To my dear daughter, know how much I love you.
My childhood was fairly easy & free-spirited. No illness or family troubles to cloud my days growing up. So much freedom & autonomy, the support of my parents & many opportunities they gave me. Your life has not been carefree. An older brother with complex needs. Then, at a very tender age you were hit by a terrible foe.You survived wonderfully, you grew beyond. Cancer is tough–but you were tougher. At 21, you were hit by a different foe. That is when my walls came tumbling down. I have tears down my cheeks right now. When you went back into illness last summer a dear friend gave me this. I have worn it ever since. My decision was to wear it every day. I showered and slept with it. I didn’t wear it as a piece of jewelry, it was always tucked inside my shirt. I have worn FAITH for over a year now. I just needed to hold onto it. Still do, in many ways. But there is a letting go in this now. I feel compelled to pass it on to you as you go back to school.
This key inscribed with FAITH. As I have this around my neck, I reach for it & grasp it in the palm of my hand. Countless times I have done that this past year. How very good it feels to do that. Solid, real. I want you to be back at school with faith in yourself, & faith in God. You have amazing reserves, but when you feel depleted let God fill your reservoirs. Above all, have faith in God. Know that you can rely on Him. Have faith in yourself as you hold or wear FAITH. It will be a bit weird for me to not have this around my neck, for it is comforting and settling to me. I touch it, feel it, it resonates to give me renewed heart, strength, and peace. I reach for it often, & will feel rather naked without it. Still, I believe I will continue to wear it close to my heart & hold it in the palm of my hand even as I pass it on to you. Whenever I close my fingers upon my palm, I know I will feel it and I will think of you, the one who means so very much to me, and in whom I have great faith.