It's been way too long since I've been able to talk to you, and I miss you more and more everyday!
Although we cannot see each other, I see you in the mirror, when I look down at my hands, and hear you every time I speak or talk with the sisters. You are always there in an inflection, a tone, an idea, or a laugh
I'll never forget the times I railed against your advice, yet, I hear you every time I find myself doing the same thing to my children, yet, realize you were the wisest, funniest, and most loving of mothers.....AND, you were always right, not so much for me.
Tonight, through the miracle that is the internet, I was able to attend your great grandson, Marshall's little birthday celebration in FL. Yes, on my computer, I was able to see and talk live with my grandson! It is amazing, Mum, and we had such fun. I met Marshall's new girlfriend, Paige, and also saw Anne and her 3 cats in their Florida kitchen. Marshall is even more special, having been born on your birthday. What a fine, funny and delightful man he has become. You'd just love him so much. Anne, David and Jared will be spending their Christmas and New Year's on Eleuthera at their haven. I am so happy they have that place of beauty and peace on which to soothe their souls, and we will get to share that beauty in March!
With Christmas approaching, I'll be calling you closer to me as I make your date and nut bread (Bebo will be making your date and nut bread, too, as her children still adore having that treat on the holiday), and applesauce cake. What fun it will be to have you in the kitchen. Your hands will be chopping, measuring and mixing. I learned from the very best. Evie is busy making dozens of loaves of your cherry nut bread to bring to friends, I'm sure Sam is busy planning a nice Christmas dinner. He is such a wonderful and adventurous cook and his kitchen produced an amazing Thanksgiving dinner this year. Trish has been making some very imaginative Christmas cookies and treats, too. I'd really love to have one of your Swedish tea rings with all the wonderful fruits and nuts, but there just isn't time. Yours were the best and very hard to duplicate, but I keep trying. Margaret is making a lovely Christmas with her familyl. Emmy and Ellie will be there to make everything very special. Ellie and Margaret are making your decorated sugar cookies, and your cinnamon rolls will be a delight for the senses on their Christmas morning. El and Steve will be having Christmas at home with Steve's mother, Sally who hasn't been well - I remember what fun partners in crime you and Sally were. El and I enjoyed a fun phone call planning out a menu to please everyone. I believe they may have Alaskan King Crab legs, and I told her not to forget something decadently chocolate. I think they are my favorite food, I sure know they were yours! Ah, the butter.....So you are with all of us, guiding us along on our journeys, and we are so thankful for the skills you gave us, and for making it all so much fun. Most delightful of all, for me, this year, will be knowing that Marty will be coming home for a visit in the week after Christmas. He has not been "home" from IL since Dad died and we long to see each other. His wonderful sons, Steven and Sam, will be coming along to do the driving. Marty longs to be here to feel your presence and have a sense of his roots again. By the way, Marty and his boys do a fair amount of cooking, too, and they have lots of fun creating new and healthy meals. Of course, I hear often how much Marty thinks about your American chop suey, applesauce cake and cream puffs!!
Christmas Eve I'll be remembering the thrill of Daddy bringing the tree in and placing it in a "farmers tree stand", the bucket of coal. Oh, it smelled so good in the living room the next morning as the magic of Christmas appeared over night. As I am remembering those wonderful Christmas eves today, I am also feeling very close to your best friend, and my godmother, Eleanor Haughey, and how she, in her regal mink coat, and her husband, Jack would arrive on Christmas Eve with many gifts, and how you would both revel in your friendship. There was so much laughter, and delicious food prepared for that evening. Then off to bed we would go, trying to sleep with so much excitement in our heads. You taught us friendship's treasure, and the time proven advice that our brothers and sisters are really our best friends.
Christmas for my little family will be on December 29th at Jason's house and we will have Sara and Samantha with us to make it even more special. Christmas Day will be spent with LM's children, and he is doing ALL the cooking!!! (Fish, of course). I wish you could know LM. He has brought such peace and happiness to my life.
Thank you for all these wonderful memories. There are zillions more, especially the cat involved stories....I'll save those for another time, you know how Dad pretended to be upset with too much cat talk. He was a wily one, as he turned out to be one of the greatest cat lovers ever!! He even passed over to be with you, with a cat right by his side.
Happy Birthday, Mum and thank you for loving me and having faith in me, through all the travails.
I love you,
PS. How did you ever do it all?