It wasn’t until after you’d been gone about a month or so and I found our some really bad news about a good friend and my first impulse was to text you to ask you to pray for them when I realized the really super hardest thing about losing your mom:
Your mom is the one person in the world who cares about things simply because you do.
Thank you for being that person in my life and for caring about strangers you never met simply because they mean something to me.
Thanks for all those times you scratched my back during sacrament meeting and for teaching me to sing alto.
Thanks for making me take piano lessons and making sure I practiced even when I was stubborn or sullen about it.
Thanks for introducing me to Kahlil Gibran and Carol Lynn Pearson and Jonathon Livingston Seagull and What’s Up Doc.
Thanks for being hard on me and having expectations that taught me to work hard and then even a little harder.
Thanks for putting up with me even when I was sassy. I’m glad that Dad kept me from being really sassy by commanding respect for you, but I know I was still sassy and that sassy hurts. (And I’m sorry.)
Thanks for providing me a place to stay in weeks or months-long stretches surrounding my mission and before I got married even though my independence pained you.
Thanks for all those times you took care of my kids (even that one time when we came home and you were letting them watch Titanic) and managed to fit some time around your full-time work to help me after the babies were born and all the times you slipped me extra food after a family dinner or extra cash to feed our family.
Thanks for living close enough and long enough my kids could know you and for letting me and us help you take care of Grandpa and Grandma Jacobs so they could know and love them too.
Thanks for all the times I got to be your “Plus 1” or “and Guest” at events with your BYU Administration Office.
Thanks for being so excited about my work at UVU and for encouraging me to apply for full time and accept the offer when it came even though you’d just been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.
Thanks for wanting so badly to stay home that R.D. & D’Dee and I could take care of you even though it was hard and none of us was perfect at it.
Thanks for all the phone conversations during my commute on the days I couldn’t come see you. Especially for the times that were raw and real and beautiful and tragic all at the same time.
Thanks for keeping your covenants and enduring to the end in a way I know will hold our family together forever.
I love you,
[Day 43 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]