It was almost 24 years ago that we went on our first date. It was July 1999 and I asked you if you wanted to go with me to see a play with Judith Licht about a cancer survivor. It was a very depressing one woman play, and I have no idea why I chose that for our first date. Perhaps, as we make most decisions today, we chose it together. After the play we had dinner and it felt wonderful to be with you. I hoped then, not knowing for sure what would be, that we would grow closer and closer. But I had no idea, that on that evening, our very first date, I was receiving the greatest gift of my life. I might not have realized it at the time, but spending my life with you was that gift.
Our relationship grew very slowly. We both had children who took precedence in our lives. They were young, and of course they needed us. We slowly spent time with our children together, slowly being the key word. We lived in the same town, but at times weeks would go by where we didn’t see each other because we were both busy with our children. Even though we both hoped that we would spend our future together, we also knew that it was never just “the two of us” that we had to consider, but the seven of us. Pat, you so easily and naturally treated my children as you did your own. The gift that Caitlin and Gregory received the day they were born, was then bestowed upon my three sons, ages 8, 12 and 20. Again, whether at the time they realized it, you were that gift.
It’s today. We had no idea what our large family of seven would look like 24 years later. We are now 12 (almost 13) and growing. Pat, you have created a home for our adult children and their children, today and for the future. A warm, central place to gather, to feel loved, and you, always there to support who ever needs it for that moment. You set the bar very high for the next generation. As you were a surrogate parent to my children, and an amazing parent to yours, you are now the quintessential grandmother to our grandchildren.
Now of course I am the dad. I love my role in our growing family, but you Pat, are the center of so much good in all our lives. You are the one who makes everything work. From our Sunday family dinners, to our memorable celebrations which are usually at home, you are the one that makes it happen.
I always tell anyone who would listen that I have everything I ever hoped for. I have you to thank for that. You are the reason for my happiness. I always tell you that for any occasion that comes up you shouldn’t give me a gift. It’s because you’re the only gift I want or will ever need.
With immeasurable gratitude, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you.
I love you so much. ALAN