That winter was a blur, and by spring D's dad was dying. D put everything he had into his father and the battle against cancer. There were two or three months when he couldn't be present at home, he had to be there for the rest of his family.
Summer came quickly. We had just celebrated out first year of marriage when my dad died suddenly. By then I was numb with shock and grief. Everything was completely raw and there was no way to put anything on hold so I could heal.
If I ever saw my daughter go through that much pain I would drop everything to comfort and support her. I realize now that learned this from my mother.
By September my mom quit her job and was here. Small visits at first, but they extended. She watched me cry and yell and vent and be quite and struggle and smile and succeed. Most of all she got to be included and incorporated into the daily routine of our family, something that I didn't realize I needed desperately. Yesterday, after almost being here a year, my mom finally felt confident in my ability and happiness, to go home for good. I am sad that she won't be here, but I am so thankful for everything she has given to us.
Thank you Ami. Thank you for recognizing when I needed help, thank you for loving me so whole-heartedly, thank you for driving back and forth to Tucson countless times (and through haboobs, snowstorms, and border checks!).
Thank you for doing laundry and dishes and dusting and vacuuming, and cleaning beyond any clean that I can ever muster. Thank you for going to Target and Costco and the grocery store with me everyday (when I couldn't get my dinners sorted).
Thank you for going to the park and knowing the people I spend my days with. Thank you for genuinely caring for them and their children.
Thank you for loving your granddaughter bigger than the sky and deeper than the sea. I have the best memory of my grandparents and I can already see the same between the chiquita and you. The two of you have a connection that is so sweet. When she makes you laugh and smile I can feel your love pouring out.
Thank you for being passionate about the boys and their education. Not only have you gotten them excited about reading, but you've helped them learn valuable lessons about themselves and who they want to be.
Thank you for being my sounding board. Whether it be about big huge things or silly small things. Thank you for putting up with my temper. I hope I have apologized every time I've snapped at you. Especially when I was hungry!
Thank you for living here and not being a guest. You knew what was needed before I ever asked. You were always two steps and hour (or two) ahead of me.
Thank you for letting me be a mother and not a child. Our parenting techniques totally differ and you let them. Thank you for letting me stumble and coddle, and smother, and spoil this beautiful girl of mine.
I want to say that I love you more than anything, but now, after having my own daughter, I know that's silly. My love is ever expansive, like a magic balloon, that can stretch and extend with my heartbeat. My love for you lies in there, always growing with each year of experience and appreciation.