So, you don't really know me yet, but I am you in 13 years. Yeah. I know. Mind boggling isn't it. Take a few deep breaths and allow your three-year-old brain absorb what you have just heard. If you must, ask Mr.Bear for help. I seem to remember him being very smart in matters such as this. And everything, for that matter.
So, I'm writing this to you, so that, just in case, you may be able to absorb what is to happen to you in the years ahead. Your buddy, Liz, (yes, you two are still friends thirteen years later) gave me this idea. I really wish I had gotten this letter.
Let's start with the good stuff. This summer you get to go to Florida with your Aunt Julie and Grandma Ryan. Fun stuff, huh? Just a warning- Grandma doesn't want you to go into the deeper water, even if Aunt Julie says it's ok. And if you jump on one foot in the water, it will be hard to stop and you will get water in your nose. Not fun. Most of all, on this trip, make the most of it. Enjoy time with your grandma. You only have seven more years with her. And you won't get to meet Cinderella on this trip, but that's ok. Go and meet Mary Poppins. She's a pretty cool lady. I wish I had taken that chance.
In two years, you will start kindergarden. It will be fun. Ignore stupid Alex, Mason, and Travis when they call you Dumpsterhontas. Sure, Mason and Travis will still be jerks throughout the years, but in 2nd grade, Alex moves to another state and you'll be fine.
Plus, when Mischevious dies that year, don't worry. I know it sounds horrible, but you will hate cats in about 10 years. You'll be sad for a while, but once you move away from the apartments to Park Street, Mommy and Daddy will get you a new cat.
Also, next year, Grandma is going to get cancer, something that will make her very sick and will make her hair fall out. Don't worry though. She's going to be fine.
Oh, and you get a new cousin in a few years too. Aunt Faith and Uncle John are going to have a little boy named Andrew when you are 6 1/2. Then they will move back here from Indiana and you'll still spend a week every summer with them.
When you are ten, you will return to Florida with your Grandpa and Grandma Ryan. You and Grandma are going to take walks on the beach and she is going to give you some of the greatest wisdom you will ever recieve. Listen to her. Remember it. Never let go of it.
Skipping right along to fourth grade, because you need a lot of warning for these years, kid. Your world is going to be turned upside down. Your Aunt Julie is going to leave for Tupelo, Mississippi, and then within about seven months you're going to get hit hard. You will get a little brother, your great-grandpa will die, your Uncle Mike and Aunt Destiny will divorce, and then your Grandma will die. It's going to be tough, sweetie, and you will have a lot of problems because of it. You will become very depressed and self-concious, and for a short period about four years down the road, you will be suicidal after your other great-grandpa dies. You won't try anything, but you will seriously consider it. A year after this, you will become really close to your cousin, Mistie, and she will make you snap out of it. She's awesome. You're going to be friends for a long time.
In a few years you are going to meet MX. That's not his real name, but when you see him, you'll know who he is. Your dad will go to his church to preach and you will kick his butt at the memory game. A few years after this, he's going to become your first boyfriend. Don't fall for him. He's a jerk. Stay away from him.
After your Grandma dies, a new person is going to enter your life. Sis. Jewel is one of your grandma's best friends, and after Grandma dies, Sis.Jewel is going to take over her role. You're going to love her. She's one of the most amazing ladies to ever enter your life.
You're going to enter your rebellious teen years and by fifteen, you are going to slip a little in your walk with God. You won't backslide, but you will be a little off in your ways. In August of 2006, you will take a missions trip to DC with the Youth Group in Canton and get your life back in line. You will also discover your calling when you see the poor guy sleeping on a bench in Woodley Park and when the begger comes up to you in a Chipotle in Chinatown asking you to buy him a Big Mac at the next door McDonald's because he hasn't eaten in days.
The reason you will get the chance to go to DC is because of Minerva. Your family is going to take the church there in that town and you will become a Sunday School teacher for the 8-13 year old class. Those kids will drive you insane, but when those kids leave, it's going to rip you to shreds inside. You'll get through it, though. It will be hard but you will.
Right now, in 2007, your family is going through some stuff. I can't say exactly what, but it's going to give you mixed emotions. You're going to rejoice that you get to graduate with your friends, but be a little sad because you will miss the experience of teaching a Sunday School class and watching those kids grow up in church. Don't forget the experience. I'm sure it will make your entire family stronger in the long run.
In seventh grade, don't slack off. If you try harder, you'll get to take some high school classes in eighth grade and believe me, it will make things a LOT easier.
Most of all, be yourself. Be less shy. More adventuresome. You have a great life ahead of you. And you finally get that dog you've always wanted, when you are eight. Live life to the fullest. And don't let the speed bumps slow your life down.
Most of all, no matter how hard things get, and when you feel like nobody loves you (and believe me, you will have those times), remember that 3-year-old you rocks.
I miss you, kiddo. Love you tons.
-Rebecca Angelene Ryan