In a continued celebration of my 50th birthday, 7-22-2015, I'm writing 50 thank you notes in 50 weeks. Here's number 11, to my sister-in-law, Kim.
It’s your 50th birthday: a perfect time for me to tell you just how much I appreciate you and the qualities you bring to our family.
You were the last in-law to join us, setting our count to eight once and for all. (Well, eight plus eight now, but still . . . .) You’ve been a Mitchell for over two decades, or forever; I’m not sure. It seems like our family has always included you.
Kim, I love how you love us. It’s clear to everyone: your devotion to your family-in-laws has nothing to do with marital obligation. You love each of us with visceral faithfulness. You are all-in, 100%, wholly committed to our clan and we all know it. Thank you Kim, for loving us in that full-throttle Kim way. I so appreciate that about you.
Your gifts, so different than mine, amaze and humble me. Your no nonsense efficiency with the details of life is such a blessing to our whole family. Thank you for prioritizing life’s particulars; by the time I realize the minutiae exists, you’ve already resolved it. Thank you.
Kim, I've never doubted that you loved my parents as your very own. Your love for them is clear with every interaction you have with them. I mean it when I say I NEVER worry about them. I don't because I know you are right down the street, a phone call and a 30 second drive away. So many times over the past several years, this reality has proved, if not life-saving, then at least anxiety relieving. But in the last 12 months, having you so close to our parents has kept me from lying awake at night, consumed with worry. I remember the first time I spoke with you after we learned the extent of Mother’s surgical needs. Your response, honest and immediate: “I wish I could do it for her.” And I knew you did. That’s how much you love her. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
Of course, living a two-minute walk from our parents means that you get an influx of company at least twice a year. Anyone else might be at the very least annoyed when we descend on your hospitality and invade your space. But if having an extra 8-10 people at your house is an imposition, I’ve never known it. And the thing is, it’s not just that I feel welcome; it’s more than that. It’s like you have been waiting for us and are delighted we’ve arrived. “Would you like a beverage?” you say as you hand me an ice-cold Diet Dew. Thank you Kim, for always wanting us around.
Thank you for your passion for family, your zest for life, and your steadfast loyalty to those you love. I am so grateful for you, and so thankful to God for the gift of you. I love you Kim and wish you the happiest of birthdays.
Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore is a mother x 3, wife x 28 (years not men), minister, speaker, writer, retreat leader, and lover of beagles and books. She has a lot to say.
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