Let me be the first to say, "Happy Birthday!". Time certainly has passed quickly. Not easily, but quickly. I had no idea that I could miss you so much. I miss the regular, mundane , everyday things that we used to share. Stupid work stuff, funny things that Madison, Gabe, and usually Eli did or said. I miss you keeping me straight, making sure I was getting draws in on time, I miss you telling me I needed life insurance (don't worry, I'm working on it. No, really!). I miss Thanksgiving Day on General Conference Sunday.
Everybody here is doing well. Dad's doing well. He's learning things I never thought he'd figure out; he's even paying his own bills! I wish Meg could tell you what a life- changing Birthday she had. I'm so proud of her. When she came over tonight I don't know if she's ever given me such a tight squeeze. The kids are all growing up so fast. Madison has a piano recital coming up, it's just like old times, hearing the same songs over and over. And over. But in a good way. I'm sure you know what I mean. Gabe finished up his BMX season with a second place, his highest ever. I was so proud I cried a little. At the track. How embarrassing. Eli is full of more mischief than any one kid should be allowed. And I love it. A couple of Sunday's ago he wanted some milky during Sacrament Meeting, and I told him if he wanted it he would have to walk home to get it. So he did.
I am thankful for my trials, but it doesn't mean I necessarily have to like them. But in the months since your passing, I've already seen tremendous growth. Growth in me personally, and growth in all of us as a family. I miss Jill and Keli's families like crazy. I think we are exponentially closer than a year ago. Man, I love that. I think the void left in your passing we are trying to fill with love and unity, and it's making us better people. Thanks, Mom, for that. For the record, I'd still rather have you back and forget all this spiritual growth stuff. I find myself calling the office (yes, the office where I work) just to hear your voice on the message. I miss your voice. I even try to sing the alto parts of the hymns because it reminds me of how you sing. You do still get to sing, I bet.
I'm so glad I still feel you so close. I love to feel your presence when I'm biking. I don't think it's so much that you like biking, per se, (although the thought of you on a mountain bike makes me giggle a bit), but you always knew how much I love it. I got a new bike today, and if you were still here I'm sure you'd listen intently while I told you all about it, not having a clue what I was talking about. Trust me, it's super cool (are you listening still? Thought so.).
I hope birthdays in heaven are fabulous, because you deserve the best. I miss you like crazy, we all do. The world is a little less bright without you in it. But I'm sure it makes heaven that much brighter. I'm okay with that, because I know that is how it was meant to be. I love you, mommy, I always will.