Emma calls my youngest son Augustin Gakki and she runs to greet you with open arms and a spirited hug. She plays the piano and sings and plays recreational soccer and basketball. You will also see Emma in local theater productions and then you will catch her outside in her yard bouncing on her family’s trampoline playing with the neighborhood kids. All ages. From the 2-year-old next door neighbor to the teenagers across the street who have grown up with Emma. Emma in her bob haircut and tinted glasses is a teenager now herself. Age 14. She smiles brightly and walks with a bounce in her step and her spirit and life will melt your heart when you meet her.
Emma’s family is incredible. Her mom and dad are so in love with Emma and are so proud of her, and all of their children, they are so devoted, and Emma’s older brother Ian and sister Ariana are also head over heals over Emma. They are an incredibly close family. I met them when Ariana and my daughter Rachel were in kindergarten class together 18 years ago. I had heard about Ariana from Rachel. “I have a new friend, Mommy,” Rachel told me, “her name is Ariana and she lives not that far away.” And that week, when we went on a family walk in our neighborhood, my Rachie spotted Ariana and her family in the distance also walking in our neighborhood, and Ariana spotted Rachie and they began running toward one another as if they had not seen each other for years when it had just been that morning at Cedaroak Park Primary School during morning kindergarten. The girls embraced and giggled as innocent 5 -year-olds will do. Pure joy.
Ariana just got married last weekend on a hot summer day in an outdoor ceremony in the country. And, Emma, age 14, Ariana’s baby sister, was one of the bridesmaids.
Down the dusty aisle Emma was escorted by two groomsmen with bow ties. Emma clutched her wild flower bouquet and the arms of each of these gentlemen. She smiled as the audience smiled back. Emma marched proudly down the aisle ahead of her beautiful sister the bride.
Later during the reception, various people took to the stage. Ariana married a musician and Ariana’s parents are musicians, so there was lots of music at this wedding. One of the performances was Emma singing.
The most beautiful song you will ever hear.