Anyone who has read this blog knows that I am extraordinarily proud of my children and grandchildren. They are, one and all, amazing people. One of them -- the amazing Ceili, our eldest granddaughter -- turns 24 today.
Born Catherine, with the middle name Delaney, she was called Caylee from the start. Over the years the spelling of Caylee changed often. Some days she was Kaylee, others she was Cayley, or Kayley, and for a long time she was Ceili -- an Irish word for Dance. Lately. she has been Della, or Del. To me she is Ceili -- I'm old and stubborn and am not going to change, so she just has to live with it.
Life has not always been easy for her; she watched her father die when she was nine. It was a traumatic experience that took a while to overcome. yet somehow she managed to. As she enters her twenty-fifth year, she still melts my heart. She smart, funny, compassionate, brave, and feisty. She sticks up for the little guy. Pity the person who tries to bully someone in her presence. Ceili has eyes that sparkle and a smile that shines through any darkness. She is beautiful in every way.
I realize that she is an adult now, but I can't help to think back when she was much younger and full of giggles. After she was born and was brought from the delivery room, tightly swaddled, she was amazingly serene. She gave off an aura of just being happy to be here, happy just to be. At three she would giggle as she rode on my shoulders while we took the trash out. (I doubt she'd be willing to ride on my shoulders today. **sigh**) She fell in love with Elmo, the bright red puppet from Sesame Street and would be excited whenever we went to the "Melmo store" (K-Mart, for those not in the know; it sold Sesame Street merchandise). She's put on an apron and a chef's hat and "help" her daddy cook with a seriousness and intent that was astounding.
[As an aside: each grandkid was influenced by children's television. For Ceili, it was Elmo; Amy had Teletubbies; Mark, Bob the Builder; Erin, Wonder Pets; and Jack cannot get enough of Legends of Tomorrow. I can't complain. I had Hopalong Cassidy; Kitty had Yancy Derringer.]
There are so many things about Ceili to admire. One thing that stands out for me is her compassion. We tried to each both our girls and all the grandchildren that the most important thing in the world is to have a kind heart. Ceili has that in spades. Her grace and her love is no match for any darkness. Just being with her can lighten my mood.
We are proud of her and love her and we look forward to see how amazing she'll be on her next birthday, one year from now.