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Tomorrow you are turning 17 years old. I’ve sat reflecting for days about you and it seems like it was yesterday that you entered this world. I remember holding you for the first time. You, my sweet precious, toddler size baby. You held my fingers with your little hand and I thought… Wow, I did this!

IMG_20150912_181432When you entered my world, I learned about new relationships; the meanings they held. There are so many things I want to share with you – I don’t know where or when our relationship changed, but I always envisioned it different. I always thought we could sit and talk. I still pray each day that as we age you will see that you are the one thing that happened in my life that changed everything for the better. You offered me a purpose, a drive to be different… I wanted to be the person you would look up to your entire life.

So… Today I want to share certain things with you. Because I know we are changing, as you grow, you want less and less time with me. I have less time to offer you lessons and advice. As your mom, sometimes I wonder if I am doing a good job. Then I have the opportunity to look at who you are and I’m humbled by who you are.

To begin with, I want you to be and do whatever your heart wishes. Remain true to yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not to satisfy other people’s expectations. Living in the world we do we are often forced to wear different masks. Its overtime we begin to mistake those masks for the faces we had hidden in the past. Don’t let this happen to you!

I think the hardest lesson I had to learn was that no one owes me anything. So always remember that no one owes you. Its because there is something special in you that has touched someone’s heart and brought them immense joy that people love you. And from now on, persistently try to find in you that special something and through recognizing and appreciating it, allow it to grow so that more love and friendship comes you way.

Open your heart to goodness. No matter what happens, don’t let negative people or 2015-11-16 09.36.41_resizedthought take hold of you. The world is a beautiful place. But there are things that make it seem harsh…. You are made of love… follow your heart; and listen to your head. You always have a choice. You will be confronted with the choice between being an optimist or a pessimist…. Choose one, but choose wisely!

You can’t let the child in you die. As long as you nurture the child within you , you will find happiness and joy in life.

In everything… there is a purpose. Its in the people we meet and then things that come into your lives. Whatever falls your way, always try to find the purpose behind them. Find the space in your heart and mind to learn a new lesson from every purpose. If you find your close to failing with something you’ve started… ask for help from those around you! The one who realizes that he is ignorant, is ignorant no more.

I read somewhere once that every man’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s fingers. There will be times in your life when you think this is not true, you will feel that life is too hard to be a fairy tale. Its in those moments, I want you to remember that fairy tales contain wonder and beauty but also a few bad things. Each one contains some sort of unpleasantness. The trick is to conquer this slowly. But before conquering those external forces; conquer the monsters hiding in your own heart. This reality for me has been my biggest struggle. Letting go of what binds our hearts that is unhealthy…

IMG_20150630_062924_resizedBe bold, be brave and believe in the power of your dreams. Its your dreams, ambitions and your heart that will continue to push your life to the place you want it. Embrace what’s broken and move forward knowing yourself.

My dear sweet Jennifer, I love you. Who you are and I am so excited to see who you will become. My heart is open and I cannot wait to experience the world through you as you continue to become an even more amazing woman.

Always close,

Your mom

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