I almost forgot to show you the following picture tonight before we left your house.
Chris and I woke up to watch the sunrise across the lake, steps away from a tent that housed all the pieces of my heart, the day after we moved out. We sat in silence for a bit listening to the early morning birdsong and the lone frog in the marsh. Then we took a moment to talk about home, loss, and what we left behind. But this act of watching the sun rise reminded us not to forget that this was also a beginning. A beginning of dreams coming true and a choice to live differently.
Thank you for this. Because of you and Mike, we were able to sit in this beautiful spot to breathe it all in, to sit in all of it without rushing to move on to the next step.
You invited us camping again this year. Because camping coincided with the closing of our home, you offered to take care of all the food. We even asked if you could set up our tent since we would be arriving in the evening. You and Mike did that and so much more.
We arrived after dinner and the sight of the tent set up beside your tent and the smell of food almost brought me to tears. Mike and the rest of your friends made sure we were fed. Mike told me you went on a hike to watch the sun set. He also told me how you got into trouble from the park ranger the night before for laughing too loud. Amazing. This is all a miracle to me: camping with you, you hiking in the woods, and you having way too much fun with your girlfriends.
For the last couple of years, I thought I was the only one pushing my edges. I never imagined we would be camping together or that I would need you this way. I would need my mom. Not the mom of my childhood, the mom of my teenage years, or the mom who was around in my twenties. I needed the mom who continues to show up for all of us. This is the mom right in front of me. The mom I have always wanted. What we have now, what we have worked so hard to build, is a miracle. The product of unrelenting forgiveness and a liberating love.
I have never seen you have so much fun outdoors. I don’t think I have ever even seen you in hiking shoes before. It’s very cute. You even used the outhouse a couple of times instead of driving to the “nice” washrooms. After pointing out the white pine to you, I watched you use a needle as a toothpick. I think our jaws dropped at that point. You were playful, relaxed, peaceful, and soft.
I am so grateful for not having to worry about food or pretty much anything this whole weekend. I could sit and have my coffee and rest. You didn’t let me help. You puttered around the stoves and the prep area, doing what you do best – cooking for others. You spent time with each of the kids and made #4’s birthday on Saturday a special one by finding a place to buy a birthday cake. And when we got home, you invited us to the movies and threw a surprise birthday party for #4 with the rest of the family. We slept over last night and you kept on cooking.
Thank you for holding the space for me in a setting where I least expected you to. Thank you for taking care of me, Chris, and the kids. Thank you for laughing out loud. Thank you for being you.
I am so grateful that you are my mother.
I love you,
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