I wonder what dreams you gave up so that we could follow ours? I wonder how much pain we caused, and yet you never complained. And what about before us, when you had your own first family? You provided shelter, comfort food, and stability when you lost your own mother so young. That must have been hard, and yet you carried yourself with grace and grit. You have been carrying others for so long, it’s no wonder your legs have grown tired and weary. I have been selfish, yes that’s true. But I have never stopped loving or worrying even when we fight, or knock heads like we often do. Disagreeing on the silliest things, never the fundamentals. You’re tough, tougher than you let on but I see right through you. I know how much you miss Dad. I miss him mostly for you. To have your own mother back for a brief moment to chat or bake molasses cookies, all the mundane, silly rituals we humans do. The simplest things that become sacred traditions. I hope we have made you a little happy. I hope we have made you proud. I hope we have given you piece of mind and serenity. You always gave much more than we ever gave you. I am relentless and stubborn and loud and loyal. I like to think I got those qualities from you, and that they’ll carry me through the inevitable cold and dark days. I hope when you hear the music you love, the memories still make you dance and smile. It has been the very best, and the very worst of times. There’s no one I would have wanted to share life with, no one who gets me quite like you. Your life has given me the most beautiful canvas to paint words on. Eighty plus years of living, to let go of and hold dear. Your ferocious strength, tenacity and love is your soul purpose and supreme legacy. I hope on this day of your birth you remember the magic, the dancing and good times too. The highway halfway mark has passed us far too quickly. It feels like yesterday I was the heathen, running, skipping and jumping out of trees knowing full well you would be there. Strong and resolute, with open arms to catch me. Time dictates it’s my turn now, to catch and carry you through.