I love you so much.
I love you for pushing me out the saloon doors of course, that goes without saying - eventhough I was so close after my sister and perhaps not entirely intended. Actually I know I wasn't meant to be so close and that there were hopes for the first boy in the family and well then you got little me - six weeks early - needing time in the NICU and having to find dolls clothes to fit me cause all the hand me downs were far too big. Who would have thought aye? I'm such a strapping big lass now.
I love you for everything you 'gave up' in your twenties for having a family so young. It was the norm back then but for me, I can't imagine not having had the freedom to study and work during those years.
I love you for doing the hard yards with us kids when dad was training and then working at the hospital. It must have been tough and that is something I really haven't been able to appreciate until now, being a mum myself and having a husband that works late a lot.
I love you for the incredible strength you must have had when my little brother died of cot death. That must have been the worst pain imaginable and again, something I can only begin to understand now, as a mother.
I love you for the endless hours you spent stroking my hair. I have memories up until at least my twenties and if the truth be known I would have loved to have asked you again a couple of weeks ago.
I love you for always having encouraged me to do what I wanted - not including of course sex, drugs and rock and roll. When I wanted to study Japanese you encouraged me. When I wanted to go to Japan on exchange you and dad agreed. When I said I was marrying a Japanese man you never once voiced how hard it must have been to come to terms with me choosing to go into an international marriage on the other side of the world.
I love you for learning Japanese - taking courses at the local high school. You stoped this recently but I hope so so so much that one day you will get the chance to use your new found skills over here. Gin sounds just the same in Japanese and just put an 'u' sound on the end of tonic.
I love you for your loyalty, especially in standing by your man. I haven't always agreed with it but it is honorable and I think dad is a lucky man.
I love you for your courage in facing cancer. It tears me apart but you have always put on a brave face to me. I love you for the courage you will need over the next six weeks. I wish I could be there to help you through some of it.
I love you for the morals you have instilled in me. You have shapped who I am and in turn who my children will be.
I love you for not passing judgement. You accept me, most of the time, for who I am, the choices I have made, and the road I am travelling.
I love you for so much more but you'll have to wait till next year ...
I know you can.