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 two and a half 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 curveball 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


Author: Alyssa

Chronicling my journey while teaching the world that I have SMA, but it will NEVER have me. Life's what you make it, dare to make it a remarkable one✨


  1. Oh Alyssa that was beautiful. Thank you. Yes that day back in April of 1991 was one of the hardest days of my life, but the gift God gave me in you is all worth it. I wish I had a magic wand that could take away all the hardships you’ve been dealt. I’m sorry that I can’t. But as the four of us know, through our love and faith a new day rises and we face it “fearlessly”. I love you. Mom

  2. My dear wonderful niece, you are a miracle sent from God to teach us all about living life to the fullest, but I have to agree you have two amazing parents and a pretty terrific brother! They are extraordinary in every way and I see the love and devotion given to you, but I also see how you love them! When I read this I cried because you are such a special young woman! Never stop being you and keep loving those wild and crazy parents and that handsome brother of yours! Love you, XO MFA

  3. Alyssa, you don’t know me, I’m a friend of your cousin Lisa. Your writing is just beautiful, you express yourself so eloquently. I have a very large lump in my throat reading this beautiful letter. I love to read your writings and you and your family continue to amaze me. You all look at life as a gift, something we all tend to forget in our hectic world. Thank you for continuing to remind me to enjoy the beauty in each and every day. It is something I try to remember when I get upset or crazed by little things I experience. Continue to write, I thoroughly enjoying reading your thoughts. God bless you and your family.
    Mary Fran Aunchman

  4. That was beautiful, Alyssa and absolutely fitting. You have an extraordinary family because you are an extraordinary young woman, and vice versa! You inspire all of us to be better people. I love you and your family. ( and the liguica and peppers and biscoitis-?)

  5. Alyssa… Yet another remarkable piece of writing, all the more so because of the love you express so freely and the candor with which you present yourself. Your parents likely know already much of what you share here… but finding it expressed so well in one thoughtfully written open letter must be especially meaningful for them.


    Mary P. Lyons, Ph.D. Professor of Communication and Literary Studies Chair, Curriculum Committee Bryant University Smithfield, RI 02917 401.232.6262 ________________________________

  6. Alyssa, you are incredible! I love reading your writing – this letter is beautiful. I’m teary eyed sitting here in amazement at how much you’ve accomplished and just how extraordinary you really are. The 4 of you are all heroes in my eyes ❤ so glad that I get to call you family! xoxo

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