Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Love Letter to My Mom

I've written about my dad from time to time (see my sidebar for a couple of audio posts about his passing), and I may have left you thinking that my dad was a bad guy. The truth is, he had some demons I never met (thank God), demons that led him down the path of alcoholism. As I grew up, Dad's alcoholism colored my view of him (for obvious reasons) which is why this letter that he wrote for my mom for her 59th birthday is special to me. It represents a side of him I only caught a glimpse of in later years, long after he'd quit drinking and I'd left the house. It obviously meant a lot to my mom, too, who gave copies to all of us on her 80th birthday. She gave her consent to share it here. [I'll provide the transcription below.]

Dear Elsie,
Cards are nice, but they do not express my love for you adequately. There was a time when I was young, like 17, that I needed someone like you. You came along only by the grace of God, an angel. You have been so great. I needed you. You have overlooked my weaknesses as a true lover. Just between you and I, you told me many years ago that you only wanted to be a good wife, a good mother, and finally, a good Christian. The order may be incorrect, but I have always remembered that. How many people have lived up to that vow? You have, and God knows it, and I have been the benefactor. No one has ever been so blessed by an angel like you. I have. I love you more every day. You are the best. Happy Birthday. What a great gal; 9 children and 10 grandchildren, and me.
Love you, gal, Jim

Miss you, Dad....

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