Standing here beside my stove, blinking away tears that have no real reason for overwhelming me.
Except that I am profoundly grateful for the experience of being a mother–in this town, in these decades, in this family. I am grateful for all the summer days and winter nights and all the struggle and all the joys. I would not trade my life for any other, for any price. And I suppose that sometimes I allow the strain of days to overshadow the satisfaction of the experience.
This little file, found on a thumbdrive in the back of a silverware drawer is just a sliver, a few brief flashes recorded one summer, and yet it affects me this morning as though it were an entire illumination of what it means to love beyond understanding. I don’t know if the images hold the power for you that they hold for me, but I hope my children will remember all their lives, the blessings of their youth-spent with people who loved them, whether that was while we were getting dirty:
Or getting silly:
Or just stretched out on the grass looking up through Grandma’s walnut trees:
The important thing is that we were comfortable with one another:
We helped each other down the steep parts:
Across the deep parts:
Even when we’d lost our oars:
We gave each other the courage to take those leaps of faith:
To share our secrets:
And the deepest feelings of our souls:
We are young and old, side by side, forever family:
And we’re on the same path. You may not see me, but I’ll always be there–right behind you, every step of the way.
I love every one of you. In ways you’ll never understand–until you, too, walk this same path behind children of your own.