- You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams - Dr. Seuss

Four months was all it took for me to break all of my own rules and allow myself to fall madly in love with you.

I'd always had an idea of what love was. I used to watch my mother fix the hem on her skirts in our kitchen, her long auburn hair flowing down her back so effortlessly. She would scrunch up her nose and stick out her tongue and evenly hand sew the ends. My father always sat to the right of me, his head hidden behind his newspaper but every now and again he'd peer over the top of his paper and watch my mother with a crooked grin and eyes glistening. I'd sit there for what felt like hours wondering when I'd get the chance to feel that way about someone.

Then when my sister Serena was born I witnessed love again though this time it was a whole other experience. Aunt Paola took me into the hospital to see her. We wandered past numerous rooms filled with laugher and happiness until we got to my mothers, room 48 and there she was, bundled up in a light pink blanket, cooing softly at my adoring mother. I was barely ten years old but I knew exactly how she felt. When they laid her in my arms and I never wanted to let her go. I immediately knew that no matter what happened I would look after her and protect her from anything dangerous in the world around us.

It wasn't until I was diagnosed with stage four pelvic cancer that I realised I would never truly experience the love I had read about in so many cheesy romance novels. Despite the terrors that came with cancer I had come to terms with missing out on true love and although my mother and father cried for days afterwards I knew that I had escaped a lot of pain and heartbreak that was yet to come had I not been diagnosed with cancer. I told myself that there were hundreds of things I had to do before I died and so, I lifted my head up high and smiled through it all.

You showed me exactly what I was missing. You showed me passion, romance, excitement and things I thought I'd never get to experience. You taught me how to let lose and be yourself no matter how tough things got. But you showed me heart ache and pain too. You were so adamant to get me on a first date that I forgot any morals I'd set for myself and gave in. You were just too perfect to resist. Despite everything that happened, I never meant to hurt you, all I wanted was a new experience and you gave me exactly that. So if there's one thing left to say it's Stay strong and most importantly,

Thank you. For everything.

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