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Happy Anaya Day

This past weekend, my family celebrated a family holiday, Happy Anaya Day. Anaya Day is not a celebration of Anaya’s birthday, as many assume. Rather, it is a celebration of the day that my niece, Anaya, came to live with us. It has been four years since that day.

In my second year of university, I wrote an essay about Anaya for an English writing course I was taking. While I won’t share the entire paper, because it is private and personal, I would like to share the last two paragraphs of the paper.

Love is a very hard concept to explain to someone, and indeed we never really sit down and explain it to children. Yet the children seem to know what it is, not because we say it, but because we show it. I have always tried to show Anaya that I love her, and she has shown it back to me. Even before she could talk, just looking into her eyes when she crawled up to me, wanting to cuddle, I could see that she understood what love is.

Every time I come home from school Anaya runs up to me, screaming my name, and jumps into my arms. Her loving embrace is like a powerful medicine, instantly alleviating all the stress and worry from my mind, if only for a few moments. Her hug is so much more than a generic sign of affection; it is a symbol of her love for me. A symbol that I crave the entire time I am away at school, one that means I am home. I used to wonder whether I have taught Anaya more, or whether she has taught me more, but writing this paper has made it all clear. Thank you, Anaya.

I love you, Anaya. Happy Anaya Day.

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