The past few weeks have flown by with nary a moment to waste. We've been up to our eyeballs in good times, and moments to treasure. Summer is finally here. Not too long ago I hinted at a special visitor in our lives, and then posted a few pics of a special play date. I finally have some time to introduce this very special friend.
Please familiarize yourself with Miss SASS! Of course that isn't her real name, but it fits her to a tee. She is a ball of spunk, and as fun as can be. Just ask, Sugar Bear. She is head over heels for this young lady, and is at this very moment lamenting her departure. Miss Sass has left the building, and we are feeling rather deflated about it.
Let me tell you a little something about this pretty young thing. At 20 years of age, she is quite easily one of my favorite people on this great planet. She came into my life when I was a tender age of 15. She was only 8 months old at the time, but wow oh wow...did she make an impression. She came to live with my family for what was to be ONE month. That one month quickly turned into NINE, and then she was simply gone. GONE......There is nothing like having a baby in your home for NINE months, then to have them GONE....just like that. It was quite easily the biggest heartache of my young life, and to this day, still one of those defining moments in my life.
You see, Miss Sass is my cousin. We are of the same family tree. My great grandmother, and her great grandmother were sisters. Through a series of tragic and dramatic events, Miss Sass' mother (let's call her, Mama S), came to live with my family when she was a senior in High School. Once graduating, Mama S enlisted in the ARMY. Several twists and turns later, Mama S found herself with a sweet little baby girl, and papers to be stationed in Germany just after the Berlin Wall came down. She was unable to have Miss Sass on base, and needed to secure off base housing. My parent's offered to take care of Madame Sass for the month Mama S would need to do so. Due to the historic and hectic time in Germany that month stretched out into nine.
While in our care, Miss Sass learned to crawl, then walk. Coo....then Talk. Her first word.......was Cow. I'm not even kidding. She was a ball of energy, and just the right amount of love our family needed. To say we became attached to her would be a gigantic understatement. She became the center of our world. I fondly recall a day in which my mother needed to be somewhere that was not conducive to young children, and so I took Miss Sass to school with me. Yes.....small country schools are great like that. Little miss Sass, at 14 months, attended an entire day of Sophomore year courses. She dissected her first worm that day. I can remember nearly every single thing about that day, as if it were yesterday. Sitting right here typing this out, I can even recall the little outfit she wore that day. (I had picked it out!) She was such a sweet, and fun little baby. She kept us all on our toes, that's for sure.
When her mother returned for her, our hearts inevitably broke. Watching her leave was one of the worst things any of us had ever done. I tear up just thinking about it. Off she went to Germany....and we never laid eyes on her again until she was 7 years old, and they came for a short visit before settling clear across the United States from us. After that visit, somehow my parents finagled a way for Miss Sass to come our way to spend a month or so for the following 10 summers. What a treat to see her grow each year. To change....to stay the same. Each time watching her get off that plane lifted out hearts. It was always a joy to settle into a familar routine with her.
Even though Miss Sass and I are of the same family generation, I look on her much as I do Sugar Bear. I have watched her grow into an amazing young woman, and through the years, I have taken her under my wing and tried to provide her with life knowledge, and a safe place to be herself, and ask questions. I have worried over her, and beamed over her. I have missed her, and rejoiced in her presence. Most of all....I have loved her. She has truths to tell, and someday I hope to be the person she confides in. I am so very proud of her.
Several weeks ago our Miss Sass made her way to our neck of the woods again. It had been 3 LONG years since her last visit. You see, she is busy getting on with life. She is making life choices, and preparing for her future. There is work to be done, and plans to be made. She has not been able dedicate the time to come out here for so long. Here is a fun photo from her last visit in 2006.
Sugar Bear was only 18months old when she last held Miss Sass' hand, but she often tells stories of the time we had when she was here. Sugar remembers many things we did that summer, and I like to believe it is because of Miss Sass, and the spell she places us all under when she is here.
I know it sounds crazy that any one person can bring such joy to a family, but she does. She reminds us of the good times, the fun times, the love, and the faith. She brings excitement, and hope for the future. She is a child, a woman, a cousin, a friend, a student, a teacher, a playmate, and a muse. She certainly made our SUMMER here in the Living and Loving household a whole lot better. We feel so blessed to have had precious time with her again.
♥ WE LOVE OUR MISS SASS! ♥
Have a wonderful weekend EVERYONE!