We met in a place I would never have expected. You amazed me with your courage and your independence, and I have to admit that you intimidated me a little bit, too. I went with friends expecting nothing more than to spend some time relaxing and having fun. Then I met you.
I didn’t see you again until much later, but I realized that I had an intense desire to be your friend. I followed you around, trying to get to know you better. Trying to understand you. When we parted ways that time, I felt a closeness between us beginning to grow.
After that we saw more off each other. I watched you grow more, become more courageous. Become more and more like the woman you are today. I had to stop myself at times from acting like your mother. While my mind reeled at “daughter”, it settled quite comfortably on “sister”. When I needed to quiet my whirling thoughts, I pictured your face.
We danced together, we talked, we laughed, we played games. You were strong, both mentally and physically. You impressed me with what you could make your body do. I aspired to be like you, because you are amazing in so many ways.
Then you hit a rough spot; I tried to catch you, but could not. I despaired at not being able to help you through it more effectively, and I agonized over you day and night.
But I somehow — temporarily — forgot about your strength, determination, power, and spirit. You have reclaimed them, and reminded me of what it means to be courageous. Everyday brings its challenges and its provocations, and you meet them head on. You don’t apologize for being you, and I can never thank you enough for that.