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A Mother’s Day gift to me written one year before Andrea's death. The next year we attended my mom's funeral on Mother's Day (photo above)...just ONE month before Andrea's life ended...

There is a love so strong it never leaves me.
I am five years old, being sung to sleep in a rocking chair
Your arms around me keeping me safe
So much love.

There is a patience so complete it never gives up on me
I am 12, angry and hurt, trying to smash your infusaport[1]
Eyes that look into mine as you pin my arms
“I love you but I hate what you’re doing.”
You hurt, but you stay strong and teach me to be human

There is a confidence I draw on when I am in need
I am 14 years old being told not to quit
A voice that penetrates me, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
So, I go to Spain.
So much faith in me. 

There is an understanding so deep when I am in turmoil
I am 16, hurt, hurt, hurt, turned down for prom.
A hand that holds mine, taking away the need to explain my tears
You know. I am not alone.

There is a friendship deeper than any I have known
I am 17 and we are off on an adventure
A laughter that blends with mine as we swim in Palm Springs

We have so much fun together. 

There is a bond that is unbreakable
I am 18, in college and calling home every day
I cannot wait to chat. Share and listen even when I have nothing to say
You make me feel special.

There is a confident, hopeful, and strong young woman.
She has become this way because of you.
The faith you placed in her is now her belief that she will succeed

The Love you gave her is now the inner safety net of self-esteem she falls on
And the laughter you share brings a smile to her face on the worst days.
It is because of you that she has the courage to try,
The strength to stick with it,
And the hope of new adventures.

There is a tightrope we walk called life
You put me on it when you gave birth to me
For a long time you carried me, then you held my hand, and then you told me you believed in me.
You never hovered so close that you overpowered me and caused me to fall
But the presence of your hand was always there
Even now
You balance me.

I love you,
Andrea

[1] infusaport: subcutaneous port surgically inserted in my chest through which chemotherapy and blood transfusions were injected.