Two years ago today, the bundle of joy that is my baby girl, Annie, entered the world.
Just as with Harry, it’s been an amazing experience watching her grow from a helpless newborn to today’s headstrong princess.
Here is what she looks like two years later.
Actually, this was just over four months ago. She’s grown even more. Still, she’s not so grown up that she doesn’t need cuddles from daddy to fall asleep at times.
Last year, her first birthday celebration was clouded by the knowledge that it was likely to be the only one of her birthday’s that my father would celebrate with us. He wrote this poem for her and presented it to her in a decorative frame. He passed away nine days later.
For Annie’s Birthday on August 22, 2009 Blue eyes, red hair, soon she will learn to talk, Maybe she will sing and fulfill my grandmother’s dream And present La Traviata anew. Perhaps we shouldn’t burden her with ambitions we didn’t follow. Perhaps the old histories should be taught only So they won’t be repeated. Let her bring in a chapter that will be new And dazzle the world with what has never been before. Blue eyes observant, noting everything around her. Exploring each room like it was an unknown continent And gazing westward like Balboa at the Pacific. We can learn from this, find riches hidden within the familiar. Red hair, I think of my grandmother and mother And what I was when very young Bright flaming, bringing a new history Belying the dour clichés bringing forth utopias of the heart. ---Grandpa Tom Viertel
This poem will stay with her. The legacy of his words will stay with her. She can’t understand the words now, but she will. She doesn’t know what a continent is, but she will. She is learning to talk. She will learn about exploration and Balboa. I will take her to see La Traviata so we will both understand what my father wrote about. She won’t remember my dad. But I do, and Alissa and my mom, and even Harry will. We will make sure she knows about her grandfather. And she will always carry with her the legacy of the last poem he ever wrote.