First I would like to say that I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father that I was able to follow my heart for the last thirty years and stay at home with my children. It wasn't always easy and I know there was a lot of sacrifice from my husband to provide that blessing and to honor my choice. I am so grateful to have been able to follow my heart and I acknowledge the help I have been given.
I know where that blessing came from.
And now I open the door to new possibilities and new adventures. As I look back on the last thirty years I am grateful not only for being able to be with my children but so grateful for the people who have accompanied me on that journey. Women who stood shoulder to shoulder with me through breastfeeding and diapers, kindergarten and PTA.....helping me with my marriage, sharing their own trials and making me a better woman, mother and wife.
Those amazing people who cheered with me and cried with me......some that I have only met through letters and emails.....but who are just as important to me as those I see all the time. I am grateful to my Uncle who stoically, and unemotionally reminded me that I was made of better stuff the night before I was to give the eulogy for my mother. I walked to the podium the next morning knowing I could do hard things.....because I was made of better stuff. Words that course through my soul often. I will never forget those who came to the hospital when I had babies, when my children were in danger and when my parents were going through the end of their lives....I will never forget their faces as they came to my home for dinners, firesides, lunches and even a few funerals! Oh the incredible people who have left their imprint on my life forever. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I have changed so much over the last thirty years. Thank goodness right? But the biggest change in my life is realizing what I can do, what I can accomplish...the lives I can touch....what kindness can reap...and what unkindness can return. Oh how important that is....and that can only come with experience, and lessons learned and relearned.
I am grateful to all of those people along this journey who have taken the time to love me, teach me, laugh with me and cry with me. And mostly who have forgiven me for my shortcomings. Forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give each other.
And so while it is sad to move on and say goodbye to every day mothering, I do it with great hope that the next part of my life will be as fulfilling as the last has been. My pattern has been to never give up and to pray as hard as I can to know what the Lord wants me to do. And then when I discern what He wants then to do all I can to follow that direction. What I am leaving behind is carefully locked in my heart as the best memories a person can have.
I have made a great many mistakes, I have not been the perfect mother or wife...I never thought I could be and sometimes I didn't want to be!! But my heart has always been with my family, I will always consider myself a wife and mother first because that is the desire of my heart. Now that role changes and I know I will handle that just like I have handled all the other changes in my life. I am confident in the abilities God has given me. And one ability He gives us is to survive and never give up......I will always try to encourage everyone around me to never give up.....that is the greatest lesson my earthly parents taught me.....it is what I see in my husband. I hope I have instilled it in my children.
Just as I have been helped.......I will return those blessings. I hope to mirror the kindness and love shown to me all these years.
So to all the people who have supported me along this journey.....I am a better person because of you. For all of you have been there when I needed it most and I am better for it. I learned from you what to do when tragedy occurs.....how to love, how to react to pain, how to celebrate and simply how to walk this life with honesty.
I consider myself blessed beyond all measure because of you. As they beautifully say in Texas, "I love all y'all!"
And to my husband a special thank you and my eternal love....he knows me best and still loves me. To my children, you will never know how grateful I am to you for letting me be your mom. You have given me such joy. I love you.
And never stop believing.....