This started as a response to a fellow blogger and author of "Life is a Verb" Patti Digh. Here is the link, if anyone else would like to contribute to the project. This is the unabridged version of what I sent Patti. The last 326 words ( Patti had a limit of 370- whew! That was tough!) are part of what I submitted myself. Thanks Patti- for inspiring me yet again.
If had If I had 37 days left I would spend them writing letters, telling stories, for and with the people I love.
To my mother Jane, thank you for my life, for this gift, for art, theatre, literature... for being my mom.
To my father Jim, thank you for always doing your best as my dad , for providing for us, doing for us, helping us, supporting us, and for telling me “I love you” every time we talk, even though your own father never said it once to you.
To my sister Jylene, I love you, I am so proud of you. You are such a wonderful person, what a mentor for motherhood, for womanhood you have been for me.
To my oldest brother Jim, I love you, I forgive you. I will forever miss the big brother I knew as a kid. I wish you peace.
To my youngest brother Jef, Thank you for our close relationship growing up, for offering to beat up my old boyfriends when they deserved it, for always believing in and supporting me.
To my sister-in-law, Tacha, you are amazing, brave enthusiastic, an incredible mom. I wish you health and laughter always.
To my grandma Peg, I love you, I always have. I am so sorry that I never took enough time to know you well.
To my nieces and nephews,
Nicole, I love you. Relax, enjoy, find yourself, and live in the moment!
Hailey, Love you too! Keep up the good work, but embrace the ride and have some fun along the way.
Ian, my long lost lamb. I love you. And I wish you the best in finding what matters most someday, and the gratitude that goes along with it.
Lonny, Lydia, Loukia, Maddie, Kaitlyn, Taylor, Jake….what joys you are. I can’t wait to see who you become!
To Uncle Bill, much love to you, loved your laugh and ornery ways when I was young (as Aunt kathy would say) you were such a pill sometimes!
To my Aunt Pat and Uncle Wayne, thanks for all the love and kindness.
Uncle Orman, thanks for the love, AND bailing me out of my first and only speeding ticket.
Uncle Tom, thanks for still calling me your “Birthday Girl” as I turned 40 this year.
To my cousins….
To Amy…cousin, sister, aunt…you are all of these and more. Thank you for taking such an interest in me, in my life, in my childhood. You are the best fun a "kid" could ever have.
To Sheri, Chip, Tom, Janet, Ed…you were my favorites (Shhhh don’t tell the others.) Thanks for being more than relatives, and such good friends.
To Bob, Belinda, David…God bless. Miss you. We were like siblings more than cousins. Stinks to grow up. And to Bob especially, thanks for telling your friends to quit picking on me in high school .
To Mike and Monica, I‘m so impressed with your capacity to love and forgive others.
To Chris and Greg I’m sorry I didn’t get to know you better.
To Beth and Lorie, pillars of strength, I wish you much happiness, and no more sorrow.
And to Danny…good luck in all you do.
To my mother-in-law and father-in-law, Helen and Rich…
Thank you for raising a most amazing son, for loving me and my children as though we’d been there all along, for trusting me with your son’s happiness, and your granddaughter’s upbringing.
To my husband’s brother Dave and his wife Shan, thanks for all the support, love, acceptance, appreciation, caring about me and my sons, for reaching out to my stepdaughter and being wonderful role models of living life to the fullest.
To all my husband’s aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother Doris…
My gratitude for knowing you, and for all the love you’ve shown to me and my children. Thanks for allowing me the privilege to be a part of your family.
To my friends.. Old and new…near and far…thank you so much for everything. All the fun, all the love, all the support, all the sharing, all the caring…can’t say enough. Amber, Wilkie, Lorie, Chris, Lisa, Michelle, …the best girlfriends I ever knew. “My Stepsisters“…the most amazing group of women I have yet to meet.
To my fellow writers, what incredible inspirations you all turned out to be. My fellow actors some turned lifelong friends (Patric, Laura, Dave, Steve, Dan, Chris, Deb, Carrie, Scott, Alexa, Matt, Craig, Tina, Joe, Rod, Tiff, and EVERYONE else...thanks for all the “PLAYing,” for all the creative energy, all the deep and forever friendships in the transient theatre world.
And to my teachers…Bill Fry, Mrs Linder, Mrs. Karasarides, Dave Rees, Polly Haddin, Nancy Mckowski, Dan Nadon, Phil Robb, Joe Wagner,Tom and Terry Sosnowski...and even Dr Rosemary Bank (you tough cookie) and many more…thanks for, challenging, believing, encouraging, bestowing, sharing, supporting…driving me to be the best writer, actor, and student I could.
To Ken, thank you for allowing me the security of your love for 11 years. Thank you for helping me grow up, and for letting me go even when you didn't want to when our chosen paths in life were dividing. Thank you for two amazing sons, for being a fabulous dad to them, for putting them first every time, and for becoming one of my best friends.
To Lesley for being such a wonderful stepmom to my sons, for reaching out, for letting go of the small stuff, for showing me how much you are capable of giving, sharing, understanding. For being my friend even though "that's weird!"
To J, thank you for teaching me so much about myself, my ability to love selflessly, for letting go when it was best, for being my friend no matter where life takes us.
To all those who went before me…
Grandma and Grandpa Mac, Maryanne Anderson, Aunt Cindy, Aunt Kathy, Nick, Julie, Dave, Lita, Pat, Kathleen,
I am forever grateful for every kindness, every life’s lesson, every inspiring moment. I’ll see ya on the other side.
To my loving, nurturing, supportive, amazing husband Rick,
Thank you, for all of it.
For being my friend, my lover, my partner, my confidant.
For trusting us, for allowing me to learn to love and trust my heart again.
For walking across hot coals, picking me up, carrying me across, and saving my feet from burning.
You are the rock I lean on…the shoulder on which I rest.
I wish for you a lifetime of love, as infinite as your own capacity to give.
I love you… more.
To my oldest son Tanner,
You are amazing, strong, brilliant, giving. I am so proud of you. Thank you for letting me learn how to be a mom with you. I wish for you a passion to dive into, a wife to love you, and a son just like you ;)
I love you forever…like you for always…as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.
To my youngest son Noah,
Thanks for always showing your love. I so admire your zest for life, your compassion for others, your ability to live and love fully in the moment, and laugh at yourself for the sake of making others happy. You are a joy to be around. Don’t ever lose that! I love you all the way to the moon…and back.
To my stepdaughter Adri,
Thank you for bringing to me my biggest life lessons of unconditional love. Never give up. Love yourself, find yourself, be yourself. I love you.
To my own baby girl, Anna,
I am so grateful you chose me to be your mom. I am so incredibly sorry to ever have to leave you. Thank you for being my best friend, my “one last chance” as a new mother. I wish you a life of joy, passion, service, gratitude….and a full sense of yourself. Follow your dreams, and have a few good ones for me along the way.
Good night moon…goodnight stars… goodnight air….goodnight noises everywhere.