Design by PS

letter to my niece

dear ella,

let me begin by introducing myself. i am your aunt (from your mothers side) and i am your godmother. of your seven months i have spent 3 weeks with you. most of that time you were asleep. youíve heard my voice on the telephone but you donít know itís me. i am sorry i missed your birth, your first gargle, your first roll, your first growl, your first solid foods, your first swimming lessons, your first christmas and your first easter. i will be sorry for missing your first birthday, your first steps, your first words, for not taking you to the park, for not teaching you numbers, colours and the alphabet. i am sorry that i wonít be able to colour with you, and for not being able to read to you. i am sorry that you will know your neighbours better than you will know me.

your grandparents are great, they send me weekly pictures of you, and they have sent me video of you. each time i receive the pictures i marvel at much bigger you are and at your obvious development. i hope that your grandparents and your parents talk about me to you, although it saddens me that when i finally return home that i will be a stranger to you. i often think about how much i will have missed of your life, but then i think how much i will experience with you when i do return home.

i long for the days that you and i go for long walks with your puppy and when we make our familyís cards and presents for special days and just because days. i look forward to hearing about your first day at kinder and about your first day at school. i look forward to helping you with your homework and for times when we are both being so silly that we fall into a heap giggling.

i often dream of smothering you with kisses and hugs. i have conversations with you about your mum and your grandparents, telling you of their lives in the hope that their actions make sense.

your mum is an extraordinary woman. sheís beautiful, funny, intelligent, highly organised, loyal, creative and loved by everyone. when we were younger she could go into a room full of strangers and leave having made friends with all of them. she loves you very much.

your dad is the brother i never had. loyal, funny, very handy, generous, caring, handsome and also loved by everyone. i like your dad very very much. i speak with him just as often as i do your mum, my sister. i know that he would never do anything to hurt you, but i also know that sometimes he will appear to be hard and strict with you, but that is because he loves you and wants what is best for you.

you have the best parents.

you also have the best grandparents. your baba mila is the most gorgeous woman on this planet. she would give her life for you without a second thought. your dida josip just melts whenever he talks about you. you have mellowed him a lot. they both love spending time with you, and canít get enough of you.

as for me, there is nothing too special about me, but the best thing that happened to me is you. what will make the next two years bearable for me is knowing that i will come home to you. i hope that i will be able to live up to my own expectations where you are concerned. i want you to be able to come to me when you think you have no one to turn to. i want to be able to give you good advice, to teach you to be confident, to be able to make your own decisions and to learn about compassion, loyalty, trust, patience and respect. i want us to be friends.

i love you with all my heart, and i miss you every single day. you are a beautiful person and i look forward to watching you grow up into a beautiful young girl and then a beautiful woman.

with all the love in my heart,

your teta.