Monday, May 11, 2009

Note from my mother

My mom sent all of us a lovely note today. It was very nice for her to put into words what we all figured she felt.

To all my children (good name for soap)

Another mothers day has came and gone and I finally decided to put in words what I have thought in my mind for several years. I don’t write as well as my girls do, but I do mean what I say.
It is time to thank you for all the gifts, cards, and love you all have given me all through the years,
If I could start over there would be a lot of things done differently, but your dad and I did the best we could with what we knew at the time. We had a lot of discussions about that when we were older.
I am so proud of all of you and the people you have become.
May God bless you all.

My reply:

You know, this is a blog-worthy post. LOL! Do you read my blog or Isaiah's? It's not always so deep, sometimes it's down-right *itchy.

Never in a million years could I ever do enough or have done enough to "repay" you and Dad for all you did for us. I know that you both struggled terribly trying to raise seven head-strong kids with limited resources. And, we didn't always make it easy. We didn't always understand the reasons behind decisions and we certainly didn't always agree with them. But, there's not a doubt in my mind that they we well-intentioned and always with our best interests in mind.

We got the best gift of all when God chose you to be our mother.

Now that we're all parents, it's much easier to see some of the "whys" of decisions and know that being a parent is not a popularity contest. We can be our children's friends, but we have to be their parent first - and their friend second. I cherish the memories I have of the times that we've shared. I wish that there had been more and that my kids had had the opportunity to develop the memories and the bonds that Isaiah is developing with Ron and I. The "Kansas City" kids have a totally different set of memories of you and Dad than the "out of town" kids could create. But, that doesn't make one set any better than the other - just different. I'm sure that each set of memories are special to each person involved.

We love you very much and are proud and honored to be counted among your children! We're pretty proud of you, too! You persevered through many challenges as a young person and as an adult. You came out on top and proved yourself a winner in more ways than one. Writing and being able to put flowery words to paper is just a by-product of the integrity and morals that you instilled into us.

Thank you for being you!
My brother Rick's response (followed by my response to his):

I for one never thought we were slighted in any way. I don't have anything but fond memories of my childhood. I have always felt lucky. I've had a good life and it started very early in my life. I'm probably the worst at showing my feelings, but please know that I love you. You, not us have had the hard life. Living with dad and all of us couldn't have been easy. As difficult as dad was, I miss him very much, there's isn't a day that I don't think about him or see him in my dreams. I think the day he died has been the sadest day of my life. I know how you must miss him....I hope you know you not only have children that care very dearly about you, but grankids and great-grand kids as well.There has been a lot of good that has spurned from a chance meeting in front of a tree in a courtyard so very far away. If you really think thru all of this, what would the odds be that 2 people from different parts of the country meet under those circumstances. I belive God put you 2 there for a reason. And I'm so glad he did.

Love Rick

(me) Amen to that! Looks like the girls aren’t the only writers in the family! I agree 100% and I “talk” to Dad often. I brag to people how my parents met and that chance meetings and long-lasting love must run in the family.
My sister Kris' response:

What we have given you can never even come close to repaying you for all you have done for us and the love you have shown each of us. God has already blessed us.....with you.

(And her response to Rick's)
Very well said! I love all of you guys! We were very lucky. I think about Christmas and birthdays, how we were always made to feel special and important. I remember how our living room would just be buried in wrapping paper on Christmas morning because of all the wonderful gifts we got....Birthdays - how we all got to pick our birthday cake (always chocolate, with chocolate frosting and coconut). Easter egg hunts, baseball games, softball, going to the lake - lots of great times. I had a hard time keeping up with two kids - can't imagine doing it with seven AND doing it as well as you guys did.
Love ya!

{I should note here that "I" was the first to have chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, and coconut. One year, we only had one chocolate cake mix and one white cake mix. My older sister made a "marble" cake for me. I was crushed - being a (probably) ten year old brat at the time. It just wasn't the same as all chocolate. Rick's cake was Chinese Wedding Cake - a white cake (made from scratch and takes about a dozen egg whites) with crushed pineapple between the layers and whipped cream as the frosting - real whipped cream.}

My response:

How about my "Incredible Edible" Christmas present when I was really too old for "toys" like that? Mom knew how much I wanted it (and I did have a blast with it - oh to find one again!) and I was ecstatic when I opened it up Christmas morning. I also fondly remember the year I got my Barbie. I think I was 7 or maybe 8 (we lived in Bowling Heights). Dana and Jimmy always got to open their gifts on Christmas Eve. They came over and Dana had a new Barbie and a whole bunch of clothes. I was so jealous! Mom and Dad let us pick one present to open and I "somehow" picked the one with a new Barbie and a ton of clothes to match! Woo-hoo! Dana and I played for what seemed like (in my memories) for hours.

How about all the vacations to places our "rich" friends never got to visit? Sure, we stayed with family but we always, always visited local attractions and amusement parks. I can't even imagine what those trips cost then or what kind of sacrifices Mom and Dad made all year so we could have our vacation. Many of my friends had never been out of state, even though they appeared to have a much more affluent lifestyle.

I have several posts that I'm going to be writing regarding "memories" and have already written a Jerry post. LOL - it's all good though. Remember the giraffe and the toy guns? Geronimo? Having to bare his backside to get him out of stores during the summer? Yeah... we had quite the life.

Like all lives, there are things that could have been maybe better - but there are a LOT of things that could have been worse. I'll gladly take what I had and not trade it with anyone.

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