Okay, happy birthday, but listen up. It's going to get worse before it gets better.
I know you've been worried about this for a while now, so take a deep breath: The Mean Girls are about to take you out. You couldn't know this last night, but that little birthday party trip to Dance Theater, followed by a sleepover? The beginning of the end.
That bullshit @bby W!tman pulled about "vowing-not-to-eat-junk-food-for-a-year-starting-48-hours-ago" [on May 1st]? Don't sweat it. There will be a parade of people who love eating that taco dip while sitting on that same couch in the family room for years- even DECADES- from now.
Now. About your birthday wishes. At the time I that I write this, there is no cure for MD, but there's progress. The good news is that Brad will be around longer- a LOT longer- than you've dared to hope. Next week, he's going to walk into that hospital and come through the surgery like a champ, but no- he will not walk back out. He will, however, someday learn to ski, thanks to technology in the new millennium. :)
Sadly, you have less time with Mike H@rtranft than you think you do. Much less. He's going to do a lot of important work in the time he has left, and he's going get a lot of attention for it. A lot of people are going to try and steal some of the limelight for themselves. It's going to drive us crazy- you in your 13-year-old present and me in my 25-year-old hindsight- but... Truthfully, I still don't know what the best way to handle that would have been. Regardless, time flies without our noticing, and it will be hard when it runs out.
Moving on from all that life and death stuff... The boy with whom you share your first real kiss is going to be a real disappointment unless you listen to me very carefully. This is important. Come August, when Ry@n Rubenste!n walks into the laundry room to help you turn off the broken buzzer on the dryer, do NOT grab your windbreaker, chirp "thanks!" and walk out. STAY in the laundry room. STAY.
Also, please stop complaining about being flat-chested. Yep. It's true. We have trouble finding flattering button-down blouses in the future. Enjoy your time in the "Itty Bitty Titty Committee" while it lasts.
What else? Oh, the bacteria you're about to start looking for in your science fair project is anaerobic. Save us three years of research and put the petri dishes in one of those "hermetically-sealed-to-keep-out-oxygen" bags from the start, would you? About the science fair... If I recall, you spent more time worrying about whether or not working with cow manure would lead to "social suicide" than you did putting together the display board, and that's saying something.
And honey, the "social suicide" happens anyway. This is what I was alluding to before, see above. In about two weeks, you're going to tell the Queen Bee off after she tearfully announces to the entire 7th grade that "her best friend" (the Other Girl she's been torturing all year) is in the hospital battling anorexia. You're going to love where your science fair project leads you, even though a few steps require you to work with diluted cow manure, and the rest is just bullshit. Pun intended.
I don't want to write this next part, but you should know. You need to know. Your big sister is about to go through a very difficult time. She makes some bad choices; we all do. Her next few years will be like a kaleidoscope- one minute the colorful pieces look like flowers, with a flick of the wrist, like dragons breathing fire. But you and me, 13, we're nothing if not loyal. When the pieces come together for her in a few years, it's really quite beautiful, and no one loves you like she does.
This is more serious than I intended, Little Angie, but we were at a serious crossroads at the start of May 1992. Not to worry. When life gets good, it gets very, very good. So many amazing adventures are coming your way. I already told you- we get boobs for days!- but I don't want to spoil any other surprises for you. Just know that your life, our lives, our LIFE! will be extraordinary.
Love until later,
PS Remember- STAY in the laundry room. STAY!