It’s midnight and I’m thinking of you on your special day. I smile as I remember you being a tomboy for most of your life. You wore big, oversized, hand-me-down clothes from Shayne for the longest time. You could play ice hockey and baseball with the best of them. You focused your energies on all kinds of interesting hobbies — building dream catchers, developing black and white photographs, being President of the JA club, spending hours painting and doing pottery, playing basketball for your high school team. As a kid, do you remember how you used to hold classes for the family in the basement every Friday night and send us formal invitations? You would teach us to draw cartoons, paint with chalk, etc, and we would flock to your class with anticipation. When you were 13, I suggested that you stop wearing socks to JK everyday – and you were devastated. You loved your socks! And do you remember how happy you were when the referee sent you to the penalty box for the first and only time while playing hockey? You could not stop smiling the whole time! One of my favourite memories is when we used to create a “tent” from bedsheets and read books, including “The Witches” by Roal Dahl. You were fearless as a kid – – acting first, thinking after.
And then, when you were 21, you declared that you wanted a princess party – and did we ever throw you a party! We should have known that things would change after that. You blossomed into a striking, radiant young lady. You discovered your purpose in life and you grew into your own. You cultivated a unique look and style. You wrote a book. You made travel and helping people an integral part of your life. And you came home to look after me when I got sick. When did you grow up?
Last week you shared with us incredible news that you were accepted at Harvard University for the Master of Science in Global Health and Population program. Then you get accepted by Columbia University for the Master of Public Administration in Development Practice program, something you have been aiming for. As if that was not enough, Columbia has accepted you for two other programs. So many choices! We are so excited for you and the opportunities that lie ahead for you. We can’t wait to hear your decision about what program you will accept. The question is: How do you say no to Harvard? But then how do you say no to living in New York and attending Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)? This is a good problem to have!
We wish that you could see yourself through our eyes. You are one talented woman — smart, competent, compassionate, funny and strong. May your 25th birthday bring you much success and happiness. I had an epiphany today while speaking to my cousin, Zara, from Vancouver: success is defined by what makes you happy. So think about what makes you happy, and you will be successful.
Sabrina, today is your day. Burst into it. Follow your footsteps where your heart takes you. Believe in your dreams and let your spirit soar. We love you to the moon and back…