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Growing older. A love letter to my children<br>by Tina Y. Gerber

Life is a mixture of different emotions, sometimes happy, others sad. These experiences shape and make us who we are. We can feel so many kinds of emotions daily, but everything we feel develops from our core emotions. I have experienced many things over the years, a brain tumour, endometriosis, miscarriages, death of family members, and living through a divorce while you were both so small.

Now, I face the latter years, the golden years of life. Often, I will forget things and repeat myself many times during a conversation. You both feel and say, this means I’m going crazy: it’s a running joke in our family, and that is okay.

I remember having both of you, like it was yesterday. The glorious hours I spent nursing you, rocking you and singing you both lullabies. You had a way of making the absurdities of life into jokes which made me laugh until I cried. How you both made me laugh, especially if you were in trouble. This laughter is recorded in our family archives, along with our most memorable moments and cherished memories. You both always knew how to tug at my heartstrings. I am filled with a Mother’s pride at the beautiful, independent and amazing young women you are today. Proud of all your accomplishments, but more importantly, of who you have become in life. Not what you do, but who you are. It’s hard for me to describe how much I love you, but I still tell you often as I can, sometimes, receiving eye rolls and sighs.

Being your Momma has been one of the greatest gifts in my life: you are both a legacy to be proud of. I realize, we never truly know what is in store for each of us, but now is the time to say what we don’t want left unsaid. Know more than anything else, I wanted to be your Momma. I was happy being at home, playing, singing, reading and dancing with my two left feet! Another huge gift and blessing was becoming a “Big Grandma.”

Memories flood my mind and heart as I reflect on our lives together. Do you remember my frustration, exhaustion and anxiety when I chased you around the kitchen table, yelling and screaming. I wanted to give you a well-deserved spanking, while thinking, if only I could catch you? Then there was the time when our new cat vanished and the neighbours came together to search the entire neighbourhood, to find her in the fridge later that evening? Our first Easter on our own, when I tried to save enough money to buy you both a scooter? Do you remember our fun outings, at Cullen Gardens, Bowmanville Zoo, Emily Provincial Park. What about your first dates, driving an automobile, and your first car accident, when I was more concerned about you than the vehicle, as it was replaceable, but you weren’t. There were the challenges we all experienced when I went back to college to make us a better life, improve our family and have more opportunities open for you both? Once again, you both make me proud with your educational accomplishments and how kind and compassionate you both are.

It is never too late to start over, as you travel in life, or to follow new opportunities, whether you are 60 or 86. I want you to remember never to give up, to trust God and persevere.

I pray you will remember my laughter, my tears, my determination, but also my faith. No matter how crazy you think I was, you both made my life worthwhile. One day, you will go through my things and will reminisce about our love, the good times and struggles we shared; both the highs and the lows, recalling both laughing and crying are incredible expressions of a life well-lived.

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