As we speak, many of you are enjoying a delicious meal that is making my mouth water only thinking about it. As we speak, many of you are enjoying each others company – laughing it up and telling old stories. As we speak, I am here – you all are there.
Yes, I am upset about it. Yes, I cried when the FaceTime failed. It’s me, I’m not ashamed of it.
Many of you think I may have forgotten you. Forgotten your faces or your voices; forgotten the moments that we had spent together. But the truth is, I haven’t. I can remember so many things from the adventures that I took with Grandma and Grandpa.
I can remember driving all the way to (Grandma, cover your ears) butt-fuck nowhere Saskatchewan when I was younger thinking it was the greatest thing ever. I can remember weddings and apple picking. I can remember swimming in Emma’s Lake and getting sunburnt because I didn’t want to put on sunscreen. I can remember riding in the golf carts. I can remember the songs that were played for so many first dances. I can remember the way Grandma and Grandpa, and so many of us all, danced the nights away.
I can remember so much of it, and yet, I can’t tell you any of these stories. I can’t be with you all and it hurts my heart so much. So, this is how I will do it and who knows if you all will get to read it together – my hopes are that you do.
When I tell people about my family, the first thing that comes out of my mouth is that they are LOUD, like concert LOUD. They don’t smile out of courtesy, they smile because they genuinely want to make those around them feel the best that they can. The second is that they welcome everyone and anyone in with open arms. They allow others in and treat them as if they are their own, regardless of their past or future mistakes. We know how to make you all feel comfortable in your most vulnerable moments – mostly because we can share stories that are more embarrassing than you can ever imagine. My family is not afraid to show their true colours, they marvel in them.
You all, my family, are my lifeline and I don’t tell you enough.
I wouldn’t be here without you, all of you.
It all started with two people, back in the day. Two people who shared their love and allowed that love to be spread out into this world. Two people that created some of the most spectacular people I have ever met.
To my Grandparents, you are the glue. You always have been. Grandpa, today is your birthday and I know that none of the people in the room have forgotten that. But as they celebrate the one woman who you made the happiest, I know that you aren’t far from their thoughts – you never are. Grandma, I am deeply sorry that I am not there. But the strength that each and every one of us has comes from you. I don’t know how you do it, I wish I did. You carry yourself with such grace and wisdom that it is amazing that this world doesn’t already know your name. You, and Grandpa, raised 6 girls. Each of them is special in their own way, each of them is a little bit of you and him. You raised them with love, admiration, and respect that is unwavering. Through everything, they could always count on you. And in turn, they raised their children the same way. Through every sporting event, school project, bumps and scrapes – loving hands were not far away. Even as your children aged, and so did theirs – you never forgot a birthday, an anniversary. You are always on the ball.
Not only are you both the strongest people I know, but you are our biggest fans. You pushed us to be the best versions of ourselves, you let us learn from our own mistakes. You taught us to be compassionate, strong, and so bloody competitive that it is hard to get someone to play board games with us (don’t get me started with card games, that is our shit and hell hath no fury when we lose).
You gave me the greatest gift, you believed in me – in all of us.
To my aunts, you are the yarn that binds us to those two special people. Even when there are circumstances that tear us apart, there are always ten more things to follow that bring us closer. From me, personally, I am sorry that I don’t talk to all of you enough – it is my greatest downfall. But know, that even if we don’t, I always think about you often. I think about you teaching me how to hit a baseball. I think about how you let me pump gas. I think about how you would sit on the phone with me and just listen to me giggle. I think about how Grandpa spit out the window and it came flying back in your face. I think about your cooking, and how any of my requests for your omelette would get answered just as quickly as it was asked.
To my mom, being a single parent was never easy – I know that. And trust me when I say that I know the love that you have for me is greater than I will ever know. There’s more to be said, but one day, I will write it all out.
To my cousins, we are all cut from the same cloth. We are all products of immense love that the love that we give off is known – everyone can feel it. Even though some of us have lost touch, even though we catch up on a yearly basis, you all were like my brothers and sisters. And even when you locked me in the dark or would hold me down and do that stupid spit thing – you allowed me to be little, you allowed me to spread my wings. You helped me find my voice that I am no longer afraid to use.
To my extended family, I do remember you. I remember all of the moments from when I was little and spent so much time in your neck of the woods. You all hold such a special place in my heart that I can’t thank you enough for playing your part in shaping me into the person that I am today.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t give thanks for giving me this wonderful family. Even though there are fights, downfalls, and many moments of getting under each others skin – you are the only people who I know will always be there for me.
So, my loving, crazy, loud, and absolutely imperfectly perfect family:
Thank you for always being my personal support team and never giving up on me – not once. I will forever love and hold you all on such high pedestals.