Dear Mom & Dad,
I remember how we sat at the dinner table together every single night. I remember playing in the front yard. Filling a big Rubbermaid container with water for our toys' community pool. Playing baseball. Playing basketball. The time we put all our Furry Families on the van and Dad accidentally drove off, they all fell off, and we scoured his entire driving path until we found nearly every last one.
I remember conversations about being kind. Sticking by your friends. Sitting next to someone who might be alone at school. I remember the times we talked about respecting everyone. I remember dancing to this song on birthday mornings. Eskimo kisses. Ice cream sundaes with peanuts. Singing prayers together at the dinner table. I remember Sanibel Island and the Smoky Mountains. I remember Maine and New York City. I remember camping in the middle of Point Reyes and hearing coyotes cackling to one another. I remember learning about acceptance and empathy.
And what I mostly remember is you leading by example. Living out the example you hoped we would someday carry on. Laughing in darkness. Standing brave during hard times. Tucking us in at night. Telling us you love us after every single phone call. I remember the love radiating from our home. Palpable.
Thank you for giving me the courage to find beauty in the many rich differences of the human experience. You are the hope and the fire and the light that I carry in my heart every single day. You are why I believe that people are mostly good and could always use a little bit more love. My gratitude to you is endless. It goes on forever and ever.