All That I Am, I Owe to My Mom

A lovely card arrives in the mail with a touching verse...but when you open it....there's just a signature. This always disappoints me, but not everyone is like me.  If I spend time browsing and choosing for an occasion, I most certainly add a few thoughts before signing, sealing and delivering.
For Mother's Day 2003, I really got carried away; I wrote a message that took up both sides of the card, all over the back... and up and around the edges! It turned into a whopper of a thank you note. Of course Mom saved it....she saved pretty much everything her four kids gave her over the years.

With their 60th wedding anniversary celebration set for the following month, my sister and brothers and I compiled a family video of my folk's long love and marriage. Evidently previewing the video impacted my writing that day.

 me as I was the oldest. I also remember how you always made me feel special! Even to this day you still tell me I'm special....and you know what? I've  always told my kids how special each of them is. Thank you for instilling that in me. Thank you for teaching me how to think with my heart as well as my head, to put myself in other people's shoes; for always believing in a better tomorrow with faith and hope. I still get teased for being too optimistic sometimes....'Pollyanna Joan'....and for not using my head more. But I am what I am and I'm so proud to be your daughter and be part of our wonderful family! 

You and Daddy have given us all the great family traditions, routines, superstitions, "Bickleyisms" and a strong belief in God and prayer. Isn't it interesting that our family has such a mix of religions today......that we were allowed to explore religious paths when we were young. (Remember my first college roommates-a Catholic and Jewish girl?) And boy, did I explore! You never batted an eye when your two Catholic kids, a Methodist and whatever Dave is attend St Andrews Presbyterian with you on our visits home! Thank you for giving me a sense of curiosity and the freedom to try new things. I'm also grateful to you both for allowing us to grow up without any prejudice. In this day and age and looking back on history...I only have to remember riding the bus downtown Detroit and never thinking about skin color....thank you for that.

Thank you for teaching me to find the good in everyone, to forgive and forget and to always believe in myself. As we grow older, I am inspired by the energy and curiosity and enjoyment you and Daddy still have everyday! You are what it means to "grow old gracefully".....thank you for showing me that there is delight in small, everyday things! As much as I love you for being my mother, I love you just as much for your friendship. It's always great fun hanging out with you! 
I am running out of room here, but it's hard to wind it up. You are such a great person, a wonderful woman and I love you now and forever with all my heart!
XXOO Joanie

I'm so glad my parents got to read this card. Exactly a year later in May, 2004, my dad passed away. it's hard to believe he's been gone sixteen years. Mom and I continued to hang out and share lots of good times...right up until the moment 10 years ago when she left to join my dad.  If you've taken time to read; grab this take-away; take a minute to personalize your cards....and find the chance to thank your parents soon!

          Happy Mother's Day to Moms and Grandmas Everywhere!