Every girl needs at least one awesome women in her life. Another women to laugh with, cry with and be a little crazy with. I have that in a few very close friend and I am forever grateful for them and also all the other awesome women God has brought into my life. This women pictured is different. She is unique and holds a special place in my life. A place no one else could possible fill or understand. By birth, she is my cousin. By bond, she is my sister. By choice, she is a friend BUT by her courage, she is my ticket out of abuse.Although our stories of abuse vary. We both quietly walked through it together. She is three years younger than me and when she was 16 years old, she spoke out about her abuse and soon after helped me to do the same. She brought our abuser to trial. She stood up to generations of abuse in our family. Even as her life and reputation were dragged through the mud and her name slandered in horrible ways, she still stood up in front of our family, friends and complete strangers and told her story, told the truth and did so with confidence and integrity. She was able to do at this time what I couldn’t do. She found her voice and used it and because of that courage, she single-handedly broke the awful cycle of abuse that ran many generations deep through our family. Our children are all now part of a clean, healthy family of people that chose to stay and walk through the horrible mess with us, that was left behind by our abuser. Her ability to find her strength and use her voice are the beginnings to way our family has been rebuilt healthier and healing each day since. I always had a song in my heart and a story to share but I only found it because of her courage and strength. She changed the course of my life and I know what she did was the hardest and most heart wrenching decision she ever made. So I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart. Her courage helped me to be the mom I am to 9 healthy and beautiful children and a wife to a godly, safe and healthy man. But most of all her courage helped me find my own voice. I thank you for being my friend, my sister and my ticket out of hell. There is truly non like you.