There are so many things that we could complain about. How poor we were. How the six of us lived in a three room (two bedroom) apartment after mom and dad divorced. How they fought for custody of us in court when neither of them had any money. How much we missed Mom. So. Many. Things.
But, when I look back, I (mostly...I am getting there) feel that I am in a place of gratitude and forgiveness. I enjoyed how much I went to work with Dad for his cleaning business; how I learned so many things about taking care of my household and children from Mom in the "good years"; and, how I learned to be independent and take care of my siblings. I am grateful for it all, honestly, because it ALL made me, me.
I am also proud of you for so many reasons. Being eight years younger than me, it makes me sad that I could not be there for you when I went away to school (and never came back to live at home again). You were just 10. I know I gave you a lot of unsolicited advice; but, I am grateful Dad was always there for you, too. I should not have been sad or even worried because you not only persevered, you thrived! I am so proud of the person you have become and the intelligence, talent and skills that you have! I am proud of all of our siblings and the families we have started.
We have come a long way and I pray that we can make the most of our lives and enjoy some beautiful moments...like your wedding. What a wonderful, special day! Thank you including us in that creative expression of your love and marriage to Jonathan.