It has become evident lately, that I have many wonderful things for which to be thankful. One of the most important things, are both of you. This is a letter to thank you for all the time and effort you have put into being my parents.
Included in my memories are incidents and moments of love and caring that have influenced me in becoming the person I am.
Our Sunday walks in Friday woods. Picking wild berries, acknowledging the gypsies, bathing in Bounstead Brook. It was a family affair, enjoyment being of the utmost importance.
Our summer camping trips. The long drives, pitching the tent, Dad getting skin rashes, visiting the local sights.
Our daily trips on the “picking bus." Duck, ducks, ducks at Bourne Pond, picking leaves out of the berries, having picnic lunches, secret adventures, taking off boots to discover socks full of squashed berries.
Parent’s Days at Kennylands. Waiting anxiously to see the old car, even sometimes when I knew you weren’t coming, but hoping anyway, showing off my family, showing off myself, having serious, important conversations, catching up on old news, receiving the goodies.
Baking on Saturdays. Rolling pastry for hours on end, eventually producing a jam turn-over. That is a very special memory for me, the smells, the private time we had, the feeling of happiness, and of course the good eats afterwards.
Our trips to the seaside. Walking along the beach in the wind, sun, rain, enjoying the quiet, looking for shells, money, treasures.
My birthday parties. The best in town, everyone wanted to come, sandwiches, jelly, cakes, biscuits, pop, everything a child loves. Even when we had so little, you could always make the best birthday parties.
Fishing. The chalk pits, the gnats, the worms - yuck! the quiet, the long conversations, the catch?
Sunday dinners. Spending what seemed like endless, empty, boring hours in church, to return home to a wonderful family event - dinner. Always plentiful, always grateful. Wearing our Sunday hats, just like Grandma!
Monkwick School. School plays, dinnertime, encouragement to return after many bad days of teasing, school reports.
Learning to play the harmonica. Special instruction from Dad in the car, lots of encouragement, recitals.
Christmas. All the many wonderful gifts, the excitement, wrapping paper, crackers, decorations, food, loud conversations at the dinner table, the quiet afternoons in exploration of gifts, the typewriter I couldn’t find, waking up at 3 a.m. to open and then rewrap presents, trying to show surprise at 7 a.m.
Trips to visit Grandparents. Long drives, laybys, 224 Tatwin Crescent, Midway, breakdowns, stops at the pubs, crisps and pop.
The visits home with a new baby. The pleasures, excitement, pride, joy, delight, the friendships of boy and dog, boy and Grandparents, boy and Aunts and Uncles, the relaxation for a few weeks of less responsibility.
Your visits here. The honesty and closeness it brought us, the sharing of friends, the recognition of accomplishments, the baseball game, the visit to Thomas’ school, the Hot House brunches, the souvenir shopping, the good byes at the airport.
Acceptance. This is one of the biggest gifts you have given me. No matter what my choices, there has always been acceptance. My friends, music, clothes, jobs, lifestyle. I am very grateful that I was never tainted by suggestions of disapproval. By accepting my decisions, you made me able to choose the right path in life, without discrimination.
Your understanding and support. The calming words, the reassurance, the warmth, the common sense, the love.
These are just a few of the memories of the caring and enjoyment you have given me. Words like these are often left said too late, so I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know how much you both mean to me.
Thank you both, so very much.
Your loving daughter,
(This letter was written and sent in 1997. My mother died in 2004. I am happy that I had the opportunity to send this.)