Graduation is not the end, it’s the beginning.



There is a good reason they call these ceremonies ‘commencement exercises’. Graduation is not the end, it’s the beginning.

My Darling Bella:

Bella, a nickname that I gave to you when you were a little one. It means beauty in spanish. And, my darling, you are incredibly beautiful inside and out and all the way through. 

An old soul – you are! 

Your life intersected with my life 18 years ago. My heart has never been the same. I never imagined I could love anyone as much as I have loved you throughout those 18 years of life.  

I remember the moment we found out that your mom was having a baby. It was at a particularly tough and difficult time for our family as we had just went through the loss of a loved one. Your surrogate MiMI (my mother) sat me down one day and shared the following with me: “Brandi, this family needs joy. We have suffered through so much loss of life within the last few years – this baby will bring new life into our family”. I had no idea what your arrival would bring to each of our lives. 

I was living in New Mexico the day you were born. I was on the telephone with mom and dad during the entire birthing process.  Then, a few short weeks later, MiMi and mom flew you to New Mexico to visit. Admittedly, I was terrified of babies. I had not spent much time around babies – especially one that was so small and so beautiful.  They handed you to me and I held you WAY out in front of me – as if you were a bomb about to explode. Then, I pulled you in close to my heart and immediately felt my heart melt. It was truly love at first sight. 

A few days later, the three of you boarded a plane and headed back to Texas. A few days later, I told your JoJo that we had to return to Texas as quickly as possible. We did, and, in fact we enjoyed being a part of your life for the next 12 years while living within driving distance and much of that time was within walking distance. 

We are so incredibly proud of you young lady! You have taught us so very much about love and about life.  You have stood beside each of us and loved us through some of the twists and turns that life has brought us. We wish you the very best as you embark upon this next journey of life.

We hope that it will take you to far away places to have experiences that will change your life. We hope that you will explore each and every one of your passions until you find just the right one that will mesh with your caring and giving spirit and nature. You have a special gift with people.

You have the personality, drive, and spirit of the great women that have gone before you – your maternal grandmother – whom you never had the pleasure of meeting – but whom you act so much like, your MiMi – who loved you so very much and your auntie Tammeye – who also loved you as her own, Your auntie Nan – who continues to love you and support you! And, you have the strong characteristics (the good and the bad – learn how to appreciate and manage them so they don’t manage you – big smile and big wink) of the women who walk beside you now – Your mother, a beautiful example of strength and courage, and all of your aunties that cheer you on as you go forward. 

We are so proud of you.

We wish you the very best!

Make mistakes but learn from them!

Follow your heart!


All You Need is Love 

Go Shelby Go! 

Always & Forever, BB & JoJo

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