Sometimes words aren't enough to express what you mean to me. Sometimes I don't know how to say it right; sometimes I don't know how to say it at all. You're too extraordinary of a person to confine to descriptions of my feelings or complimentary adjectives. You deserve to be recognized in more than just words, for words will not do you justice. Memories of you will forever be etched into my heart and soul; but, for the memories I can't share with others I will do my best to honor you with words.

As I have gotten older, I have begun to see a lot of you in me. Sometimes I say something or do something and instantly smile because I know exactly who I got it from. I crave chocolates and desserts a little too often, and I'm pretty sure it has something to do with you and your sweet tooth. When I pull back my hair to put it into a ponytail I see the same little ears you have & feel instantly more beautiful seeing a part of you on me. Every time I wish I was a little taller, I remember how much I love being the petite frame I am because I am just like you. As for the 45 pairs of shoes sitting in my closet, we all know who I got that obsession from.

Let's not forget a few of my favorite things I have inherited from you. When it comes to me being extremely particular and fair, perhaps it has something to do with you counting every single M&M in our snack bags to make sure we all had an equal amount. One of my absolute favorite qualities I learned from you is your firecracker energy. They say "good things come in small packages". I can only hope I embody your determination, wit, intelligence, and optimism throughout my life as gracefully as you have.

Perhaps my favorite quality of all, that I can only hope to learn from you, is your unconditional love and loyalty to those who are most important to you. Your love radiates from within, your smile beams with joy. In the Bible, we are asked to love others with the unconditional love that God has for us, and I have always felt God's love from you. Whether it be a smile, a hug or an "I love you", I always feel and see the love you hold in your heart for me and for others. You wear your heart on your sleeve, and my, what a beautiful heart it is.

It's undeniable that we have a special connection. It's as though God said, "I pick you and you; you two will be soul mates". When we both got sick 5 years ago, as much as it felt (and feels) unfair, I honestly would not be where I am or who I am if I didn't have you fighting by my side. When we would FaceTime from our hospital beds, I was always comforted because I knew someone understood how I felt even though I never spoke of my feelings. There was an unspoken understanding between us and I never would have mentally made it through the years without you by my side, giving me a reason to fight. We have had great days and we have also had some of the worst days of our lives, but we have gotten through them together, hand in hand, side by side. If I could take all the pain and suffering you have ever gone through away from you and carry it for you, I would do it in an instant. Seeing you smile and radiate joy is the most fulfilling thing in my life, so I wake up and fight every day so I can see your smile another time.

You gave me the will to fight, day in and day out. Every time I wake up and prove that my illness is not in charge of my life, I think of you. Because the most beautiful woman in the world taught me that our circumstances do not define us, we define ourselves. When I think of all the amazing accomplishments you have made throughout your lifetime I can't help but beam with pride and hope that I am half the woman you are. You are undoubtedly the bravest, most courageous and strongest woman in the world. You wake up every day with a smile, a goal and a fire within you to fight until you can fight no longer. But, I'm here to tell you, as you have told me, it's okay to not be okay.

I am so thankful that God blessed me with my soul mate & my angel on earth. Never have I met someone with such a pure, authentic and selfless heart. You have made every day of my life brighter and I can only hope to impact someone's life as much as you have impacted mine. Thank you for all the joy, laughter and love you have filled my life with. You forever have my heart.

I love you grandma, and never forget it.