To my dearest little girl, Chelsea Marie. You entered my world blazing your trail and most of the time I was running to catch up to you! Everyone who met you remembers your energy. You brought so much color to this world. There are so many stories that come up for me now…they keep me going. From playing at Turkey Swamp Park, to cheerleading [I remember you got angry with me for cheering too loudly on the sidelines…oh, the times I embarrassed you!] our painting class, sleepovers at museums, brownies, tap dancing..and remember those “slippless slippers” you invented after seeing me fall on the icy driveway to get the newspaper?!

Remember the night you cooked a lovely chicken dinner for me? I said that it was the best chicken I ever had and in – in all honesty, told me that you decided not to burn it like I did! Honesty…you always spoke yours! Chelsea, you taught me so many lessons in this life. Be honest, tell your truth, love many different people and don’t be afraid.

I remember when you were just seven and a boy was visiting his grandmother in our neighborhood. He had birth defects…one was blindness. None of the other kids talked to him…but you – within an hour you were best friends and you invited him over for dinner! You reached out to everyone, and oh, how you loved and cared for your cat! He had 17 years with you, too! I promise to take good care of him for you.

I thank God for these seventeen years. From the yelling, crying, hugging, loving, laughing…all of it has been my path with you and I have no regrets.

I thank you for choosing me to walk your journey as your mother. It has been my honor. We were so close these past two years going shopping, cooking, playing games, going to the beach or out to dinner. Not a day went by that you did not tell me loved me, and I, that I loved you. I have all the cards you gave me just to say thanks for never giving up. We never gave up on each other, did we?

Chelsea, thank you for the privilege of being your mother, for being the one you trusted to handle traveling this life with you. For having the faith in me to be strong enough to allow you to leave. I am a better, fuller person for having known you. You are teaching me now to love unconditionally. Don’t hold on to anger…life is short. You will be teaching me the rest of my life and beyond.

I know that you know how deeply I love you and I know you love me with all of your heart. We are still holding each other as we walk forward. You are my angel in heaven; I am your angel on earth.

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