So I had to just let it be.
Today, feeling a bit more centered, I decided to try again. It was then that I realized that there are no words to describe what I feel in my heart for her. She has been my life-long teacher, my inspiration, a dear, dear friend, and one of my biggest fans (!). In short, she has made my life immeasurably better just by being who she is. And for her I am, and will always be, truly grateful.
Happy Birthday my wonderful friend, and may you have many, many more ♥♥♥