"What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories."
This is a love letter that has been long overdue but I couldn't let any more time go by without telling you how I really feel.
Thank you for coordinating your work schedule to brave our family schedule.
Had you not been there, I doubt I would have survived the trip.
But we did and it went down as one of our best.
I love the way you treat my littles as if they are as special as your own,
and invite them to dine at your table
so they can quietly observe and take it all in, learning new and exciting things from you.
Thank you for taking them under your wing
and introducing them to an independence that I wasn't quite ready to share.
Because of it they are braver and stronger in the water.
You continue to teach me valuable facts of life; such as:
fear becomes a small letter word when family backs you up,
reading in the nude can be fun and we'd enjoy life a lot more if we cared much less about what others think of us,
you don't have to be older in order to be wiser in how to best love
size is certainly no indication of how quickly one can command attention in a room,
turning forty looks more fabulous than ever,
and Styrofoam cups really aren't wasteful especially when you double them up.
I've also learned there's a wealth of insightful information to learn from a mother of four and cousins of many,
and that a cold beer is best enjoyed in the afternoon alongside a lake and big smiles.
Thank you for reminding me that although we aren't all blessed with the same talents as you, these gifts are always enjoyed best when we share them with others.
They always seem to have more of a trickle down effect this way...
Thank you for being a strong family leader,
who keeps us grounded in faith in a God who is much bigger than our problems are,
for always having the best of inside jokes,
brightening my days with your constant smile and positive energy,
introducing my son to imaginative alligator adventures,
and teaching him new games marking yourself as a household name.
It warms my heart how you delight my littles with inventive stories and Cowardly Lion impressions,
Even when you're not around I am always reminded of your infectious laughter, bear hugs and warm spirit.
Thank you for always providing the best of homegrown, slow cooked Southern food (grits, fried fish, caramel cake and oysters!!) and for not forgetting the importance of Crisco and fine manners.
But, most of all, I am in love with you being a part of special memories that we will never, ever forget.