You got me through my childhood. You got me through the awkward Sunday church and family pictures where I felt embarrassed and humiliated having to wear a skirt and socks with ruffles. You knew it was killing me, but you assured me that one day it will be my turn to be out front but that right now, everyone needs you. You were there for all of my favorite memories. And you got me through us telling our first lie and seeing the damage it caused that changed everything. Our worlds were coming closer and closer together, but not yet. Dear Mandy, you appeared during a time that I was fighting for my brothers attention. Just wanting to be wanted. So we changed our name because that’s what he always called us, and well, this just made us feel closer to him somehow. You were there when our first secret got found out. We weren’t sure we would make it through the night, but we did. You faced the family head on, and then drove away once asked to leave. You would fight for our life almost every day for the next three years. I wanted to tap out on multiple occasions, saying it just wasn’t worth it, but you never gave up. You said your job wasn’t done, that they still needed you. So we kept fighting the dark til the next morning. Mandy, you were the strongest. I don’t know how you did it. You could see further than I could. I just wanted to finally be free, but you kept your eyes on where you were needed. It wasn’t all dark. You got to be there for 9 of our favorite moments, starting with Liam. You saw him minutes after being born from our iPad and you instantly knew that there wasn’t a single thing in this world that you wouldn’t do for him. “Aunt Manda” was your kryptonite, because it didn’t matter what request came after those words, you were gonna make it happen. Mandy, thank you for setting me free. You got us to today. You accomplished what you came for. Everyone that had needed you now found someone else to need. You knew it was time to switch drivers, because the person who needed you now the most, was me. I needed to take care of my biggest need — to finally get to be authentic. You and Amanda had to lie and trick people from the day you found out I existed. You had to fight for your lives because of the weight you were carrying. It was time to be free. To show up for myself even if no one else does. This isn’t a matter of who is for me or against me, it’s about me saving my own life. It’s about me finally coming up for air. It’s about me finally, finally, finally, being free. Thank you for getting us to today. I know you aren’t going anywhere, you’re just moving over.
All my love,