It is shocking to have your children reach half a century. Time moves so fast. It seems only yesterday the 14 year old tiny girl showed up at my side to apprentice me in the infant program. By 16 she called me "Mom," and has ever since. Her son I consider the first grandson. My eldest son is moving toward fifty, his brother 3 years behind. Delia, my step-daughter, is 18 and in college. Decades have past. Six grandchildren call me Granny. I look back and feel so lucky. Ups and downs to be sure, but in general it has mostly been joyful. And the most blessed moments are the young people I call my children, to see them as parents being far better at it than I was, and yet, I see my values were passed along.
So this day is a celebration of Maria and the kind of adult she has grown into. A strong willed, capable, loving, and pretty woman who makes a difference starting with her own family, and working her way out into the community. We are proud and love her and hope today conveys the depth of our love.