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Happy Anaya Day 2015

Today is Anaya Day, when we celebrate the day my little niece Anaya came to live with my family. Seven years ago today I went from being just Uncle Cole to being Anaya’s “brother, Uncle Cole.” It may sound weird, but it makes sense to Anaya and it makes me incredibly proud.

I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to watch Anaya grow from the little baby that melted my heart, to an adorable toddler, to the little girl afraid of nothing as she started school, and now to the amazing young lady that she has become.

Several years ago in my second year of university, I wrote a personal essay for a class I was taking. It was one of the most personally challenging pieces I have ever written. I asked readers how it is that we learn to love, and I asked myself whether Anaya had learned more from me or whether I had learned from her. When I started writing, I didn’t know the answer to these questions and I didn’t intend on answering them in the paper. By the end, however, the answer was clear: we learn to love by being loved, and Anaya has taught me well. I continue to learn from her, and her optimism, strength, and capacity for love continues to impress and amaze me each and every day.

Anaya, I love you and I’m proud of you.

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