I'm writing this letter the night before my surgery for my friend Jess to post in the morning after I get wheeled away into oblivion.
Mom. You are the most compassionate, loving, generous, silly, affectionate woman. You've taught me to face hard issues with tenacity, strength, a smile, and perseverance. I'm grateful for our long talks, your wisdom, your laughter and frankness. You've helped me evolve into the woman that I am today, and I'm proud to say that I think I'm a lot like you. In fact, it's been my goal. I hope I can be as amazing as you are, always full of hugs, and sincerity. You're my soul. I admire you so much, and I'm honored that you're my mom and a best friend.
Dad. Thank you for protecting me. You've been my savior throughout my life. You're always the first in line to offer help. You're always around my house, helping rip out dead plants, teaching me how to use power tools, passing along all your little tricks to make my life easier. You set me up to take care of myself, and yet if I ever need you, actually usually before I even know that I need your help, you're already there pointing out how to fix things. And it's kind. You're so gentle and helpful, not pushy or mean. Always helping, all the while making me laugh, from the bottom of your heart. You're a great role model. Helping others. Always.
Kaal. Where to begin. You are my big bro, a best friend, a teacher, a tutor, a confidant, a protector, and a hero to me. You've always watched out for me, reading books upside down (it's the thought that counts), trenching through swamps for frogs, helping me get my boots unstuck from the mud, throwing men against walls when they just wanted to introduce themselves, tossing your arm around me and telling me about fishing lures (and then forgiving me when I accidentally dumped your tackle box in the reservoir). I was honored to be the best man at your wedding. I'm honored to be your sister. You are hilarious, you have the best bear hugs, you watch over me, you are my guardian. You are irreplaceable. I'm so grateful for you.
Danny. You're such a light, such a joy, full of laughter and kindness and yet grit and strength. You've been compassionate and selfless while you've held my hand through this process, never failing to sneak me a hug, a kiss, or whisper an epiphany of inspiration. Thank you for helping me tackle this epic battle. Thank you for loving me, and witnessing this progression. You lift my spirit when it lags, and you know just how to help me laugh it all off when I just want to toss around the dark humor. You are my rock.
Jess. You flew across the globe the second you heard my diagnosis. You've cooked, you've cleaned, you've made list after list and made me laugh like a raving lunatic. You shaved your head with me in the most selfless act of camaraderie. You're the glue that holds this house together, knowing just when to check in with my mom, play a game with my brother, hit the shops with Courtney, distract, entertain, assist. You are amazing. You've been living on a couch for almost two weeks without a single complaint. You are a miracle. I am so blessed to have you as my friend. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Courtney. The laughing, dancing, jumping bean, "We HAVE to dance....IT'S MADONNA!!!!" Thank you for the smiles, and the magazines, and the big earrings. You know just how to help me feel like a woman, and then laugh my pants off at the ridiculousness of the whole situation. You're patient, and supportive, and you know just when to sass it up and egg me on. You make me laugh so hard, and yet you know when to sit back and just read and relax. You're an excellent combo. I'm so glad you're my sister!
If all has gone correctly, this post is being read by people while I'm already gone with the doctors. Possibly already open-aired in the cranium. I will make it through. I am powerful. I am loved. I am tenacious. I'm a problem solver. I'll hold my humor until they get the work done. Thank you for the prayers, the kindness, and the energy, I can feel it. I feel it all day everyday. I will not let you down. I will conquer.