a blurry snapshot of a professional photo taken by Rich Austen of Austen's Photography, Arroyo Grande CA. His work is excellent, mine not-so-much.
Dear Mother, My First-Born and Mama-to-Our-First-Grandchild,
Have I ever told you that you're my hero(ine)? The first child born to us, teaching us the depths of love by your very presence, filling us with delight and providing endless hours of entertainment!
That first child teaches his or her parents so, so much - as you discovered, at exactly the same age I was when you were born. How I admired your parenting instincts, right from the get-go. I remembered my own early fumbling and worrying and over-protective hovering with chagrin as I watched you let that boy of yours climb anything and everything, no matter how high. He was fearless! And how you delighted in that, how you celebrated it.
Such a gift to give a child!
Two more boys followed that first one, all three of them miracles of grace and goodness and fun. Because their dad had been so very sick early in his life, each of those healthy baby boys was a true miracle, the result of God's grace and your love for one another and for each of them. You took trips and had adventures, tried scouting and read books by the basketful, taught them to love well, to create art and music and to grow friendships that went deep.
And then things got pretty tough for several years. The after-effects of treatment received many years before brought suffering and eventually such loss. And you walked through every second of that with courage and commitment, with honesty and hard work and frayed nerves and sleepless nights and so.much.love.
And your boys walked right with you, learning lessons we all hoped and prayed they'd never have to learn. Together you and their dad decided to be a family until the end, no matter how hard it got. And the two of you set such an example of courage for your small circle of five and for our extended families on both sides and for all the people who loved you. Yes, you are my hero, dear one. Every inch of you brave beyond belief.
And now, nearly four years later, there is grace and there is laughter, buoyed by strong memories of the past and strong hopes for the future. God sent love again, a good man to be your companion and an encourager for your sons.
One of those has flown the nest, another will soon follow. And your own courage and steady commitment over these 21 years has given them beautiful, resilient wings - wings that will take them safely to the next stage of life. I know this because I know about redemption. I know about grace. I know about commitment. I know about courage.
And I know these truths most deeply because God gave me you. Because God allowed me the great privilege of being your mom. Because you and your sister and your brother are living proof that the age of miracles is not past. Somehow, you survived all the mistakes I made and thrived! Thanks be to God.
I love you,
The final installment for Amber Haines' collection of Mother Letters at her site, as she and Seth launch their exquisite eBook of the same title. You can find the latest letters at this link: http://motherletters.com/my-mother-letter-link-up-party/