My parents' friends from Canada, the Yeldon's, sent us an amazing package of gifts for Eli after he was born (at the time, we had never even met them). One of the books in the package was a book called "Guess How Much I Love You". It's a story about Little Nutbrown Hare trying to tell Big Nutbrown Hare how much he loved him, and no matter what Little Nutbrown Hare came up with, Big Nutbrown Hare would always out-do the little rabbit. Here's a sample excerpt:
"I love you as high as I can reach," said Little Nutbrown Hare.
"I love you as high as I can reach," said Big Nutbrown Hare. That is very high, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I had arms like that.
My mom read this book to Eli on one of her visits to Wilmington (seen here, along with the blanket she made for him). I never really got it before. Was the book saying that a child cannot possibly love her parents as much as they love her?
Then one night last week, a few days before my mom passed away, Tony and I were sitting on her bed on either side of her, sharing a special moment. I told her, "You are the best mom". She immediately shook her head as emphatically as she could and said "You are".
Now, we all know that I have big shoes to fill if I am to be as good a mom as she was. But she loved me so much that she believed that I already was. And she knew how important it was that I believe it--that I would be a better mom if I did. It was as if I had said, "I love you right up to the moon" and she said, "I love you right up to the moon--and back".
Since her passing, I have realized just how much my mom did over the past year to prepare me for this time. I am so thankful to have had her with me for my first four months of motherhood, and am thankful for all of our conversations over the past year. She gave me gifts every time we spoke, and continues to. I will do my best to live up to her words.