Each day, I am thankful that our family is close. Not only do we live within 600 miles of our immediate family (with most living within 200 miles), but we are also close in deeper ways.
Wes is so lucky to have grandparents that he really knows. He sees them so much, there is never a time that he has to reconnect or get through that awkward phase of remembering. Wes has deep connections with Grandma Marilyn, Grandpa, and Grandma Anne.
He can be silly or sad, goofy or mad. No matter his mood, he knows he is loved and cared for by his army – our family. Add in my grandma Ethel (“Grammy Animals”), auntie Gigi, aunts and uncles and all of his cousins, and we really do have a small army.
Grandpa is the coach of Wes’ t-ball team, the NE Seattle Little League Godzillas. We love having him come over at least once a week for games, and it brings back such fond memories of watching my dad coach my sister Angela’s teams throughout my childhood. The kids love him, and you can tell he loves them right back. We are so thankful to have him in our lives in such a rich way.
I was thinking of May Day today. Not only is it the birthday of my grandpa Elmo (Ethel’s husband) who would have been 91, but also one of the days of the year that I recall so fondly from my childhood. As a very little girl, I remember all of the kids in our neighborhood would use construction paper and shape them into cones to make May Baskets. We would draw on them, or cut out shapes and glue designs on the cones. We would then go out into our yard and pick flowers – usually lilacs – and fill them up. When we had all of our bouquets, we would sneak to our neighbors’ porches. Most of the neighbors where we grew up in Bremerton were retired – like my grandparents, most were WWII vets and their wives. We would place the flowers on the porch, ring the doorbell, and run and hide. It was such fun to see the neighbors open their doors and watch the delight on their faces as they found the flowers.
On this May Day, I want to send our thanks to Marilyn. I wish we could blink our eyes and arrive on her porch in Salem, and drop off a May Basket. Marilyn has been such a stable force in our lives, especially since Hannah arrived. She was there – through countless days, weeks and months of uncertainty – and provided Wes with a constant sense of well being and love.
As I think about Hannah’s 16-months with us, not a memory goes by without a role that Marilyn played. She gave her all to us, and we are forever grateful. Wes still asks almost every day when Grandma Yellow Trucks is coming. He knows that she has her life in Oregon, and he isn’t worked up that she can’t be with us all of the time. But he loves her – oh, how he loves her – and knows that she loves him in return.
Thank you, Marilyn. This May Basket is for you. And you, too, dad.