One day, very early in 1996, two young teens, aged 15 and 16 found out they were having a child together. They were so young, unprepared and scared but they decided to make the best out of the situation and give their child the best life they possibly could. They named her Amanda; Mandi was full of life and very smart. She moved into the house up the street from me with her Mom, Nanny and Grandpop. We met when we were both chasing the icecream man and became absolutely inseparable. Her family began to treat me like one of their own. I grew up with older parents so that meant I had older grandparents and family members. I lost a lot of them throughout my life and Mandi always said to me, “I don't know how you deal with it, I wouldn't be able to handle it." Sadly, she had no idea what was to come in her future.
Mandi lost her Mother on a cold day in December 2016 just days before Christmas. Could you ever imagine losing your Mother tragically when you're barely into your twenties? Her mom was her best friend and like a sister to her, she was still her mother, but someone who really played the motherly role in her life a lot of the time was also her Nanny. She had leaned on and confined in her Nanny, when they had lost Crystal, it was a loss of a mother, and a daughter. It was a pain they both shared. It was beyond hard for them but they held on tight through it all. Then one day in May of 2019, Mandi's Nanny passed away unexpectedly. Two of the biggest pieces of her life were gone, just like that.
Mandi, one day when you were 5-years-old you found yourself jumping up and down on your Nanny's bed while she laughed at you and said “You're crazy Mandi" and you couldn't help but laugh too. One day when you were 16-years-old, you started to find a best friend in your Mom because she understood everything you were dealing with. You two used to fight like sisters, it was honestly hilarious but there wasn't ever a time I didn't hear you tell eachother “love you" before going separate ways or ending a phone call. The three of you really had this bond where you truly loved each other unconditionally and passionately, nothing either of you did or said could rip you apart for good. There was always love, there may have always been madness going on but one thing for sure is, there was always love. They loved you beyond words and were always so proud of you too, you weren't dealt the best cards in life, and trust me they knew that.
Mandi, today is your 23rd birthday, you may not think so but you are doing amazing. You lost two of your very best friends who were on earth with you, but you gained two very beautiful angels, who I know are now at peace. They are happier, they don't suffer through any pain anymore. All they feel is genuine happiness and peace. All they want for you is to continue life, living it to the best of your ability, and they know that you loved them, don't ever doubt that. After all you've endured, I am in awe of your strength, it could move mountains. You would tell me that you wouldn't be able to handle losing anyone but look at you now, you are a true warrior. You are stronger than most, I hope you remember that.