You know, the first time I heard your mom call you Theodorable, it stuck with me too. Your dad noticed that was how I greeted you when you piled out of his car to visit us and enjoy the 4-H fair last summer. It just fits and I will probably call you that for many years to come…sorry about that.
I am thinking of you today on Mother’s Day because your mom was one of my very best friends. When I think about what makes a mother special and why we should celebrate Mother’s Day, I immediately think of your mom. I know you miss her Aim-azing presence in your life terribly (it would be impossible not to), but I want you to remember on this day the beautiful gift you were given in terms of a mother. You are a very fortunate boy, Theo, to have had a mom as great as your mom was. Not everyone is that fortunate in life.
I first met your mom in middle school. We were in band together throughout high school and had lots of good times together. One of my earliest memories of your mom was when I went over to her house after school one day. We were supposed to do something fun…maybe hike in the woods nearby or something. But instead, your mom (who I think had procrastinated in doing her chores) had to rake the leaves in her parents’ yard. I remember teasing her that she had purposely waited to do her chores until I showed up just so I could be enlisted to help. Well, we got to work and before long snow started falling. It snowed hard and harder until all the leaves (and there were a lot of them) were buried in white! You couldn’t see the leaves at all, but there we were out there raking them anyway. We were laughing so hard as people passed by in their cars, craning their necks, and looking at us like we were idiots. You could almost audibly hear their incredulity – you shovel snow, not rake it! I can honestly say that I never had more fun raking snow than I had with your mom that day…although I admit I have never had to rake snow since.
As adults, your mom and I loved to go places together with our two little boys (you and Nate) and have fun and adventure…waterparks, bowling, it didn’t matter…we just loved each other’s company. We were both creative souls. I was an artist and your mom a writer. And because we both lost both our parents to cancer too early, we understood each other’s sadness, fears and desire to live every day to its fullest…to pack each day with love and laughter…to dream big and appreciate the blessings in our lives.
When I describe what your mom was like to other friends, I picture her blonde hair hastily pulled back in a clip with little pieces darting out here and there. I think of her brightly colored toenail polish and her glittery eyeliner. I think of her with camera in hand. She wanted to record every little moment of life (big or small…mundane or special), because she was aware of the preciousness and sometimes fragile nature of it…yet your mom was anything but fragile when it came to living…she grabbed life by the horns and actively pursued each and every day on the calendar to be “a happy square” (as she called them). Your mom was like a tornado of fun, energy, and life.
I remember how much your mom loved (and I mean LOVED) you. She had the hardest time sending you to school. She didn’t want to leave you…ever. I don’t know that you know this, but you were the biggest comfort to your mom – like a giant teddy bear. J
Wherever you mom was, it was a party. Even when she was going through treatments, she and I would be giggling like mad together in the medical center’s changing room. If she threw a celebration or get-together at your house, she wouldn’t invite 5 people…she would invite 40 and welcome another 20 if they showed up. She never worried about people tracking dirt onto her carpet (like I would) she just relished the fact that her friends and family were there that day to be together. She was always thinking, planning, loving, writing, and doing her best as a mom and wife for you and your dad.
Your mom would be very, very proud of you Theo, and your dad too. I know that she would wish more than anything to be with you on this day sharing another tea party. And maybe that is why I am writing you today…perhaps I am helping your mom to do what she can’t (or at least to do directly)…to tell you that you are loved and that she is so very proud of you. I am not the best writer, but I can hear her voice speaking to my heart. I know exactly what your mom would hope for you – She would hope for you to grow up to be honest, kind, to celebrate (everything!), to make friends (and take effort to keep them), to take care of yourself (to eat healthy and exercise), to be curious, to study hard, to find your passion and pursue it, to take care of your daddy (and give him double hugs), to make a positive difference in the lives of others, and to be open to God’s presence. Your mom put you on the right path Theo. If ever you are in doubt in your life…just think about what your mom would want for you.
You are your mom’s legacy. I think of the strong link she forged that connects her life to yours – one in a great beautiful shiny chain. Be ever thankful that God gave you the best mommy…you couldn’t have been loved more and I am certain that her love continues, stronger than ever, in heaven.
Though your mom would have wanted nothing more than to be an active part of your life as you continue to grow and eventually lead your own purposeful life (perhaps with your own family), she was able to share, love and guide you through some of the most critical and formative years of your life. She helped unfold the type of person you will be for a lifetime. She was a beautiful gift for you and your dad…and you and your dad were in turn the most treasured gift in her life.
So today is a day to celebrate your mom and the tremendous person she was. She will never ever be forgotten or replaced in any of our hearts. She continues to be a beautiful presence that shapes the way we look at the world, how we treat each other and how we find faith, hope and love in each and every day. I will always love your mom, Theodorable, and I send big hugs to you and your dad as well (on behalf of your mom).
With love, “Auntie” Marnie