My grandmother is my mother. She raised me from the age of 2, after my own mother's struggle with drugs prevented her from caring for me. She sacrificed her own retirement to give me a chance at a better life. She is now 75 and finally retired, and I have grown up, gotten married and have two children of my own. My grandmother continues to help my husband and me out financially so that I am able to stay home with my girls until they are old enough to start school because she feels it is important for me to be with them at this young age.

This woman is not only a hero to me but my angel who saved my life so that I may have a chance. She is the most generous person I have ever met, always putting herself before others. She cares for a friend of her own mother's, who is in her late 90s, because she has little family around to help. Everything my grandmother does is for someone else. She always puts herself last, and in today's world of self-centeredness, she is a rare breed. Financially, I am not able to do anything for her to show my appreciation for all the things she has done for me, but I would love to somehow honor her for the remarkable woman and mother she has been and continues to be for me. She is a true inspiration for the mother I hope to one day be. Like the first break of light after a darkening storm, she has taught me to never give up, never sell myself short and to roll with the challenges that life faces me with, using them for growth and strength. She is an absolutely amazing mom.

Jessica, Fairview, North Carolina 

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