I know I don’t say it enough, but thank you.
Thank you for protecting me and caring for me before I even entered this world. I am sure you didn’t imagine how much you would have to care for me and protect me after I was born. We know that babies come with a whole mess of responsibilities, but I know you had no idea what trouble my food allergies would entail.
Thank you for keeping me safe. I know small mistakes might have happened, but I know that you have always done your best.
Thank you for taking the fear and anxiety that you felt for my safety and health, and in turn, teaching me to be strong and to advocate for myself.
Thank you for taking me to countless doctor appointments, and teaching my family, teachers, friends, and husband how to use an EpiPen to make sure that I stay safe.
Thank you for keeping me fed and full – and for trying hundreds of different recipes so that I could eat “normal” food. Thank you for staying up late and waking up early so that I could have special treats for school when there were holiday or birthday parties. You are the best cook and baker. Your food has always been a labor of love, which means more than anything. Thank you for driving far to safe bakeries and restaurants so that I could try other food too that is safe for me.
Thank you for letting me cry when I felt isolated or afraid because of my allergies, and thank you for then encouraging me to focus on the beautiful parts of life when I was hurting.
You are the most nurturing, protective, and beautiful woman I have ever known, and I hope to be just like you someday. I don’t know what challenges my future children will face, but if I can share the love, encouragement, protection, and strength that you shared with me, well then I know they will be okay.
I love you Mom.
Thank you for protecting me and providing for me.
Thank you for working as hard as you could so that we could have safe food on the table. Thank you for working so that we could go to the doctor appointments, and have medication to keep me safe.
Like mom, I am sure you had no idea what chaos the food allergies would bring into your lives – thank you for not giving up on us. Thank you for changing your diet and eating only safe foods, in order to keep us safe.
I still remember the one allergic reaction I had, on the way to the hospital, you had us both sing out loud. Thank you for always encouraging me to use my voice, to speak up, and to sing when I am scared.
I love you Dad.