In the mist of family problems and personal aches and pains which all seem minor in the grand scheme of life, I give Thanks.
Thanks go to a loving mother who for 67 years has always provided me with all the physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and often financial support I have needed. Thanks to you I know how to live life properly; to love others tenderly; to trust in God completely; to treat the less fortunate with kindness; to appreciate good literature; and above all to love my family with all my heart. I don't profess to do all these things to perfection, but because you taught me so well, I at least know when I fail and to whom I should apologize.
Thanks go to an incredible father who shared all of mother's good qualities. He provided his children a sense of humor second to none; he gave us an appreciation of good music; and his greatest gift of all was teaching us to have a total disregard for the possession of a dollar.
Thanks go to a sister who despite dropping bricks on my head and stealing my marbles when I was 10 has been a blessing and strength to all her family.
Thanks go to a brother who while being the youngest of our brood is the most level headed. He and his bride have raised three fine children who like all of us are no longer children. They both have stars in their crowns for the care they gave to one who could no longer care for her self.
Thanks go to my newest sister and one who has meant so much to all our family and especially to mother. As Mother's companion and friend, her day to day love keeps mother's spirit's high.
Thanks go to a wife who has so many special qualities. Her book detailing her rescue of one lost in the shadows would be second place to the book, when written, detailing her own complex journey raising her two beautiful children.
Thanks go to those two beautiful children just mentioned for calling me dad these last 21 years and for allowing me to call them "son" and "daughter". And especially I thank them for giving me four lovely granddaughters to call me PaPa.
Thanks go to my two gorgeous daughters who are the light of my life. I could never express in a million years the way the two of you make me feel when I am around you. Thank you daughter and son-in-law for two more grandchildren including the first grandson of the batch. I can only hope that I passed on to you girls some of the genes of your grandparents to make you as special as they were.
Thanks go to the mother of these daughters who raised them to be the thoughtful ladies they are today and who gave them their looks and brains.
And thanks go out to all of you who occasionally check into this journal. As I have begun to come to the end of the stack of "Mother Memory Letters" which I have been sharing, I have taken several days off to reflect on the the course of this literary exercise.
When I have convinced myself that this is the right vehicle to use, I will begin once again to share some more pointless stories dredged from my fading memory banks.
Until then, Thank you all and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
James Neville LeDuke, Jr.