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Dear Savannah,

I need to write you a letter and I’m not even sure where to begin…

I wish with my whole heart that you’d allow me to just tell you these things… it’s difficult to write them out, much less write them all. And it was so important to me that you know every last sentiment and memory I hold in my heart about you.

But…. that’s not to be. So I’ll do my best here….

You and I have been through so very much… far more than you could remember (thank God!).

The color I always associated with you was yellow, a very specific shade of buttery yellow.

Yellow like a very certain sunrise, yellow like the lost hope of my youth, yellow like a butterfly surprise with sunlight illuminating its wispy wings. Soft like a love song but powerful like the sun itself.

You’ve said and done so many extraordinary things- we’ve shared so many amazing moments, it’s just impossible to write them all out and I can’t shake the sadness I feel when I think you may not know or remember every single one.

You were literally sheer light when you were born. You know my pregnancy with you was difficult and tenuous. The stroke I had when I was 3 weeks pregnant with you could have easily killed us both. But it didn’t! The doctors weren’t sure of the amount of damage the lack of oxygen might have done to you. They said it could cause anything from severe physical and mental disability to no effect at all. There were no guarantees. I don’t have words to explain the vastness of my fears for you, for me, for Lexi… obviously I can’t write here of them all…

Fast forward to the morning you were born. It was different than Lexi. I had had to choose your birthday because the doctors didn’t want to risk me going into labor and possibly having another stroke that might kill us both.

The morning of your birth, your dad drove me to the hospital as scheduled and they induced labor so you could be born in a set and safely planned environment.

I was petrified for your safety and well-being and for Lexi, just a sweet little barely-toddler, should anything happen to us that morning.

Dr. David had been our doctor since the day I had the stroke on June 4, 1998. Your grandmother( my mom) had been so furiously angry at my stroke and that I was pregnant by your dad again even though I’d left him, that I had invited her to your birth… my hope was that she would love you regardless of all of that if she got to watch you come into this world. My friend Cindy held one leg and your grandmother held the other as you came into this world.

I was so scared.

Dr. David was delivering you and suddenly her face had this astonished look and I freaked out… not sure if you were deformed or dead… and I yelled out “WHAT??!?” Dr. David said, all I see is light!

You literally come out of my body with a crown of light around your head, Savannah.

And you were healthy and “normal” and AMAZING!!! Actually, you were far, far beyond normal.

You were wicked smart and breathtakingly beautiful.. with the strength of a tiger but the tender sweetness of a kitten.

I still don’t know what that crown of light around your head the doctor saw was, but she told me she’s never seen anything like it in all her baby deliveries. And I thought of you like an angel sent to me and Lexi.

As you grew, you were challenging and brilliant in every sense of the word and intelligent so far beyond your years… way beyond what was even possible.

You were a mini-me and I was determined not to suppress that amazing individuality in you nor allow anyone else to shame it away or suppress it.

And every frustration I ever had to face to encourage that brilliant light in you was worth it.

I don’t have the words to describe how I see you. You are brilliance and sunlight. You are cuddles and extraordinary sweetness with the fiery strength of a lion with the intelligence of a rocket scientist with the wisdom of Socrates.

When you were around 4, you told me you knew you had chosen me for your momma before you were born because you wanted the best momma of all.

I just don’t have the words for your level of amazing. You’re so far beyond any of that.

Thank you for calling me last month when there were shootings in Las Vegas . That meant the world to me. You’ll never even know how much that meant.

Thank you for choosing to be my daughter. Thank you for your wicked funny sense of humor that saved me a zillion times in stressful moments I couldn’t tell you at the time.

You exceed the words brilliant and amazing but I have no other words right now.

I love you to infinity.