Linda - Welcome home! Glad you had a safe trip and arrived home in one piece...
Per the girls camp leaders request, we composed some sentiments in a letter for you. Enjoy this record forever!
You are the best, Honey. Words are inadequate to express my sentiments and affection for all that you do.
You know that I have written many times about my admiration and appreciation for you and your goodness as wife and mother. I consider myself to be the luckiest man alive. Though you may feel you’re run-of-the-mill when compared to other women, wives, and mothers—to me you are definitely superior in so many ways. Life is not a contest. We are not supposed to gauge or measure our worth by comparing ourselves against others. Yet, you are nevertheless the best thing that ever happened to me. That's for sure.
My decision to marry you Sweetheart and have a family has brought me a lifetime of joy. And we will relish together an eternity of happiness with our family.
I am grateful for that blessing every day of my life.
And I am not the only one that feels that way...
I love you Linda,
Hi mom! I hope you’re having a good time at girls camp! It’s crazy we are all done and over with that now. Well kinda, I guess I get to go as a leader now too. So that should be interesting. Haha! Hopefully y’all have been having fun and being safe in those rapids!! Make sure you wear your life jacket. I loved going to girls camp with you as a leader. I was lucky I had that opportunity a few times. I don’t think it was until the later years that I had to face it alone. With no mom and no siblings there with me. No bueno. You can imagine my anxiety about having to go alone now as a leader in Texas where there are a million spiders and bugs! Eek! I have to be the strong one now. You are such a great example to me of love and kindness. You are always looking for ways to help and get involved. I admire that about you. I hope I can be half the person you are. I love you very much and miss you all the time! I can’t wait for you to come visit us! Thanks for being the best mom ever!
Mom this is last minute so for that I’m sorry but even if I had all the time in the world I don’t think I could put together my feelings of how much I love and cherish you! I am so grateful for the close relationship we have that others don’t have with their own moms, I feel really lucky. You’re filled with gratitude and there’s not a day that goes by where I’m not spoiled rotten. Seriously though, who else’s mom will practically beg me to go enjoy a luxury like getting your nails done almost weekly?!?! I aspire to be just like you and admire your outgoingness and kindness. There’s a reason everyone you meet immediately loves you, I mean how could you not?!?! Anyways Love you mom Your'e the absolute bestest!
As I grow older my appreciation for you grows deeper and deeper. I could never have fully known the love, patience, and selflessness you possess without becoming a mother myself. And still, you amaze me. As I struggle to keep up with the needs of one, I remember you tirelessly raising six. When I worry about the future of my child, I remember the wonderful children (my siblings) that you raised so well. When I wonder how to teach my child to be kind and strong and loving, I think of your example. When I feel spiritually under qualified, I remember your faithfulness and dedication to God. When I feel discouraged by difficulties in life, I think of your positivity and happy demeanor. This doesn’t mean I think you are perfect, nor would I even expect you (or anyone) to be. It means that you have been and continue to be enough. Often times more than enough. I hope this comes as a huge compliment. Maybe you can even take a big sigh of relief. Because don’t we, as women, so often live our lives believing that we aren't enough. That we should be doing more. Or be better? It robs us of our joy that we have earned and deserve to feel. My point is that I hope you can always see your worth. Your irreplaceable role in our family. Your sacrifices and efforts and example are enough. Six kids are forever in debt to you for these things. (I should also add that your extra patience and love towards me and my rough edges isn’t received ungratefully). So feel that joy that you deserve. You have earned it! Thank you for always being exactly what your kids have needed. Thank you for always being enough for us! We love you. I love you.
You are beauty. You are strength. You are love. You are joy. You are generous. You are fun. You are weird. You are selfless. You are strong. You are comfort. You are caring. You are support. You are carefree. You are kind. You are happiness. You are wise. You are patient. You are power. You are sweet. You are strength. You are light. You are brave. You are fresh. You are funny. You are positive. You are emotional. You are compassion. You are wonderful. You are important. You are special. You are hero. You are admirable. You are smart. You are incredible. You are my best friend. You are mother. You are you. You are everything to me.
I love you, mom.
I wanted to take a quick second and tell you I love you to death. I know how much you love me, Carly, Mervin, and Van because you show it EVERY TIME you are around us. I'm fully aware that not everyone enjoys such a well-tempered, positive influence in their life from a mother, and I'm so grateful that I do. Thanks for taking my boys out to do fun things, and for all your support over the years. Whether it's been babysitting, advice, personal attention for me, Carly or my sons the list goes on! You've always been there for me, and now, when I need it more than ever because of the increase in responsibility I have as a husband and father you've only increased your love and service. I can't thank you enough, and I hope you know I'm fiercely committed to you and want to make you happy. I hope Girls Camp has been a lot of fun, and I look forward to hearing more about it.
If you are reading this, you have survived another girls camp. How many is that now, two hundred? Three hundred? Those young women have no idea how lucky they are having you as a leader and mentor. Some of my favorite memories from girls camp include you. I'm glad that you were always there.
You're an amazing mother. So often while I am changing a diaper or wiping up spit up, playing peek-a-boo, or any of the other countless, thankless mundane daily tasks, I imagine you doing the same things for me. When I catch myself getting impatient and worn down, I think about you and your enduring patience and selflessness. When I feel a burst of pride watching Ray learn and grow, I picture you clapping for me with the same enthusiasm. When anxiety creeps in and I wonder if I will ever be everything my little boy needs me to be, I think of you, my perfectly imperfect mother. And when my heart feels so full it might explode, I think of you loving me with the same fervor. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love you!
These are just a sampling of our sentiments for you. We could actually write volumes more.
Let this vision access the love and admiration for you in all our hearts.
We all love you!