August 3, 2011
Today is the fifteenth anniversary of your death. I can’t believe how many years have passed without your warm smile touching this world.
Looking back at the yearly letters I have written to you, I see a pattern. I started them on the tenth anniversary of your death. In that letter, I told you that I met a wonderful man and how I knew that you chose him for me. The following year, my letter told you that I was engaged. In the third letter, I told you about the exciting new adventures of being a wife. The fourth letter shared the news that I was expecting a baby. Then last year, I got to share with you all of the joys of motherhood. Now, in this sixth letter, once again I have more milestones to share with you. In February, we moved out of our townhouse and bought our first home together in Woodbury. I also transferred to a new YMCA and started a new job. And, the biggest excitement is that we are expecting baby #2. I am due this month, coincidentally the month of your birthday and your journey into Heaven.( Of course I know that you are aware of all these milestones as you watch us from above, but it helps me to write you these yearly letters so I can feel close to you and keep your spirit alive.)
First I want to tell you more about our new house. We have lived in Woodbury almost six months and really love it. It was a big change from living in the Minneapolis area for so long, but we are very happy here. Not only is it nice to be closer to family, but the neighborhood, schools, things to do, parks and amenities are perfect for raising a young family. I have really enjoyed bringing Joe and Braden to do things in Stillwater – it brings me back to memories shared with you. I feel your presence just being this close to where I grew up, as strange as that may seem. Every day I wonder what life would be like with you around to hang out with, but I try not to focus on the bad and hang onto all of the great memories of you and things that you have taught me.
Since my last letter to you a year ago, I feel like I have grown more as a person and as a mother. Raising a toddler is much different than being a mom to a newborn or infant. I have seen my patience, compassion, teaching, discipline and so many other skills being used and tested on a daily basis. It’s funny because never once do I question what type of mother that I want to be – I want to be just like you. With all the things you taught me, I also know what I want to teach my own children: respect, treating others nicely, being a genuine and good person, being honest and open, being loyal and reliable, to have fun in life, to work towards their life goals, and to create memories to last a lifetime.
As I get ready to become a mom for the second time, I have fears and excitement. I wonder how my love will be spread with two versus one. I worry that Braden will be mad at me with a newborn to take up a lot of my time. There are tons of thoughts that race through my mind, but all I have to think about is how you raised four of us and never, ever did any of us every feel slighted or jealous of your love. I know you will be with me in the delivery room again. I thank you each and every day for watching over me and my family; for helping to deliver all of these wonderful blessings into my life. I know you are looking down and are proud of me today, but really I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t have you as the best mother a woman could ask for! I miss you more than words can say.
Your biggest pride in life was your family and I am so honored to say that now I have a family of my own - my biggest pride. Thanks for being my angel.
P.S- I am bringing this picture with me into the delivery room so you can be my nurse just like last time!
P.S.S - Maybe this baby will be born on your birthday? You never know...seems like you are always sneaking into our lives in amazing ways. :)
Love, Your Pina Colada