1) Thank you for the millions of pieces of advice you have given me over the years even when I didn't want to hear it.
From the basic "pay attention in school" when I update you on life to the more serious "everything will get better" when I would rant to you about how I thought my life was falling apart, thank you. Thank you for always saying the right thing. Thank you for being so invested in everything that I say that you always had a response. Thank you for being my personal therapist when family situations got rough and I was lost, not knowing who to turn to. What was only a response to you was words of advice that I will keep close to my heart for the rest of my life.
2) Thank you for all the times you treated me like I was one of your own.
From making sure I always have a full stomach when I am at your house to going out of your way to make sure that everything in my life is okay, just know it does not go unnoticed. My mom and dad are my whole world, but if something happened, I can say with great confidence that I would choose to be put in your care. You resemble my mom in many ways, always able to tell when something is wrong and will not let it go until you can get a smile on my face. You have the motherly instinct to make sure I am taken care of whether that means a bottle of water or a 5-minute long hug.
3) Thank you for always giving me someone to look up to.
Since day one, I have idolized you. As I have grown up, I have also watched you grow. Taking care of your kids with the love and care some children can only hope for. Forgiving people that do not always "deserve" that forgiveness. Loving people unconditionally and continuously going above and beyond for your loved ones. You have set an example of everything I can only hope that I become one day.
4) Thank you for the being my occasional escape at family parties.
Whether you are pulling me out of my boredom or away from a big political family talk, thank you. So many times I look back on memories and the best memory from holidays or parties are our heart to heart talks. you seem to always be my calm in the chaos or my chaos in the calm. One on one talks with you is what I crave in this world full of crazy. Whether it is a side conversation in a packed room or just us on a walk down to the lake, I appreciate every time I get to escape with you.
5) Thank you for letting me into your life.
Somewhere between the countless stories I have heard about the past and the stories I hear about the present, I got so intertwined in your life and I have loved every second of it. I love hearing stories about how reckless you were in the past. I even love hearing present-day stories about the kids. I cannot thank you enough times for just letting me be part of your life. You had a choice when I was born to be the aunt I see once a year or the aunt that gets involved. I feel beyond blessed to have a woman as great as you choose to include me in your life and choose to be a big part of my life.
These are all things that I have never thanked you for that I thought you needed to hear. You are amazing and I feel beyond blessed just to have you in my life. I have not told you enough times how much I appreciate you and what you do for me. You are such an inspiration, and I would be lost without you. So thank you again, for just being you.