned to un-hug.
Ceili is also a fangirl. She is a walking encyclopedia on Tolkien, Game of Thrones, anime, movies, and television.
She fixes our computer and programs our television -- all without remarking on what Luddites her grandparents are.
She has brightened out days. She has given us smiles and love. She makes our world a better place.
Now she is fully and legally an adult. I can tell because several of her friends across the country sent her bottles of wine yesterday.
And it will keep getting better from here.
We love you.