I am, I think, the luckiest man on the planet. I am married to a woman whom I love and have loved for some 33 years now. I treasure the opportunity to be by her side every day. And almost every day we share the life, the love and the affection of the most wonderful child I have ever known, my beloved little Lily, my granddaughter, my tiny love.
This small, kind, gentle little soul brings light and laughter, confusion and chaos and endless delight into our lives. Last night I sat with blanket-wrapped Lily snuggled in my arms and sleeping, and all the wonderful little Lilys I have known were there. The tiny, soft infant Lily who slept so often on my chest those six long years ago. We laughingly called her "the boneless baby" because when she fell asleep she relaxed so utterly it felt as though her skeleton had vanished.
One year old Lily was there too. Wobbling joyously and unsteadily across the living room laughing for the pure joy of what she'd just learned to do.
And toddler Lily was there too. Learning the joy and power of words to make things happen. Tiny girl, standing with her feet apart, arms upraised and saying "Uppy!" And laughing happily when that got her picked up.
All my much loved little Lilys were there last night, and I mean to tell you that I adore her, and that I have enjoyed, quite literally, every moment I've ever spent with her.
Bless you little Lily, for your warm and generous soul, your amazing intellect and your sense of humor. You have so enriched our lives, so warmed our hearts, and given so much to the people around you.
As always, I remain, your grandpa who loves you.