Dear younger me, today is our birthday. A lot has changed over the years. But our spirits haven’t. I’m proud of the woman that you are then, and that I am now. The world has tried to steal our joy, bend us, change our value, and force us to adapt to a selfish world. I am proud of us for smiling even when some days that is hard to do. I’m proud of us for standing up for what we believe in, even when we have stood alone. I’m glad we have always laughed too loud, been able to go with the flow, make fun of ourselves when needed, loved unconditionally, and poured into others. I’m grateful that the hard lessons you learned then, have paid off with me now. That the trials and disappointments you walked through have built me into the strong woman I am today. I wouldn’t want your life then to have been easier. We have walked a lot of loss, love, heartbreak, happiness and life. We have made mistakes, failed countless times, let others down, and made some pretty dumb decisions. But you should know that the good memories you have made then have lasted until now. And I still don’t take them for granted. Thank you for always being kind in our thoughts and actions. For seeing a weakness and striving to do better. For failing, and taking those moments to become a stronger woman for it. We have been broken, whole, strong, weak, wrong, right and everything in between. You weren’t perfect then, and I certainly am not now. But perfection is overrated. Celebrated by the opinions that don’t matter. So, thanks for being you, so that I could be me. Oh, and bet on the Cubs to win the World Series in 2016. I know it’s hard to believe. Just trust me...Much love from me to you. Always, Sharon Rose.