The Fire In My Life

Two years & 8 months ago one of my closest friends in the world, Stefanie, called from Australia, where she & her husband Patrick were living at the time, to tell me she was pregnant. She hadn’t told her husband yet, nor had she told her mother, and she wouldn’t tell either of them until she officially was on day one of her third month. I was the first one to know after a doctor told her “You don’t have food poisoning.” We whispered the entire conversation like eleven year olds trying to keep a secret from their parents, and we continued whispering like that until I finally told her that she HAD to at least tell Patrick. We’re both crazy stubborn Scorpios and we were arguing over it for weeks, but she held firm. Yeah, she actually managed to out-stubborn me.

Once everyone was finally clued in, I received an extremely fancy heart pendant necklace along with an official request to be their child’s Godmother. I felt like she was proposing (That’s how fancy the pendant is. Sometimes I’m a little hesitant to wear it.), but I appreciated the beauty of the gesture in the way it was intended.

Asking someone to be a Godparent is a big deal, and I was asked because after much deliberation, she & her husband could not think of a stronger, smarter, more capable, more inspirational woman to be a part of their child’s life. I was so taken aback by that, because those were the very words they used when asking. I don’t see myself the way other people do, so I was very moved and of course, I accepted. To me, it’s no big deal, to be a part of a child’s life is a blessing in any capacity, but to them it’s an immense gift and a relief that their child has someone else to go to if ever said child needs a neutral party, so to speak. It also provides them with the peace of mind that I’ll be there no matter what. They wanted someone who would always be the epitome of a role model to their child, who we soon found out was a girl.

It is VERY important for girls to have strong role models in their lives, both male and female. She is blessed with an extremely beautiful, talented mother and a father who would go to hell and back for her. Stefanie doesn’t have any sisters, she is the youngest of six siblings and the only girl in the family. Maybe that explains why we’ve been friends for so long, because we share a very loyal, very private sisterhood. I give Patrick a lot of credit because he has always told her how special and important our friendship is, has always encouraged her to fly out to see me if too much time has gone by without “girl time”, and has never, not once in the 15 years they’ve been married, behaved negatively toward me or acted as though there was no longer a place for me in her life simply because they are married. I respect that so much about him. Believe me when I say this is a big thing to me, because pretty much every friend I’ve ever had dropped me like a pile of shit the second they found a boyfriend, leave alone a husband. Not Stefanie. It’s not beneath her to tell Patrick to leave the room so we can talk, and it’s not beneath her to tell him to go and play golf because she needs me and only me. He never takes it personally and he is never offended or annoyed by my presence. Again, that tells you she’s truly got a good guy in her life and I am thankful for that because she deserves it. He knows what Stefanie and I both know, that there isn’t one single person in this world that can be every single thing you need at all times. Sometimes you need your life partner, sometimes you need a parent or a sibling, and sometimes you need the person who has known you before your growth spurts (be it physical, emotional, professional, as well as all the others), who knows your family, who knows what breaks your heart, who’s always known your middle name, who knows things no one else knows because that person has been present for so long, and they get it. As much as I could ever love a man and work hard every single day to be the best partner in life that I can be, I could never walk away from the people in my life that have helped shape who I am and the person I have become. In fact, I worry about the people that develop instant amnesia and then wonder why they’re all alone when that person turns out to be something they didn’t see coming barreling toward them like an Acela train, but I digress.

I’m partially responsible for my Goddaughter’s name, which will always make me smile because it’s as gorgeous as she is. I’ve loved this particular name for probably ten years or so. I knew I wouldn’t be using the name for my own children (I name to honor the dead, never the living.), so I gave one of the lead characters in my urban fantasy series this name. She ended up being Stefanie’s favorite character that I casually mentioned in passing when I first talked about “maybe writing my own urban fantasy novel some day”.

One day she finally asked me if it would be ok to use for the baby’s name. Not because she had no ideas of her own, but because she & Patrick were madly in love with what it meant and how strong a name it is. Did I want it for my own daughter?, was her first question, because if I did, they’d keep looking. Yeah, we’re still girls and we both know that sort of thing can become an issue with friends at times. I’ve seen people get into war-like fights over this sort of thing (the naming of children), friends and family alike stop speaking if one person “steals a name” from the other, especially if one had confided to the other while pregnant that this was the name that had been chosen. I had my ex-fiancee’ do this when he got married. He systematically chose two of the most important names I had picked out that he knew about, not just for his first child, but for both of them. It doesn’t just take lack of creativity to do something like that, it’s also a calculated, borderline evil thing to do to someone you once claimed to love. Any way, I told her I didn’t have anyone to name for with that initial, and that if she wanted it, she could have it. Yes, it is still the name of the character in my book(s).

In Hebrew the name translates to “God Is My Candle” and “Burning Light Of God”. She then asked me about naming for her brother who had passed away suddenly a few years prior, who was one of the kindest, most “shirt off your back” guys in the world, someone whom I miss dearly, and if I miss him, I can only imagine how much she misses him. We looked for middle names that started with his first initial, and came up with something truly fitting, and quite frankly, beautiful.

On March 10th 2011, Neriah Blaze officially entered all of our lives. They say “all babies are born with blue eyes”, but Neriah’s eyes have been the same color as her mother’s, a true grey, from day one. Her blonde, blue eyed Dad’s genes don’t stand a chance, she’s a little replica of Mommy from head to toe (Black hair, fair skin, and those sparkly grey eyes.), and both of her parents are extremely tall, so by the time she’s ten I fully expect she’ll be towering over me.

The little Pisces princess is smart, intuitive, empathetic, sweet, and kind. She’s also demanding, as I previously mentioned in my “Girl On Fire’ post back in December. She’s a Water Sign with two names that make reference to fire and light, so it’s interesting how she relates to that song, not knowing what her names mean just yet, or why they were chosen. And thankfully, she’s at that age where you’re not using her full name EVER, because she’s still sweet and chatty and not the least bit troublesome, but the terrible 2’s and terrible 3’s that people (parents, Grandparents, and child care professionals) talk about are surely around the corner as her personality continues to develop. I hope it’s a relatively smooth transition because she’s such a joy, and I long for the days when I can provide her with a satchel of baby cousins to play with.

On your 2nd birthday and always Neri, Aunt Li-Li loves you to pieces. One day you will read this and know why it’s important to acknowledge every birthday and milestone.

Happy Birthday my little flame.