As I sit here the night before Christmas Eve, your girls, my sisters by heart, tell me that you are sick and not doing well. I send these words of love and peace and warmth to you on this December night. The memories of our lives together and what you have done for me have been flooding my soul since I heard the news. I am so deeply sorry we lost touch over the years, but knowing you, you are always nearby watching even when I don’t know it. I can remember as a small girl, you always dug out the truth, no matter the pain it caused because a little pain was better than a lifetime of regret. You have a heart of gold like no other and stood beside me and Mommy during some of our darkest days. You were our guiding light, especially in my teenage years. You have always been a firm hand, a safe place, and for that I am truly grateful. I really believe that had you and your girls not been a part of my life, I would not be the woman I am today. Thank you for standing beside me on my wedding day and helping my parents give me away. As their baby, I’m sure my Mommy was wreck ((even though she tried to hide it)). And oh, the funny times we had too. You were sitting on my couch snuggling sweet Toby in your arms ((he’s 14 and about 6 foot tall now)) and threatening to smuggle him home with you ((good luck trying it now)). Giving us money for the candy store then getting mad because we bought you two candy as well as us. Knowing exactly how much to tickle and when we needed a good belly laugh. Liam is 18 now and all grown-up. He’s a fine, young man who I am sure will do great things with his life soon. Then there is Eli. He is 9 and sassy and funny and silly and very stubborn and opinionated. He’s like me and Alex wrapped up in one amazing boy ((who drives me bonkers)). I used to think you and Mommy were so mean and so tough and you were just nutty with your rules of do’s and don’ts.
Then I had the boys and Lord help me if I didn’t hear you or my mother ((and sometimes both of you)) come out my mouth and I had to stop myself and think “dang it…they were right…again…” and I chuckle and shake my head at how foolish we were and yet you both still loved us unconditionally. I am so very blessed to have you in my life and I thank you for it, even when I don’t show it. Please, please keep fighting.