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Happy Birthday, Kaylah

I remember this day, 16 years ago.

The most beautiful little girl in the world was born. I remember how excited your daddy and your mommy were to welcome you into the world. I remember the call to your nana that you were on the way. I remember how excited I was to meet my first niece.

I admit, I was jealous a bit. I was used to being the "baby" of the family. I was used to being spoiled and always getting my way. I thought all of that was going to change. It did.

Not because I was no longer going to be spoiled -- because let's face it... I'm still very spoiled -- but because I was gaining a friend. I was going to experience love like I've never experienced it before.

I remember being in the hospital room with you and your mommy a couple of days after you were born. For some reason I was there alone. The nurses brought you to the room for a feeding. After you were done, with a full belly and on your way to sleep again, I asked your mommy if I could hold you. She told me that she was nervous and that I would have to wait for her to return to the room from her shower. 

Once she left, I debated on whether to wait or not. Even at 9 years old, I was very stubborn and impatient. I decided that I was going to sneak and do it anyway. I picked you up and held you for the first time. I stumbled and fumbled as I figured out how to hold you properly to support your head. I was sure that I'd wake you, but even as a newborn you could sleep through three earthquakes, a large stampede and a Nascar race. From that moment on, our connection has been inseparable. 

Of course, you've annoyed me quite often over the years. So so so so so so so so so so so so much... but you're not only my niece -- you're one of my best friends. Someone who I can confide in, someone who tells me exactly what you think. 

Your father told me in a dream to protect you and I always will. 

So yes, things did change. I was no longer the "baby" of the family. I became your uncle, your friend, your protector and you've forever changed my heart. It's hard to believe that you're 16 now! Time truly flies, you've grown into a beautiful young woman. I love you so very much.

Happy Birthday, Kaylah!
Bryant Tysonpersonal