|Mom-made Halloween costumes|
There are times, when the three of us are talking, that we hear your encouraging words coming out of our mouths. You've taught us so many important lessons, given us plenty of alternative ways of looking at plans gone awry, been a shining example of strength in difficult situations. Your positive outlook on life, especially now that we're all adults dealing with jobs and kids and everything else life throws at us, is always a refreshing perspective amongst all the negativity in the world today. Thanks for being calm when you needed to be, forceful when we weren't listening, encouraging when we needed it and even when we didn't want it, and the best example of self-less love and support.
Seeing you with your three grandchildren has given us a clearer picture of how you were with us when we were babies and young children. With faded memories of those early days at home with you and toys and books and Sesame Street, it's so much fun to watch you hold and love our babies. The relationship you've made and grown with all three of them is so special and important and amazing. They love being with you at your house, working on special cooking projects, playing trucks, swinging, building snowmen, reading books, singing silly songs, and so much more.
While the list of things you've done for us over the years would go on for pages and pages and pages, one of the greatest lessons you taught us was the importance of home and family. No matter where we go or how long we've been away, being in Carlisle with you and Dad always feels truly like home. Just walking in the door is pure comfort. Everything else seems to fade and there is only now, only home, only this place you made for us over the years. It's a little bit like magic. From the sweet-smelling soaps to the fresh flowers to the lit candles to the food cooking on the stove to the family photos on the refrigerator, it's always welcoming, always full of love.
Family is, for you and now us, the most important part of life. We've watched over the years as you've spent countless hours supporting and spending time with your husband and sisters and nieces and nephews and parents and grandparents. And while most of those hours were happy occasions, there have also been challenging projects to help with, and some incredibly difficult and sad days to get through. There were decisions to be made, phone calls to make, and tears to be cried and you were there through all of it, helping out even when it was way too hard and way too much. We all know that we can count on you to show up when we need you. Even though we're all grown up now and out of the house and handling life on our own, we know that you're still our mom. You're still willing to bandage our skinned knees or our broken hearts. Still willing to encourage us with our school work or with raising our kids. Still willing to support us and our children at sporting events. Still reminding us to "bloom where we're planted." Still willing to give us different ways of looking at the world and our individual circumstances.
There's no way we would be who we are today without you, Mom. And while there aren't nearly enough words in the entire universe to express our thanks and gratitude for all you've done for us over the years, we hope this helps you understand just a little. Thanks for being an amazing mother and an exceptional example to follow as we grow these families of our own. You are definitely the best. We love you, Mom, to the moon and back.
To the moon and back.
Chelsey, Dana and Carrie