Your second mom is the person you turn to when you either A.) can’t tell your real mom something in fear of getting in trouble or B.) need a second opinion because your real parents didn’t give the answer you wanted. Regardless, she is essential for maintaining family unity and overall sanity. She’s there for you forever, because she chose to not because of blood. And that speaks volumes.

I was lucky enough to have found my second mom when I was around nine-years old, but I didn’t realize how much I needed her until I entered high school. Now I couldn’t imagine life without her.

So this letter is to Jackie, my second mom.

Thank you for all the times you took me in and treated me like part of your family. My favorite times are when we’re all cuddled in your bed telling stories about when you were my age. Thank you for having your own family adopt me into their life and being invited to every birthday party and family function. They have brought so much light to my life, especially your nieces and nephews that I love as my own. Thank you to your sisters and mom for always making me feel loved and laugh the loudest when we’re all together. You may not have given birth to me, but you probably should have.

Beyond your own family, thank you for giving me my second family. Allowing me to train and work at the gym gave me more than I ever thought possible. I found my best friends and family there. Thank you for making us all be so close and showing us the way to love and appreciate everyone who walks through the doors. You gave me an extended family that I’ll have forever. Even though I’m a hundred miles away at college, I know that you all are only a phone call away. So thank you a thousand times over for taking a chance on me before your doors were even open.

Thank you for giving me the best advice, even when I don’t want to hear it. Whether it’s about stupid boys, high school, or just life in general I know I can always count on you to tell me what to do. I’ve gone to you with every bit of drama that I couldn’t tell me mom, and you always managed to make me smile by the end. But thank you for letting me know that it’s okay to mess up and make the wrong decision along the way because that’s how I learned the most. Thank you for always being the one to pick me up when I’m down and for knowing something’s wrong before I even say anything. As much as I hate it, I’m so thankful that you force me into telling you everything.

More than anything thank you for having the most perfect daughter of your own, that I now get to be a second mommy to. You have shown me what it’s like to always be there for someone, and I will always be there for her. Thank you for teaching me how to treat people and love them unconditionally. And now giving me someone I love more than I ever thought humanly possible. Thank you for being an amazing second mom to me, while still raising a baby and being the best real mommy to her.

Thank you for being my best friend, role model, and second mom all at the same time because I know which ever one I need, you’ll be there; if I need a shoulder to cry on, a person to laugh with, or someone to tell me to get my shit together and calm down. You’ll always stick up for me, tell me when I’m wrong, and protect me. Thank you for coming into my life and never leaving. I couldn’t imagine life without you.

So thank you, I love you, and I miss you. I’ll see soon!

Love always,

Awussa