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Rose. Lavender. Patchouli and spice. I close my eyes and I can practically see these fragrant elements of your favorite Claire Burke room spray conjuring your image. Bringing you back to me. So we might watch football together or talk about all the amazing adventures we shared, just one more time. 

I know you’re gone, Mom, but you’re still here in my home in so many ways, from your hutch that now holds my collection of Starbucks cups, to your jewelry box in my bedroom, to your hoodies that I continue to wear. There’s even a photo of you right in the entryway, so you’re here right as I walk in the door. You are everywhere, always. 

You exist in more than physical reminders, too. I see you in my kids. Your kindness, your unconditional love, your compassion. The way their eyes light up when we talk about you. You were the best Grammy any kid could have (just ask Arynn). 

You were also the best mom anyone could ask for. Thanks to you, my childhood was a gift, filled with magic and wonder. And I mean that literally. Back when you were a police officer and worked off-duty event security for the circus, I was friends with the lion tamer’s daughter. I got to ride an elephant, and play with lion cubs. And when the Ice Capades came to town, I was out on the ice with the skaters! How many kids could say that? 

Then, when you were called to the ministry and we moved from Michigan to California, and even to Hawaii, well that was a whole other adventure, wasn’t it? Uncle Trick was proud of us, I’m sure. He scattered some of your ashes off the coast of New Zealand.

Which brings me to what I wanted to share with you (though you probably already know). Remember when I told you I wanted to turn your ashes into a diamond? I know you didn’t doubt me—you never doubted anything I set out to do, just as you left me with zero doubts of how much you loved me. 

Well, I did it, Mom. I sent a half cup of your ashes to Eterneva to grow a gorgeous, colorless round Diamond that’s timeless, classic, and sparkles with your love and light. The fact that it’s also made from the hair of all of my kids, myself, and my granddaughter is extra special. Now, we’ll always be together. 

You know me and my signs. I’m a huge believer, and the fact that Eterneva is located in Austin, TX—yes, right where your best friend lives and just two hours from where I was born—was a pretty big one. I knew that they were who I was meant to trust with you. 

You’re always in my heart, Mom, but there’s something about the idea of being able to reach up and touch a piece of you, that means everything to me. And not only that, this Diamond is something I can pass down to my daughter now.  

I have missed you since the moment I watched you take your last breath. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could tell you something. But I know you’re with me. I had your Diamond set in an earring that I can wear as a helix piercing. Now you’re in my ear like you’ve been throughout my whole life, whispering words of encouragement and telling me I can do anything.

Thank you doesn’t seem like enough. But I’ll say it anyway. Thank you, Mom, for everything. For being my first best friend. My fiercest protector. My port in the storm. My lighthouse. And now, my Diamond.

Until our next adventure. I love you more,