It’s hard to believe….where has the time gone?

I was young myself, scared, but excited, and I learned to be a mother one day at a time. From the moment I laid eyes on Tiana in the hospital, I was absolutely head-over-heels in love with this beautiful little baby girl. July 13th, 1981, I became a mother for the first time, and as hard as it was at times, I wouldn’t change a thing. In fact, I am happy I had to go from a life where things came relatively easy, to buying our groceries with food stamps. It gave me the strength to be a fighter, and for those of you close to me, the role I cherish after wife and mother, a “valiant warrior”.

I didn’t know it at the time, but the first year of Tianas life would be the last year of my fathers life. I watched my Dad, my hero, experience so much joy with her around, she was the apple of his eye, and I cherished that year so much.

The two of us kind of grew up together in some respects.  Driving around in my Ford Granada listening to Chaka Khan and New Edition, our apartment decorated with a giant Michael Jackson Thriller poster I begged for at a local record store, and an innocent passion for music, dance, and everything 80’s.  Tiana was always by my side as I taught my aerobics classes, opened businesses, held fashion shows at local malls, traveled to New York for the first time, and fell in love with inspiring teen girls to want more in their lives and see the beauty they already have.

Tiana was just 17 years old when she graduated and off she went to New York to begin pursuing her dreams. In the same way she lit up the stage back home in Iowa, she hit the big apple and then LA. We would gather around the TV with the kids for every music video, award show, and  VH1 Behind The Scenes. From the first world tour she danced with Christina, to the last with Britney, we would go to those shows and watch her performances and know this is what she was made for. On to new chapters and partnered with a wonderful man, surrounded by special friends and mentors, we know in our heart that really, truly, she has only just begun.

We have always had such fun as a family when Tiana gets to come home and visit, for the holidays or for a family gathering, or just taking a break from the road. Tiana is the best big sister in the world, and a wonderful one-of-a-kind daughter. Each of our kids possess so much that makes them special, and Tiana was and will forever be the leader of the pack 🙂

Thirty years ago today my life was changed forever for the better. I am thankful every day for my beautiful children. Tiana was my first born and will forever be my boo boo kitty.

“Good morning, good morning, it’s great to get up late….” Your Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Red are dancing in heaven and we are back home in Saint Louis sending you so much love you can’t imagine. I look forward to our daily conversations, and I am happy to say that with God’s grace, we more than made it Tiana. God has done more than exceeded every expectation, and He’s just getting started. Why? Because you have always risked, given your all, trusted in His plans, remained faithful, mastered your craft, trusted in the journey, walked in joyful expectancy, and stayed humble.

I know I can speak on behalf of us all….Dad, Olivia, Elliott, Cameron, and Willa Mae….WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND CAN’T WAIT FOR A LIFETIME OF SO MANY MORE INCREDIBLE TIMES TOGETHER

Happy 30th Birthday Tiana Chanel Brown 🙂

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Categories: Mother Mary