in relation to the years, i feel small marking the memories.
i remember when you taught me to light the oven in our first O’Keefe & Merritt stove–light the match, hold the flame to the small hole at the bottom of the oven, turn on the gas. i thought i might blow up the house every time.
i remember when you took me camping just after we were married. i’d never been camping before and you told me that we “wash” the iron skillet by putting sand in it and rubbing the pan clean. what?!? i thought you were lying–a joke to test my gullibility. i thought you would burst out laughing as i followed your instructions.
i remember your comfort in being yourself and my consistent discomfort in my own skin. you taught me confidence by just being you.
most of all, i remember your unfailing love and belief in me and the pronouncements you would make to be sure i knew the wonderfulness you perceived. “Kids, isn’t your mother wonderful?!”
on your birthday, we’ll climb the many steps to the secret beach together. we will tell stories, laugh and cry, chase children, tease each other, eat food, splash sunscreen, wrap in towels, and miss you like crazy.