Dear Mother,

Five years ago today was the single worst day of both of our lives. You lost your best friend. I watched you lose your best friend. I lost my Godmother. You watched me lose my Godmother. We both watched a family being destroyed. We watched a mother cry over losing her daughter. A husband cry over losing his wife. Kids cry over losing their mother. We just watched this all happen and there was nothing either of us could do about it. So many tears were shed and all she could ask was “why were we all crying?” Why were we crying?

I finally understand why it hurt so badly to lose her. It wasn’t just because she was the perfect friend, an excellent role model, a beautiful daughter, a loving wife or the mother to three children. It wasn’t just because she was such a great person and she would be missed by everyone whose life she touched. It wasn’t just because God wasn’t being fair that day. Or even because cancer ruins lives. It hurt so badly because she was ours.

She made everything feel like it would be okay. For you, she was your best friend, your “go-to”, your “crazy drunken story” that you thought you’d still laugh about when you’re 90, your lifeline, your rock. She was your person. For me, she was my support system, my “go-to” when everyone else seemed like they were against me, my Godmother, my guardian angel. She was my person, too.

All of us have spent the last five years trying to replace the irreplaceable. You’ve looked for a new best friend. I’ve looked for a new role model. Her husband looked for, and found a new wife. The kids searched for a new “mother” figure. But there’s one person who didn’t try replacing her. Her mother. I could promise you that not even for a single moment in time, her mother thought, “She's gone, what am I going to do, I need someone else.” That should tell us something.

There’s nothing stronger than a mother’s love for her daughter. It’s the irreplaceable love that doesn’t search for a replacement. Although the pain of losing her never goes away, we both know that she must be pretty proud of everything we've accomplished over the past five years. She shines above us and supports our decisions, and trust me, we'd sure know it if she didn't. She's our angel now and you're stuck here with me.

You are my mother. I am your daughter. We have this irreplaceable love that will never be lost. I may not be able to share the same stories, give you the same support, or be the perfect friend as she was. But we’ve been looking so hard for a replacement when our replacements were here all along. You’re my person. I’m your person.

And I love you.