Mariam Abdel-Akher

Mariam Abdel-Akher

Mom,

I don't know how to begin to thank you. But I'll start by saying I appreciate everything you've done for me, and everything you will do for me in the future.

Let's begin back in 1997, when I was first born. You changed me, you fed me, you potty-trained me, you gave me love, and you did it all with your big fat heart. Now, although I was a messy child with way too much energy, you still found time to laugh at my weirdness and play along with me. When I was three and I would wake you up in the middle of the night to build a puzzle with me, you'd do it. That's just how much you love your children.

Thank you mom. Thanks for all those times you didn't let me go to that one party in high school, especially when they were uneventful and lame, or something bad had happened. Even though I was so mad at you in the moment, I understand why you did it now. You were worried and you didn't want me to get hurt. I'll always love you for that.

And even through all those baby poops, toddler tantrums, and teenage attitude, you were still there with me when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. From the second it started, you didn't cry in front of me; you wanted to stay strong, but I know it was killing you inside to see me like this. The chemo made me weak, but you made me strong. It was like I was a child again: you fed me, you tucked me into bed, you helped me with my homework when my brain turned to mush from the chemo. Most of all, you were by my side 24/7 when no one else was.

I love you very much. Thank you mom to the moon and back for everything you've done for me.

Mariam