What I remember:
I remember patience, kindness, and structure.
The exact formula for a perfect household.
I remember family, effort, and holidays.
When the Christmas tree would radiate blues and greens and reds
amongst the downstairs after dark.
When the stockings would be full of perfectly wrapped gifts.
Every detail in place.
I remember going to church and finally understanding what it means
to light the little candles at the front
for someone you love that has passed.
Because Dad went up to light one for his mother.
And my little hands went up to light one for Beaujoe.
I remember the hikes we all went on
and the waterfall that was always waiting for us at the top, wherever we went.
I remember defining the word love
by what you both showed me.
Love is unconditional.
It is trying and wholesome.
It is watching your family
disperse amongst the country
knowing that however far they go
through life and death
their being will stay constant with you.
I remember Dad saying
“Parent’s try the best they can”
But you two did so much more than that.
You built me a castle in this world
to call home.
You gave me throne upon throne to sit on.
Encouraged me to rule this world however I liked,
and to never succumb to the abuse of power.
I remember when Mom would hold me after a bath
in a warm, oversized towel
for what seemed like hours.
And made me laugh until I hurt.
I remember Mom crying on the platform of the train before she left Chicago.
I remember the shock that overthrew us when Dad fell off his bike.
I remember not knowing strength until I realized
that you two will never give up on your family.
You will provide and provide until your last breath.
No matter what it takes.
It seems so innate to me now.
This nature of giving without taking.
And now here we stand.
At a landmark for your accomplishments.
25 years of defining this word, Love.
25 years of struggling and succeeding.
Of scraping your knees on rocks from the Rocky Mountains
And trips all around Europe, indulging me in my interest
I remember never hearing any fights
in our home,
but hearing about others that wouldn’t stop
at other households.
To say I am thankful is an understatement.
To say I am blessed doesn’t skim the surface.
To say I am lucky…
So often do I think I am the most unlucky person alive,
That things will never line up for me,
but then I think of you.
I might have maxed out on my luck.
I remember the freedom you gave me
But also the restraints.
I remember you telling me what I needed to hear
and letting me gradually come to my own conclusions.
I remember your voices like a song stuck in my head.
I remember your faces like relics in a museum.
I remember all the good
and have learned from the few that were the bad.
I remember your commitment.
Your integrity and your souls.
I remember the undying,
Thoughtful and mature
you two had for eachother;
for the family
and for the animals I insisted on having.
25 years you’ve remembered
Here’s to 25 more.