Thank you Mom. Thank you for being the most self-sacrificing human being I’ve ever encountered. Thank you for raising four girls by yourself when your husband left you with an old car and not much else. Thank you for the work you did, and for all the activities you tried desperately to attend, even when you’d already worked 12 hours that day. Thank you for saving money in a mason jar (money saved while making less than $10 an hour) so that we could take the train to California to go to Disneyland.
Thank you for taking a decent man as your second husband, and for once in your life, having a partner with which to share your life’s burdens. Thank you for supporting an 18-year-old girl who insisted she’d found the love of her life, and for helping with my wedding even though you must have been horrified to watch me walk down that aisle at such a young age.
Thank you for the joy with which you received the addition of each of my children into your life, and for the grandparents you and Dennis were to them. Thank you for making the 850 mile trek to Utah each summer, hauling a trailer, to make sure those boys got to go camping. You didn’t have to do that, but you did.
Thank you for teaching me the meaning of being a loving daughter. You gave up your retirement to care for your parents, never leaving for more than a few days at a time because you knew how badly you were needed. Thank you for choosing to make your home in Dallas, and for all the times you jumped up and ran over to Glen Street as soon as your presence was requested. Thank you for being the one who was there, so that the rest of us could enjoy the freedom of not having to worry. No one will ever know the toll that being a caregiver took on both you and Dennis.
Thank you for quietly doing all of these things without complaint. Thank you for never asking for a single thing in return. Thank you for everything that you did for our family. I know there are deep places in your heart where you hold memories of your service dear, and those secrets will never be told because they are sacred to you.
Thank you for being a silent rock, always standing firm as the waves of life crashed over you, through good times and bad, and for weathering those storms without complaint. Thank you for being strong, while the rest of us crumpled as Grandma and Grandpa died, because you knew you’d done more than your fair share and then some. You knew you had done your very best to give them what they needed on a daily basis.
And most of all, thank you for the love that you have shown your entire family, unconditionally, even when that love was not returned. You are a hero.