When we started this journey I never would have chosen this path for you. I never would have selected a life of hospitalizations, tests, rare diseases and pain. I would have chosen an easy life for you. But, I didn’t get to choose.
And, maybe that’s better. Don’t get me wrong. Everything that you have endured is overwhelming. I wish I could take it away. But, this adversity and these struggles, they have guided you as you have become a young woman I could not be more proud of.
This has been a twisty and winding road, and we are still only at the beginning.
Since you were very young you have had an unimaginable determination to accomplish whatever you set your mind to. You never cease to amaze me.
From the days of Early Intervention and CPSE Speech/OT and PT, you just never quit.
You decided early on that you would do well in school. And you exceed any expectation I’ve ever had. You continue to seek classes because you genuinely want to learn new things. You want to be your best self.
You have always had the heart of an athlete. You tried every sport you could and constantly had to reroute due to pain. Then, you landed in the pool. The pain there is pain you can manage. You are continuing to set, meet, exceed and reset goals. Despite some seemingly insurmountable physical obstacles, you are an athlete.
You are deeply principled, a trait that has made you the young woman you are becoming. It also makes me want to scream out loud some days. Sometimes balancing socially was a struggle. You look for the good. You make your decisions based on the heart of the people you are with. You would not compromise your beliefs. You had patience. You have friends now who love you for being “fiercely yourself.”
You have faith. You believe in a God who loves us all. You believe in GRACE and forgiveness, and even though you haven’t had a traditional church upbringing, I am proud of the questions you ask, and your desire to learn. I am mostly proud of your heart.
Every day you are growing, stronger, wiser, and more confident. Every day you are seeking out ways to improve. You are constantly reflecting and growing.
No one outside of our home can fully understand this journey. And while having TWO rare diseases I think may give us magical unicorn status or something, there is no one I’d rather have to traverse these trails with.
I could go on forever. My heart spills over with love when I think of the young woman you have become. I am full of anticipation and excitement about where the journey will lead you.
Know that forever and for always I will always be your biggest cheerleader and your most vocal advocate. Know that I love you to the moon and back times infinity. FOREVER!
Remember – sometimes we don’t get to pick our path. Yet, if we open our hearts we can make the bumpy roads the most meaningful.
I love you more – ALWAYS
Happy Sweet Sixteen! Enjoy the day!
And if you’ll take a bit of motherly advice – most of it can be found in these three songs….
I Hope You Dance…
Always Stay Humble and Kind
And, Know When To Hold ‘Em…