There’s a list a mile long that this post could be about. Some of it though remains between me and her, in the letter I wrote and gave to her. However, for everyone who doesn’t get it, let me give you the short list:
- I know that women can be whoever they want to be and do what they want to do.
- I forged a closeness with a dearly departed relative.
- I am alive. She has quite literally saved my life.
- I have a chosen family unlike any other. I wouldn’t have ES, SaL, ShL, GC, WP, MC, JDV, EB, JB, ML or GS in my life without her.
- I want to do more for those less fortunate, and constantly have a Sanctuary for Kids fundraiser running through my head or in the pipeline.
- I have opened up a part of myself I spent years closing off.
- I am grateful for each and every day.
- I have braved far more public spaces (cons) than I ever would have, discovering that I enjoy them, despite sensory overload.
- I remember that my disabilities are part of me and nothing to shy away from.
- I have been able to introduce my nephew and my friend’s daughter to a world of pure imagination.
So whilst I may not get the chance to see her in person this year (for the first time in 5 years), I have the knowledge that she has enabled me to change and to get through some of the toughest times. And that because of her I have people who care and don’t give up on me. She has been my role model for nearly 18 years, and whilst she may never see this post, it’s a public thank you for every moment she’s inspired.