Boy, this is hard.
Not because I don't think you're an amazing, wonderful Mum, because I do.
You are loving and wise and everything I strive to be for my own children. I wish I had your innate kindness and could steal some of your infinite patience, especially on days when what little I have is stretched thin and all I do is fidget and fuss and use my "growly voice."
Matthew is a pee-on-the-potty superstar and it's thanks to you, really. All I did what follow up what you started and remind him that Nanny would be so proud. And he loves his Nanny oh, so much, I'm pretty sure that those magic words did the trick. Well, ok...Smarties help, too!
This is hard because this Mother's Day marks your first without Andrew - this year, and for all the rest to come, there will be only one card on the mantel and only one child to hug you and say, "Happy Mother's Day, Mum. I love you." And as much as it hurts to even write these words, I want to acknowledge who is missing, and to let you know how very much I wish it weren't so.
He was headstrong and fierce and not easy to raise or even, on some days, to love. And yet, love him you did. Do. Despite it all, you stood by him and reached out again and again, to hold him, to rescue him, to offer safe harbour. Far, far into the night, you fought with him, for him, against him, despite him - because you love him. That he grew up in such love, in the constant glow of that sort of dedication of the heart, is the greatest gift you could have offered him, and he knew it.
We were chosen, we two, and we were smug about it - never did Andrew and I ever believe that we were anything else but special and beloved. This truth was ours alone and was the best part of our shared lives. Remains my truth, to carry forever.
Thank you for that, always.
Thank you for finding your way through your own grief to ask after me - to encourage me to share my pain and memories and all my sibling angst. With poise and compassion, you've shown an awesome strength and grace for which I adore you all the more. Wish I could be more like you.
Thank you for drawing some of that strength from my children, both of whom adore you, as only "Nanny's Boys" can. You are their light and their treasure and I am so, so happy that you have been such a warm and loving part of their lives from the very beginning. They will cherish visits and snuggles and morning chats and hours spent in Lakefield, much like their uncle and I did of our own childhood. You bring to each moment, a certain magic, and we are all so blessed.
Blessed be, Mama. On this, and every day - know that you are loved beyond all measure, from Heaven all to way to us and back again. Andrew and I grew up, basking in your love, and now, so do Matthew and Luke. For all of it, from all of us, thank you. We love you.
Happy Mother's Day.