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To my stepson:

I never knew a fencer before. You’re great! I ‘get’ why your dad is so proud. I’m looking forward to coming to your matches. And to having many more family dinners out so you can continue rolling your eyes and laughing at me for suggesting we share and split what we order and then be the first to stick your fork in my food.

To my grandson:

My friends, who are grandparents of older children, tell me it keeps getting better. How could that be? You are beyond anyone and anything I dreamed of, expected, or imagined. Adorable. Sweet. Riveting. Observant. An angel. And so squishy and cuddly. Everything about you: you smile, your noises, your ‘you’ make my heart sing. I love you, little baby. You are my precious valentine.

To my son-in-law:

If I were to pick a husband for my daughter, a father for my grandchild, and a son-in-law for me, I would clearly pick YOU. You are a kind, giving, loving human being. And terrific company, too. Your smile and personality light up every room you are in. The place you occupy in my heart is enormous and special. You are a card-carrying mensch.

To my father in heaven’s card room:

I wish you could meet the new guys in the family. Oh Dad, you’d love them, too!

You are no doubt the Don Corleone in the bridge games up there with everyone coming by to ask your advice and pay respect. I respect and love you every day and in every way for:

–running up Covington Avenue holding the back of my bike until I could ride alone, telling me then and so often afterwards to hold on tight, keep on pedaling, and not get thrown by bumps;

–playing card games and whatever I wanted including beauty parlor when I styled your balding brush cut into one of my favorite hairdos: a “bouffant” or a “parfait.”

— laughing at everything (including what I’d say), and showing me life was fun

–teaching me to enjoy my own company

–showing me how to forgive

— insisting I find work I love

— insisting I be my own person and not keep up with the Joneses, whom you said were clueless;

–reminding me regularly that with both love and work: it only takes one.

To my husband, my one:

Every day I am grateful that:

–I found you

–you didn’t say “no”

–your feet are firmly on the ground

–your heart is so big and so generous

–your head is on the pillow next to mine.


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