Thank you for teaching me how to play duets, out-fox our parents, play ‘old fashioned days,’ survive an English boarding school, and learn to be a mother. Thank you for teaching me to write, to appreciate English literature, to live imaginatively. Thank you for scaring the hell out of me. Thank you for teaching me to sew/drive/make crafts (none of which ‘took’ but through no fault of yours). Thank you for being a brutal task master of all those plays and musicals and variety shows in the basement. Thank you for letting me cheat at Monopoly. Thank you for biting me. And for letting me throw a D-cell battery at your forehead. Thank you for cleaning up all the messes, for fixing all the problems, for egging me on, for “marrying” me to Michael Wood when I was five, for making me cry, for making me stop crying, for setting me straight. Thank you for encouraging me, and for being the designated driver (literally and figuratively). Thanks for picking me up at college, packing and unpacking my crap, sharing all your stuff (so I could break or lose it). Thank you for letting me leave my dirty dishes and empty Entenmann’s raspberry danish boxes all over your house and live in it rent-free when you had no money. Thank you for chauffeuring me the equivalent of 597 circumnavigations of the globe. Thank you for watching the Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family every Friday night with me. Thank you for almost burning down the house with me when Mom and Dad were in Thailand and for making up interpretive dances to John Denver and Helen Reddy songs. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for transitioning successfully to being adult sisters. Thank you for making my kids’ Halloween costumes and doll furniture. Thank you for not yelling at me when I deserved it, for always giving me another chance. Thank you for taking me to EMS to buy a sleeping bag before I left for Bangladesh when you really wanted to kill me. Thank you for your Joan Walsh Anglund doll collection and your Edwardian children’s books and Maxfield Parrish posters. Thank you for your clothes, shoes, and Jewellry. And food. Thank you for the 1.7 million trips to the Burlington Mall. Thank you for devoting your life to public service and teaching me how to care for and sacrifice for others. Thank you not only for finishing my sentences but anticipating exactly what I’m going to say so I don’t even have to bother to say it. Thank you for your freakish memory and for being the guardian of my childhood. Thank you for spending all your vacations with me, even when you’ve lived all over the world and it’s been a total pain to do so. Thank you for being the world’s best aunt and a refuge for my children when they hate me. Thank you for your beautiful children whom I love like my own. Thank you for showing me how to recover from despair. Thank you for putting me back together in time to meet Nicholas. Thank you for making me laugh more than any other human being alive.
I don’t know why we rarely say it. But I love you.