THE BLOG
02/20/2014 11:55 am ET Updated Apr 22, 2014

An Open Letter to My Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

Although there's no rhyme or reason, I've never really been the type of person to express how I feel verbally. I know I tell you every day that I love you both, but sometimes saying "I love you" isn't enough for me. Sometimes, "I love you" doesn't entirely express just how deeply I care for the two of you, at least that's in my opinion. But, without any explanation, I tend to shy away from talking about emotions or subjects of that matter which I'm sure you've already realized. I guess this is why I've always found comfort in writing. So, before I go off on a tangent as I so often do, here's everything I've always wanted to say.

I realize these last several years have been anything but easy for us. I guess you could say that one April morning in 1991 really changed the course of our lives immensely. Were you scared that day? What was it like hearing the doctors tell you that I wouldn't live past 2 1/2 years old? Or that I had some rare genetic disorder that, at the time, no one really knew about? I can't even begin to imagine the pain it must have caused. I'm so sorry you had to experience this, but look how miraculously wonderful things turned out. Although my life journey started off rather grievous and unpredictable, I wasn't about to let my disease decide my fate.

Our lives have been put to the test more times than I can remember, but there's never been a situation we couldn't overcome. That's the beauty of the relationship we share. We've been a team, always, and we've fought through every curve ball life has thrown at us, together. And with that, I have to say thank you. Thank you for being my guiding light in the dark. Thank you for holding me through every tear and every moment of uncertainty as I questioned my ability to fight through another hardship, another illness. Thank you for doing everything in your power to give me so much more than I deserve. Thank you for allowing me to live the most fulfilling life possible.

Believe me when I say I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for the undying love and support you have unconditionally given me. My successes over the last 23 years are solely attributed to the fact that you have always given me the courage and motivation to soar. You have taught me to dream fearlessly. In times of weakness, you have given me strength. You have unselfishly put my needs before your own, and you are the reason I've progressed so well and continue to thrive. We may have had our fair share of difficulties along the road but we have each other, and that's all I could ever ask for.

Mom and dad, at the end of the day as I drift off to sleep, I think about how incredibly lucky I am to have you in my life. Each and every day, I thank God for my blessings. I thank Him for my brother, my good health and, most importantly, for you both. I know it may not always seem this way, especially when I get into those dreaded bad moods. It's just that sometimes I let my demons get the best of me, and I tend to shut down. Like I said before, I haven't quite figured out how to deal with my emotions effectively yet. But I take full accountability for all those times I've released my anger and frustration out on you. So, please forgive me. I imagine I must not be too pleasant when I act this way, but promise me you'll always remember that I mean well. Because I love you. And I hope this letter expresses how much I really mean when I say those words to you.

Love always,

Your baby girl

This post originally appeared on Alyssa's WordPress blog. To read more of her work, click here.