Note: This was written years ago when I was in high school, and while I have thought about taking it off my site, so many have contacted me saying how much it has touched them. When watching a good friend or family member battle cancer, it helps to know that others out there understand where you are coming from and care. So I decided to keep this page up, so that others may continue to be comforted. While I miss both my Mother and Nana on a daily basis, you learn that time is the only thing that can heal wounds, and good friends are worth everything....

There was a moment in my life where I questioned everything - just once. I was twelve, and was at the bedside of my mother in the hospital as she was losing her fight to cancer. I will never forget how I held her hand and said how I loved her more than I could ever love anything. I watched the snow slowly fall outside, and I watched her breathe. I kissed her forehead and said goodbye to her with my heart. I walked out of that hospital a stronger person than I ever thought possible...

Losing my mother at such a young age made me lose myself. My world changed, and so did my outlook on life. I wish she could have been there for my graduations, my dreams, my heartaches and for everything in between... but the beauty of it all, is that she has and she always will be. Her legacy to me was to enjoy all that life has to offer, and realize that she is right there with me taking it all in.

After my Mother died, I learned the greatest gift of all - embrace those you care about. I am never scared to tell people how much they mean to me, and often. Life is too short to second guess what we want out of it, or ourselves. I try to dive into everything with all my heart, because I owe myself that much.

I try to stay as positive as I can whenever life throws me something (I think) I cannot handle. I have learned to rely on the close friends I am so lucky to have, and my family that has seen each other through some of the hardest moments of our lives. But somehow, I managed to look through all the pain and realize how lucky I am to be so strong to handle all that I have. On top of this, I have found humor to ease even the hardest days. Being able to laugh at yourself is one of the greatest things you can do, as life it too short to be taken seriously!

I lost my mother to cancer 10 years ago, and just last summer (2006) I lost the most important person in my life to cancer again - her mother. My Nana, is by far, the most amazing woman I could ever have the pleasure of knowing. She was my best friend after my mother died, and meant the absolute world to me. Her loss is harder in a way I could never come to understand but she has touched my life in the most profound way. Her kindness, and her love for her family and friends shown through her love for life. I am honored to say I was related to her, and even more honored to have the amazing bond that we had together. She took a piece of my heart when she left.

I felt the dogs were a gift my mother left me to carry me through life, and to help me find some of the best friends I could ever ask for. My Nana, however, was the woman that lived it with me - she was so excited when I was at a show and made me call her the second I got home. She was one of the first people I called when Bruno won his first point, and shared in his win as much as I or even his breeder could. She was my cheerleader, my confidant, and my best friend. I remember telling a good friend I couldn't imagine winning at a show again without having my Nana to call. But as my friend reminded me, my Nana, out of all people, would want me to go in there and show my heart out for her. As my career in dogs grows, and as I near finishing my first champion, I owe so much to both her and my mother. This sport is more than a simple hobby, but a link to some of the most important people in my life (both alive, and passed on). It is a gift that keeps the relationships of my Mother and my Nana alive.

The legacy of both these women is one I feel absolutely honored to carry on. These women were my heart and soul, and I owe it to them to love life as much as they taught me to. My Nana once said that I ran deeper than anyone she had ever known. That was the greatest compliment I could ever receive in life and explains so much about me, and how close we were.

This page is a tribute to their life, their love, and their beautiful spirit... I could not imagine a day without their wonderful memory.




Copyright © 2000-2010 Jennifer Milani :: Maplecove Shelties. All Rights Reserved. Design by Showtime.