I would love to tell you that this is my original idea, but as usual I am a great copier. Justin called for your address and said that he was going to write you a letter for your birthday. If he were 12, I would have had him read it to me, but since he is grown, I was just thankful that he was thoughtful enough to do this. He did say he was using the computer to write because his penmanship is not too good, and that is OK. It is the thought that counts.
I got to thinking about it and decided to do the same thing for your card. I want to tell you how nice it has been having you as a mom all of these years, and how blessed I feel for you to have been given the gift of life so we can celebrate your 80TH birthday and beyond. It will be but a blink of an eye, and we will be looking at 90 for you.
I want to commend you for a job well done as a mother. I know we haven't always seen eye to eye on all issues of life, and I am sure you were tempted to not claim me as kin at a few points in our journey of love, laughter, and life, but that doesn't mean you didn't do a great job of raising me and my brothers and sisters.
You taught me many important lessons in life and I thank you. I thank you for setting the example of always considering your children first. I look back and know that you always settled for the left overs in life if it meant your children needed something. I think about how hard it is to raise children and you raised five. You persevered every day with diapers (no disposables back then), cooking, cleaning up, washing and hanging clothes day in and day our, ironing every weekend, and always sewing, sewing, sewing. You always took what life dealt you and made the best of it for us. That truly deserves applause. You also fed every stray kid who happened to be at the house at dinner time. I never remember leaving the table hungry.
You put up with our moods and tantrums, likes and dislikes, and the occasional really evil moments we all had. You made sure we went to church and put up with all of the biases that were thrown your way during our young lives. You carefully sewed our clothes so we would look good for Sunday school, and sometimes I still see all of those polished white shoes on the counter in the kitchen. I always knew you were proud of us, no matter what. You were a great style copier, and I remember having the prettiest dresses when I was young and then during high school and college. The patience it must have taken to sew on those beads and pearls just so we would be glamorous for an evening. I remember when you even sewed the boys suits and made sure they were just as handsome as their sisters were pretty.
None of us was ever neglected by you. You wanted everyone to know that we were yours. It's called Agape love, and it is the kind of love that God has for all of his children. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting us see a glimpse of that kind of love. That glimpse got us through the really bad times in life, made us keep on keeping on, and helped us to become strong.
I love you, mom.