Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

Dear Mom,

I spent a little time yesterday thinking about how best to acknowledge your birthday. In the past, when we have not been able to be together on this day, I called you first thing in the morning. Just like I did this morning. To wish you a happy day, to hear your voice. 

And even though I usually do, this year I did not send a card. Because I have too many words to fit into just one card. Because lately, my head is filled with words. And the more I write, the faster the words come. My head is filled with words, and today, those words are for you. 

Not long ago, we were all together in Pittsburgh. On Saturday afternoon, your sisters came over, and we sat in the living room for hours. Me and my two sisters, you and your two sisters. Laughing and talking about family and fun. About big things and small things. Two generations of sisters. Three sisters. Six sisters. So different, but still so much the same. And you. You are our center. Our true north. A magical mother. A thoughtful sister. A fierce protector. A most special friend.

It has been two exquisitely busy years in this family of ours. Engagements. Weddings. Babies. New jobs. New houses. Events for which we all came together to enjoy each others company. To celebrate, to laugh, and to love.

And just over a year ago we all gathered once again. This time to say goodbye. To a special lady. To our pillar of strength. We stood close and held tightly to each other. And reflected on a life well lived. On a life filled with fun and family. A life that sparkled. A life that mattered deeply.

And in the quiet moments of that day, and all the days that followed, I realized something. I realized that even though she is gone, really, she is still here. Because you are here. She gave the best parts of herself to you, and every day you give them to all of us. You help us see that it is our similarities, not our differences, that rule the day. You keep us together when we might otherwise drift. You teach us patience. To be kind. To be funny and optimistic. To laugh. You show us the true meaning of family. You have her strength, her courage, her sense of humor. Her delight in family, friends, and the adventure of it all. She was your mom. And you are ours. How incredibly, impossibly lucky we all are.

As us three Brinn girls grow and make lives and families of our own, we think of you each and every day. Because you are the common thread that runs through us. The tie that binds us. We know how to live and how to smile. How to learn and how to love. How to share our lives with another and remain true to ourselves. Because you taught us how. 

And today. Today is your day. To indulge and to celebrate. And it is our day. To reflect and to thank. To thank you, simply for being you. For guiding us. For helping us find our way. For letting us find our way. For understanding us - and knowing us - even when we feel like we don't understand ourselves. For teaching us to be good sisters, good friends, and strong women. For helping us find our place, and our voice. We are thinking of you today. All day. And every day.

Happy birthday.

We love you.


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