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Shortly before I turned 14, I lost my mother to cancer. I grew up yearning for a mother, friend, confidant. I watched my friends go shopping with their moms. I watched them learn about female life from their moms. I watched the relationship between the two grow and blossom into wonderful friendships. I was jealous. I was angry. I was sad. I was lonely.

Flash forward 20 years and I now reap the benefits of a wonderful "mother." My mother-in-law is a god send to me. She has filled such a big gap in my life. She loves me. She treats me like her own. We shop together. We travel together. We have lunch. We talk. We cook. We have our regular "spa days," and so much more.

For years, my mother-in-law lived in another state, yet we somehow were able to strengthen our bond. We were perfect for one another. I needed a mom and she needed a daughter. All the things I longed for, she longed for, too. We have a relationship that stands apart from all the rest. We are not blood. We are in-laws, yet we are in sync.

Jennifer Pines; Dunwoody, Georgia
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