My dearest, sweetest Kiernen,
First and foremost, I want you to know what an honor it has been to be your mother. I so admire your strength, cherish your heart, and stand in awe of your loyalty and sense of compassion. To know you is to love you. You are remarkable in every way, and truly a gift in my life.
It’s hard for me to comprehend that my monkey is on the cusp of adulthood. It seems like only yesterday, you were a gorgeous blue-eyed baby cradled in my arms. So many images are running through my mind as I write this. How can I summarize seventeen years of cherished memories in words? You’ve gone through more than most people will experience in a lifetime of living. It would take a book, and even if I could write that story, it wouldn’t ever capture the essence of your Kierneness. You’re just too amazing for words, soldiering through hardships even I’ve struggled to face at times.
For the past nine years, I’ve mourned the loss of your childhood. I’ve been unable to take away your pain or answer the “Why me?” question. The truth is, I don’t know why. You’re old enough to realize that I don’t always have all the answers. I’m not in control of everything that happens in our lives, and I am human. No one knows better than I that I am far from perfect, but I do have faith that everything we experience is part of a plan greater than just ourselves. I believe in times of hardship we are shaped into something greater than we would have become otherwise. I know one thing is for certain. You have grown strong, and wise beyond your age, and I am proud of the woman you have become.
The hard stuff is already figured out. Now you’re just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with you. You’ve learned the value of honor and carry a strong sense of right and wrong. Mostly, you’ve discovered what really matters. The rest is just white noise.
I want you to know that it’s okay to have fun, and get your hands a little dirty. Live your life instead of watching from the sidelines. Sure, you might fall and scrape your knuckles, but then again, you may not. You’ll never really know unless you decide to play. Know that I will always be here, cheering you on.
I love you!