This is an important day in history. No, I don't mean the significant events that took place in Washington fifty years ago -- not that that wasn't important. It was. But seventeen years ago today something happened that changed my life for the better: the emergence of Catherine Delaney Dowd upon the world.
While my daughter Jessie and her husband Mike and Kitty were upstairs at Georgetown University Hospital keeping the OB staff busy, I was downstairs taking care of some clerical information the hospital wanted. I wasn't gone more than five minutes (I swear) and when I went back upstairs, there was waiting this tiny, little bundle of beauty, all calm and serene and tightly swathed. That was my first look at my first grandchild and it was amazing.
Ceili had an aura about her. She seemed to be taking in everything about this new world she was thrust into. She seemed...pleased. No fussing. No crying. (Unlike her mother when she was a newborn.) She was just happy to be here, to be healthy and alive. She was just happy to be. I fell in love.
For the next seventeen years she has made me proud and joyful. My world (and yours, believe me) has been made better by her presence in it. She has gone from the laughing infant who loved to be twirled around as we danced to a beautiful, intelligent, witty, and talented young lady who now sometimes goes by the name "Crashrine" -- a tribute to her first driving lesson.
I no longer get to see her or her sister or her mother on a daily basis because they now live 499 miles (exact -- by my car odometer) away, but I think about her every day. My birthday wish for this sweet girl is for her happiness, today and all the days to come.
I love you, Ceili.
(And would it hurt to call once in a while?)