Dear Mama,
I know it’s been a while since I’ve jotted one of these “dig up the memories” letters.  Perhaps you’ve enjoyed not having to look over my shoulder from Heaven to read them.

There has been a reason for the long stretch.  And in explaining it to you, I want to say thank you for one of the life lessons you provided to me.

All my life it was confusing how your attitude toward me was so hostile and hurtful while at the same time you graciously cared for daddy when he was ill, took care of your mother when she needed you, or even how gentle you were with me when I had some childhood ailment.

It was such a dichotomy.  Something a child could not begin to understand.

Yet watching you on all those occasions when you spent your time serving others with your goodness taught me that it was what we are to do.  Serve others in time of need.

That’s why when Bob’s brother, Jim (you remember Jim and Helen, right?), became ill with a dreadful form of dementia we committed to traveling to Yakima as often as possible to help Helen care for Jim.  Now, that he’s in a nursing home you would think that would lessen the travel, but it hasn’t.

You see we go even more often now as Jim deteriorates and his ability to connect with any of us, even Helen, becomes less.  We have a hard time thinking of Helen facing all this alone.  Especially with the holidays coming, we’ve reset our schedule to travel every three weeks.

Not many people are fortunate enough to have a parent who can set such an example before their children that the goodness shown to others remains a memory.

As I said before, thanks so much for the lesson learned.

Love you more than I knew I could,