We are gathered here together to celebrate this great day of Thanksgiving and partake in this great meal before us. I am taking advantage of this occasion to address all of you children since I seldom have you all together in one place.
Today is indeed a day to be thankful. Thankful we have so much food to enjoy and to nourish our bodies, thankful for the abundance of life that we have been given, and thankful for our family members who surround us.
I have some things that I have wanted to say to all of you for some time. I know most of you will understand what I have to say, and the little ones will not. However, I think it is appropriate at this time of my life to express them.
I want to thank you kids for the 11 greatest days of my life. The days of each of your births and the day of Elizabeth and James’ wedding equally occupy that honored position in my life.
I remember each of your births so clearly, even when I was medicated. I remember the thrill of holding you for the first time, the few days we had alone (except for the oldest, of course) until we went home, the quiet night in the hospital where I just stared at you. My heart even now fills with such joy and love that I don’t think it can contain it all. I thank you for all your smiles, all the funny things you say, all your questions (even though they drove me crazy), all your hugs and kisses. (I still get them.)
I thank you for all your love letters, your encouraging texts, your faithfulness and your very distinct personalities. I even thank you for your reproofs, your criticisms and your honesty. I thank God for your lives, your gifts and for the unique illumination that you give the world. I am amazed at the depth of character you have all acquired despite the difficulties we have all been through. As you take the reins of your own lives, I hope that you continue to contribute to that depth. You all have blessed me beyond measure.
I also want to take this time to apologize, but I am going to do this once and for all, at least for the past. I have spent too much time apologizing for things I have been responsible for and for things others have done. But I feel I owe you all one.
I look back at the past 25 years of parenting and realize how far I have fallen short. God sent you to a mom who is insecure, fearful, undisciplined, scatterbrained, and too often short sighted. I apologize for my shortcomings. But I hope my strengths have somehow balanced things out. I hope my lackadaisical attitude has given you room to grow into the people you were meant to be. I hope my "ADD" has given you all a variety of opportunities that has become a mosaic of understanding of the world around you.
I want to emphatically say, and have you understand, that all of you are the best things that have happened to me. I wanted five, he wanted 10. I have been doubly blessed. I know I have expressed certain regrets when I’ve been overwhelmed with despair and hopelessness; but, for the record, I want you to know that though many of your births were unplanned by me and your dad, they were not unplanned by Him who brought you to me. Your lives have meaning and purpose.
You all are a part of a bigger plan, a bigger story, in which I play only a supporting role. May you be blessed in your stories, in your lives and continue to be a blessing to the world.