There are so many things I have been grateful for in my life, but there is one thing I am very grateful—and thankful for. That is my parents.

I know there have been quite a lot of dedication letters to moms and dads everywhere. They are really awesome because it shows that a person has not forgotten where they came from, and who helped them along the way. This is no different.

Well, I started out life as a premature baby, born at five months instead of nine. I was not alone though, I had a twin brother. Both of us had a 50% chance of surviving, and were most likely not expected to. However, by a miracle, we did. Now here is the catch. While my brother was growing at a normal rate, walking and doing a lot, I was taking a lot longer than I should have. The diagnosis: Cerebral Palsy. Sure, I could talk, and even observe things—but the physical aspect of it all was hard. I was not able to walk until I was three, and could not obtain a good posture. I also used to drool a lot. My parents used to be worried about whether I would be able to be independent, to be on my own. However, this little girl was determined.

I spent my childhood striving to be independent. To do all the things I set my mind to. It sounds easy saying this, but no—it was quite the opposite. There were days when I cried, wanted to give up, pitied myself, fell off track and the rest goes on. There were the two main people who stood by me though (including some along the way). My parents always reminded me of who I was when I could not recognize myself and let me know that I was so much more than what the world said I was, or what I was capable of. They let me fly even though they were afraid, and found it hard to let me go.

I am grateful for the times that they corrected me, even though I often found it annoying. They were always right. I am grateful for the many times my dad told me to stand up straight and tall, and to not drag my feet or look down on them, because now I look forward and up. I am grateful for the times they told me to always get up when I fall (literally) and not to cry too much, and just keep it moving. I am grateful they built me up, and always believed in me. I am grateful they did not hold me back when it came to making decisions. I am grateful that because of them, I am in college. They let me beat the odds.

I am grateful…that I am your daughter.

Thank you Mom and Dad

I love you from the bottom of my heart all the way to the top.