Another year of memories made, things accomplished, and things undone. Such is the journey of life.
I am ever grateful for my amazing daughters and the life and lessons they have given me.
Harli, for giving me the gift of being a mom, for teaching me about real love, embracing each moment, and even for the long string of sleepless nights. For showing me that everyone brings a gift to the table, that all of us, every single one, are important and should be valued. Teaching me that even when we are silent, it never means we have nothing to say. That choosing our words is as important as choosing our thoughts. We are all in charge of our own script, and the ability to share it, should never be taken for granted, nor taken away.
Harli, I have learned a strength through you, that I never thought possible. Thank you for knocking down the walls, crumbling the obstacles and teaching me to look past the judgements of others. To take only what I need and leave the rest.
Destini, you have given me my greatest rewards as a person, a parent, a fellow observer in this maddening world; Resilience. You have shown me, that even in the most trying of times, we decide whether or not to embrace life. It is a choice we make every single day. The light at the end of a dark tunnel is up to us, that we carry the switch, and we alone have the power to turn it on.
Destini you have given me the blessing of watching innocence and kindness blossom, and that even the most fragile of flowers can withstand the greatest of storms. With all of the things you have had to overcome, for no other reason than just being my daughter, and Harli's sister, you have done so with strength and determination, never wavering or compromising who you are.
Yes, even when your anxiety is through the roof top, you always climb back down and move forward to conquer another day. Thank you for showing me kindness in action, grace in the darkness and compassion in the midst of the storms.
Chloe, you have completed our lives in so many ways. You encompass so many things that I see in my own children, and yet your uniqueness shines through. For someone so little, and so young, you have walked the rockiest of roads and climbed the highest of mountains, facing more opposition in your short years than most do in a lifetime.
Chloe, you have shown me that nothing is impossible, everything can be surmounted, and life can be beautiful even in the dark. I watch you win the battles against your demons every single day, and the way you carry your sword, reminds us all how intense strength can be.
While the world spins, mostly out of control, I know we as a people, have come far, yet I am not blind to the fact of how much further we've yet to go. The discord that reaches across oceans, the boiling point of our nation, the fear in the eyes of our brothers and sisters, all made softer in the gentle hands of our children.
I will blow out the candles tonight and make a wish, it will be for the same things I always wish for. That we all find a way to join hands, to embrace our differences and relish in our sameness. There is nothing more beautifully dangerous, nor perfectly imperfect, than being human.
I stand in gratitude for all this life has given me. The obstacles, the gifts, the climb, and the descent; all leading to the person I have become. I am thankful for every person that has come into my life, and for all of those that have left. I am grateful every day for waking in the morning and still finding Freedom outside my front door, and for the fight we all join to keep it.
Here's to 53 more years along this ever-winding road.