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I look at you and see your face engrossed at the moment. Steadfastly you concentrate on becoming a better you. I watch you talk to other people, how you inspire them with both your wit and wisdom. How you reassure them with your presence.

In the simplest of moments, when you think no one is watching, you show kindness. You can be gruff on the outside and people may feel they can’t approach you.. until they do. Then they realize how open you are. How much you are willing to share your life experience and listen to theirs. How your words are a song and your song is the life you lead.

How wonderful it is to be you.

In all this, you can’t see what I see. You are too close to the person looking back at you in the mirror. You are seeing the flaws, that only you can see. You are judging every aspect of who you are; not just physically but mentally and emotionally.

We are all rough around the edges. We all can do better. Be better. You shine without knowing it. I think this is one of the reasons I admire you. You don’t condemn others because of what you see on the outside; the color of skin, the disabilities they may have. You are uniquely you and I am proud of you.

I am proud to know you. I am proud to be a part of your life. I am proud of how you have grown and continue to grow. I am thankful for the ups and downs, the valleys and peaks. You have helped make me a better person.

It is the struggles we face, the ups an downs, the laughter and anger which has created such a perfect storm of learning and growth. We do not flourish just in the sun or only beneath the rain. It is the storms and the bright blue skies that add to our character and being. It is the struggles we face and learn to overcome. When we don’t lay down and let what we perceive as our weaknesses take over our lives. When we stand up and fight, shake our fists at the raging storms and yell bring it on.

These are the things you have taught me. I have learned from you. Every day I become more than I was. Every day I become more willing to take the next step. So that I too can overcome my pain and grow from it.

I, too, shall look in the mirror and say, “I am proud of you.”

Student of life; mother, widow, sister, daughter, friend. Writing, photographing and exploring the world around me. Rediscovering life.

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