Dear Mom: Valentine's Day 2023


Dear Mom,

Well here it is Valentine's Day.  I associate the holiday more with Dad than with you, which may not be fair.  He always had a card for me that he signed from both of you.  (I knew it was his signature.)  Even with health challenges, he sent us chocolates for the holiday.  (They came early and addressed to all of us so I can't eat them all.)  I know he used to send you "jokey" cards which you didn't like, but he learned after a few years and I can remember all the fancy, flower cards that you kept in a drawer.  (As for me, I've always preferred the funny ones.)

I think back to last year at this time.  You had just been released from the hospital where you had been treated for Covid (something I still can't figure out how you got).  You were pretty weak and I wonder if I should have done more; although when I saw you 4 days later you were much better.  I think I bought you chicken corn chowder from Wawa (if they had it) because it was your favorite.  Even though I can't eat it, I sometimes check and see if it's available at store 949 (MY favorite).

Because you loved me you gave me many gifts over my lifetime.  I probably didn't appreciate them all.  (Okay, as an adult I KNOW I didn't appreciate them all.)  The greatest gift you gave me (along with Dad and my in-laws, Marcia & Mike) was investing in our son.  Adoption isn't cheap and although it may have been odd (it WAS odd), you stepped up and in with funds.  While I took longer than we wanted, in 2005 we reaped the rewards of your investment.  YOU were the first person we called as we headed out to meet our son.  

I think it was the best investment you ever made.  The returns were more than we could imagine.  He took some of his first steps at your house.  Dad found the marine science camp and he stayed with you for a week.  Starting in 2011 (I think) the two of us came down for a week and he would stay behind.  You'd pack his lunch (a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which you were allergic to) and drop him off at the beach camp in the morning.  You'd pick him up in the early afternoon, bring him home and "desand" him with a bath full of floating toys.  You'd feed him, teach him and take great care of him.  What started out as one week, turned into several weeks over the years?  (The weeks would depend on what his summer schedule looked like and when the camp was held at the location that was most convenient.)  I think one year he did a week at the local bay beach camp, but it wasn't as good as the marine science camp for him.  And by the time he aged out, he was giving lessons at the camp on the giant squid and horseshoe crabs.  You instilled a love of marine life in him and although he is not going to be a marine biologist (like he once said he was), he still has the love and knowledge.

Sixteen years of a grandson is not enough, but you made the most of him.  You even (eventually) got him to learn how to swim.  (NOT an easy task for a stubborn kid who DID NOT want to take his feet off the bottom of the pool.)  You feared he would fall into the backyard lagoon (he never did) and pushed and pushed until he finally DID learn.  (Though it took way too many years.)  Whenever we come down to the shore, he still goes out on the dock (which needs's on my list), and sees if he can spot any crabs.  I think he will always remember crabbing off the dock.  Having grandpa take the crabs out of the trap (hands wearing heavy gloves) and watching them "race" as they scuttled off the dock and back into the water.  (Only to be caught again another day.)  He will never forget how to identify a male crab from a female.  (Neither will I, and I think I learned that back in 1972.)

Thank you for giving me the greatest son.  He wouldn't be half the wonderful, caring and loving person he is without you.

Love you and MISS You.



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