Gloria Giraldi

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The best way for me to go about talking about my mother and what she means to me is through this letter I wrote.' I really don't know how to write this letter to you knowing you'll never get to read this.' I have to start believing that somewhere you are watching and listening to what I have to say.

Dear Mom,

For the past month or so people, including you, have been asking me how I feel and am I ok'' Well, since I found out that you were sick I wanted to stop everything and come home and be with you.' Of course, you would not hear of it.' I know it wasn't that you didn't want me home but at the same time I felt that I needed to be with you.' You would tell me over and over that there was no reason to come home yet because most of the day you would still be at work, so I wouldn't be able to spend time with you.'

Mom, I know all you wanted was for me to go about my life as if nothing was wrong and you wanted things to be as normal as possible, but that was hard for me to do. I know one of your biggest fears for me is that I will never finish school once you passed because of all the struggles I have gone through throughout my life.

I know it is going to be hard to go back to school knowing that you won't be here to help me finish.' But, I made a promise to you in the hospital and also before I came home, that no matter how long it takes me I am going to get that diploma!' I remember you telling me that even if you were not still here when I graduate, that I will know that you were there by seeing papers flying through the air.

Mom, if it wasn't for you, I don't think I could have made it this far.' You have always made sure that I got the help I needed no matter how much the cost.' During the end of my freshman year of college all I wanted to do was give up because it was too hard and I honestly thought I couldn't do it.' I ended up doing poorly the first year and I was afraid you would be upset but instead you were not.' You were happy because even though academically I had a hard time, socially I was doing well.' I have never been truly able to get along with people my age and that was something I knew you were concerned about.' But, if it wasn't for my friends I met freshman year I don't think I could have gotten through the last 4 years of school so far.

Mom, I hope you know you have never let me down and you have always been there for me through all the good times and especially the bad times.

You and I would talk at least 20 times a day on our cell phones (thank G-d we had free mobile to mobile!)' I would call you between my classes and you would call me either on the road or between meetings.' However, in these past few months our phone conversations have decreased dramatically because it was hard for you to talk and that was when I began to realize you were getting significantly worse.' I started to get this really bad pain in my chest and feeling really empty inside.' I began to feel more alone and angry because I was losing a piece of me that made me feel safe.'

Without all your love and your determination for me to do well and be happy I can honestly say I wouldn't be able to be where I am today.'

'I am going to do whatever I have to, to get through school and the rest of my life without you (body and all).' But, it is really going to be the toughest thing I ever do.' Part of me thinks you weren't too worried about me, because you knew that Daniella, Dad, and especially Joseph would be on my back making sure I am studying and eating right and above all, well taken care of no matter where I am.' I know now how important siblings are to have during a time like this.' I promise you mom, that I will never take for granted how lucky I am to have a brother and sister who care so much for me and my well being.'

I really don't know how to say goodbye to you, so instead I will say see you around.'Love, Your baby girl,, Bethann