...76 reasons why:
1. You laugh easily. Even when I'm not really very funny.
2. You make me pork chops with rice and gravy on demand.
3. You are selfless. Everyone else has always come first.
4. I love how you tickle my back. So soft and "swirly".
5. You are fair. In my younger years, I hated this. I hated that I'd come home complaining about something someone had done to me at school and your response would be "Why do you think they did that? What could they have been feeling to cause them to behave that way?" I wanted you to instantly take my side and be angry at them with me. Now I realize how wise, and fair, and forgiving you are. I like to think I've learned from your teachings. I'm not always as fair as you, but sometimes, I do take the time to think about where the other person might be coming from. I learned that from you.
6. You love every grandchild as if they are your absolute favorite.
7. You're okay to laugh at yourself. Even when basted crickets are involved.
8. You cheat at cards as much as I do. (Will we ever redeem ourselves at Milles Borne again???)
9. You're not afraid to remind me when I am taking something wonderful for granted.
10. I love your fingernails. Why can't mine grow like yours? I especially love them for reason #4.
11. You shared your bottled fruit and vegetables with me, asking nothing in return, anytime I had a hankerin' for it. Now that I know how much time and effort (and money!) can go into bottling food, I realize just how very generous this was.
12. You and Dad gave me an appreciation for music and the arts. You helped me realize how very thin the veil can be when in the presence of beautiful things.
13. You left me little notes on my nightstand.
14. You let me eat as much ketchup as I wanted. At least until, you know...
15. You gave me the benefit of the doubt when someone thought I wasn't good enough to be their child's friend.
16. You'd get up from the table to spread cream cheese on my slice of banana bread.
17. You came to the high school to watch me clumsily tap my way through the school play, even though you'd just had open-heart surgery and didn't feel good and it was exhausting. What's even more, you looked at me like you enjoyed it.
18. I love the shape of your blue eyes.
19. You sat in your chair and listened to me play the piano as though I made no mistakes and it was the most wonderful music in the world.
20. You made me feel like I painted like Monet during my painting classes. Since my kids don't even understand my stick-figures, I can now more fully appreciate what it took for you to praise like that.
21. You lit up candles on Christmas Eve and turned off all the lights.
22. You didn't yell at me when you found out I'd started shaving my legs without permission. Perhaps your anger was subdued when you saw my battered legs. Turns out an 11-year old needs more than just water to get that "baby soft" feeling. Ouch.
23. You always made enough Parker House rolls for us to have some for breakfast with your homemade hot chocolate. Words can't describe how delicious hot chocolate is with a ring of melted butter from a roll floating on top!
24. You didn't spank me when Alison and I dumped out all 30 boxes of Cracker Jacks just to get out the prizes. At least not hard enough I remember.
25. The sound of you blow-drying your hair lulled me to sleep.
26. You spared no expense when it came to providing music I could play that I would enjoy. Birthdays & Christmas always yielded new sheet music or books.
27. You didn't laugh at me when I was so upset when Melly died while I was reading "Gone With the Wind" for the first time.
28. You didn't make me get out of the car when I was reading "Jane Eyre" during our 5-hour drive home from Moab. Someone may have lost a limb had anyone tried to make me put it down!
29. You made me stop reading "Too Stubborn To Die" by Cato Jaramillo because you knew it wasn't good for me to read something so depressing and graphic. What a good mother.
30. You never made fun or reacted skeptically when I declared I wanted to move to New York and be an actress on Broadway. In your quiet confidence, you knew I'd eventually figure out that kind of talent just wasn't there. :)
31. You and Dad let me ride my new bike all the way home from the store, patiently driving 5 mph behind me.
32. You made crepes for my birthday. And you made enough for me to get full. That's a lot of crepes!
33. You let me play games with the "grown-ups". I loved having milk-jam-bread in a cup with a spoon during Kings In the Corner or Tri-Ominoes.
34. One word: Tishamingo.
35. Your ears and earrings. I remember entertaining myself many a Sacrament Meeting by playing with your earrings and flicking your ear lobe back and forth. What a crazy thing to remember! What a weird thing for me to do!
36. We'd start a movie and without saying a word, you'd go upstairs and pop popcorn, drowning it in hot, melted butter, and showering it with salt. Interesting...now I'm very hungry.
37. I've inherited your love of mustaches. OK, maybe not mustaches, but at least two actors who are behind them: Tom Selleck & Sam Elliott.
38. Speaking of loving actors, I love that you loved Gene Kelly.
39. Speaking of love, I love that you'd choose Dad over Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, and Gene Kelly!
40. I love that you get up early in the morning.
41. Your generosity.
42. I love your spaghetti sauce. I could eat it cold.
43. I love your hot fudge sauce. I could eat it cold. I DO EAT IT COLD.
44. You came to every single one of my piano recitals, except one. But that's okay. That's the year I forgot my music anyway. And let's not forget all the piano lessons you drove me to.
45. You let us do caramel-apple fondue downstairs while we watched movies.
46. I love how much you love sheets that have hung on the line and dried outside.
47. You have always been a very faithful visiting teacher. You planted the seed that became my testimony of visiting teaching.
48. I love that you are happiest with a hot (and you do like it HOT) bowl of soup and bread. That simple contentment speaks volumes about you.
49. I love that you love the color blue. It suits you. It represents tranquility, sincerity, and stability.
50. I love that you are willing to pay shipping to MAIL a birthday package in order to get it to someone "on time" even if you're going to be seeing them the day after their birthday.
51. I love that you forget to use your clothing giftcard at the right store, but you'll give it to a waitress to pay for your dinner check!
52. You took me camping. You wrapped a blanket around me and made me come out to look at stars. You drew my attention towards the sunset and filled me with a love for God's creations.
53. I love that you put ribbons in my hair when I was a little girl. And that my hair was usually curled.
54. I love that when you did put my hair back, into a french braid or pony tail, my eyes retained their natural shape. (Mark!!!!)
55. I don't understand it, but now I am so grateful for the fact that I don't ever, EVER remember you yelling at me or embarrassing me when I had a potty accident. And let's face it, with my "health problems" I had them a lot, even at times when you must have thought to yourself, "Is she ever going to grow out of this???"
56. I love your acceptance of people, despite their faults or bad choices.
57. I love that you tried to teach me to sew. That must have been miserable for you.
58. I love that you and Dad went on bike rides with me. Dad in front, me in the middle, and you in the caboose.
59. I love how in the "Discovery House" you'd comment nearly every morning how pretty the sunset was coming up through Split Mountain.
60. You go along with the madness that is present when Shan and I are together.
61. I love that you and Dad took your kids on vacations to places like National Parks or Monuments.
62. I love that you always have juice in your fridge.
63. You let me melt marshmallows in a bowl and add food coloring for my after-school snack.
64. I love you even though you let me put ponytails directly ON TOP of my head. Like maybe only 1" back from my bangs. The ponytail hung down like a fountain. Seriously, at some point didn't it occur to you to say, "Child, you are NOT going out like that!"?????
65. You didn't rat me out when I lied to you about getting into your lipstick, even when I responded with "I ate a tomato" when you asked what that red stuff all over my face was.
66. I love that you work as though you never get tired, even though we all know you do.
67. You played Barbies with me. And you sewed clothes for Ken and his Barbie harem.
68. I loved making pull-a-parts with you.
69. Your cookie jar is never empty.
70. I love how excited you get to see horses running in the field.
71. Your meatloaf is the only kind I've ever loved, or even liked, for that matter.
72. I love talking about books with you.
73. When I think about improvements I could make in my marriage or parenting, you usually come to mind (in a good way).
74. You let me wear sunglasses at the breakfast table when I was a kid because my eyes were so sensitive to the light after just waking up.
75. I love how beautiful my Sunday dresses were. I think the first half of my childhood they were pretty much all made by you. Many of my little girlfriends were jealous.
76. You not only gave me life, but then you kept me and gave me "a life". A wonderful, wonderful life!