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Stepping into the Past

I'm a nostalgic and sentimental person. If you know me, you know that comes as absolutely no surprise. Memories are important to me not just because looking back shows me where I've been but because they help me understand who I am now.

No. Wait. It's more than that. It's something I don't have words for. Not yet, anyway...

Walking through my grandmother's house this past summer right before it sold, I felt like I had stepped back in time. I could hear our laughter, our chatter. Everywhere I looked, there was another memory, as vivid as if I'd been pulled back in time, and for a moment--only a moment--I could feel all of us right there again in those empty rooms.

Looking through these photo albums tonight, I'm brought right back to who I was then--when we took that family trip to Tennessee, when we watched each other open presents at our birthday dinners, when we trimmed the Christmas tree with our neighbors... Memories I thought I'd forgotten, buried by time and new memories, come flooding back in a heartbeat.

And I smile. I laugh. I cry. Because I know all my life I have been so damned blessed to be surrounded by these people, by this love.

I turn the pages of these albums, turn the pages of our lives, and I look at that little girl who has my eyes, my smile, my name, and I love her. I love her, when it's so hard for me to love myself now. And there's just so much I want to tell her.

Dear girl, I want to say. Dear beautiful girl...

You're going to be okay.

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