Dear Maura,

You're at work right now and I know I can just talk to you there but writing things down make it easier for me to breathe.

Thank you Maura. Thank you for seeing my Jane for who she is and loving her.

You know, when she was little I used to have to wrap my arms around her tightly to keep her from losing herself in anger. She couldn't shoot a basket like her brothers and it used to infuriate her. She had delicate wrists and when she saw her brothers shooting baskets with a flick of their wrists she wanted to do the same. But her "stupid girl bits" gave her away. That was her phrase for her weaknesses. I used to go in and check on her at night and sometimes she wasn't in her bed and it used to scare me every time. Then I would hear thumping outside and knew she was trying to "build up her wrist muscles". I'd let her play for a little while and then go out to get her and put her back to bed. For a seven year old she sure knew what she wanted in life.

But when it still wasn't enough she would lose all herself and rage would settle in her. She would come into the kitchen and start throwing things and just stand there and scream. It's Lucky for her she had a deep voice even back then, so her screams were more like a little boy's than a little girl's. The first time she did this I had to check for blood or broken bones and when I didn't find any I grabbed her and held tightly. She tried so hard to get out of my arms that I ended up with a fat lip. But I held onto her. Eventually she settled down and asked me why she wasn't as strong as her brothers. I was at a loss for words for a moment until I realized that she was a true gift from God. That God put her in my world to show me how to love and be real. So I explained that she was the strongest little girl I'd ever known and that even if she couldn't flick her wrists like her brothers, she was ten times stronger than them because she never gave up trying.

And now she has you.

Since you two have been back from North Carolina I see in her a new strength.

One she's never displayed before.

She can outrun most people, she can flip her brothers over with a flick of her wrist and knee them in the chest. She can stand and look me in the eye and swear she's ok. These are all the things she's always been able to do.

But she's never walked in love like she does now.

She's always been the little girl I've prayed for and loved with my entire being and been thankful to God for. The strongest kid I've ever known.

But now she seems to be discovering that for herself.

In you.

Thank you,