I don't think she knows what she's done in my life.
The influence that she had through every day that we had together.
The example she set with the way that she loves.
The joy she displayed when it came to her family.
I don't think she realizes that each time she danced in the kitchen, jump roped while teaching us, gushed over cute boys with us, engraved hilarious and wonderful memories in our hearts forever.
I don't think she realizes that each of those times, makes me want to be as fun and as crazy a mom.
I don't think she realized that each time we waited for dad to come home, so that we could have dinner as a family, and spend hours talking and laughing with them, would make me want to strive for that kind of closeness for my own family.
I don't think she knows how often I think of the way she loved my daddy, how she taught us how to adore and love him, how she encouraged us to stop what we were doing whenever he came home, to greet and hug daddy hello (it was the best part of the day).
And how that has carried over into my own little family, as we wave goodbye at the window and watch Lux's daddy leave for work, and have a huge celebration when daddy comes home-we also stop what we're doing to hug and kiss daddy hello.
I don't think she realized that the way she and my daddy never saw us as burdens,
never told us they needed alone time,
and always included us kids,
made me see the importance of the priority of not just being a family, but loving being a family.
They displayed a desire for our family to grow together, play together, talk together, and do things together...anytime we had family time was a treasure.
My husband recognized the uniqueness of how intimately close my family was during each visit we've had...and he wants that same rare family dynamic.
I don't think she knows that she taught me not to compare, because she didn't do it with us.
She didn't compare us to each other, she knew all three girls were different, yet she loved us all equally and the same. She never compared us to other kids or families, and cherished us and our individuality.
I don't think she realized that as we were growing up, and others would try to discourage her that the next stage of her girls' lives (toddler years, sassy years, teenage years, college years), would be horrible, awful, and she'd hate having girls at those ages...she just smiled at them, but never took to heart those negative views.
She doesn't know that I'VE taken to heart what she did all our lives, and even when I hear those same comments about my own kid (and future kids), I let it slide off my back, and refuse to compare or dread those different stages of life...I look forward with joy at each part of my little ones' life.
That's because of the way I watched her deal with it.
I don't think she knows that I've observed and remembered the joy that she displayed, the love that gave us, and the life that she lives even today.
I don't think she knows that she's been on my heart a lot as I raise Lux, hoping and praying to do it well.
I don't thinks she knows that I think about how she raised us, just her and daddy, without any family members to help her, because they weren't even in the same country. She always prayed for strength and guidance and had the confidence through Christ to actually do it.
It gives me strength to say, "I can do this with excellence through Christ," even without the physical help of family members since we're each in different states.
I hope that she knows how much I reflect on what she's done for my sisters and I,
how fun it STILL is to gush about celebrity eye-candy with her and my sisters,
how we love the same books, movies, and music.
I hope she knows that I hope to have the same relationship with my kids, as we do with her-she's my best friend.
I hope she's knows that she left an imprint on my heart, and my sisters' heart, and will leave that same imprint on my kids, even from a distance.
I hope she knows how much I love her, how much I think about how fun she was and still is, and how safe and secure we felt because of the love she and daddy gave us.
I hope she knows that I'm so thankful that God gave me her to be my mom.