My Dear Boys,
Oh my goodness! Having you in my life has been so huge, it is next to impossible to put how much you mean to me in this letter...but I will try. You have been more than sons, you have been young men that I look up to more than you could ever even imagine. Someone said to me one time that they loved seeing my boys, because you each had your own special personalities, and they appreciated how I allowed you to be yourselves. I pray that I always gave you room to grow into what God wanted you to be. I know without a doubt that you are wonderful young men, loving husbands and great dads.
Bradley...yes I said Bradley :-) I know that you have shortened your name to Brad, as I knew you would, but in this letter, I am gonna call you Bradley...I love you so much! You stole my heart that fall day in 1976. The moment the doctor put you across my stomach, your dad and I both laughed and cried uncontrollably...I was so happy to be a mom. As you grew from toddler into the young man you are now, there was never a time that I wasn't amazed at your maturity, and ability to tackle anything that was put in front of you. You have a sweetness in your personality that draws people to you in a remarkable way. God is using you in His work wherever you go. You are a wonderful husband and father to 5 beautiful children. I love you and Holly and those children so very much...always remember that!
Bryan...my son...my sweet funny son! You were my surprise, and what a wonderful surprise you were. I was at the hospital for 15 hours before you finally decided to make your appearance. The doctor kept saying that you were going to be a girl...we didn't have the technology to find out early like you do now, so I didn't know until you were born. The first thing that a lot of people asked me was...are you upset that he is not a girl? And I always gave an emphatic "No"! I was so happy to have another son and you were so much fun, I don't know what my life would have been without you. Your personality makes people smile and your vocal talent brings folks closer to the One who created you. You made me a g-ma for the first time and I couldn't have been happier to get that call from you letting me know that you and Stacy were expecting. I love you both and your 2 precious boys so much!
Brandon...Oh my goodness! My baby! No matter how old you are, you will always be my baby boy! You and I had lots of time together while your brothers were in school...times that I will always cherish in my memory. We went to lunch a lot, and I loved hearing your sweet voice order your burgers and feefies (french fries in baby Brandon talk) As you grew into a young man, we enjoyed spending time just laughing and doing fun things. I remember one time we stopped to do a spontaneous commercial for a radio station that had a remote in front of a store in Cape Girardeau...it was a contest...and WE WON! We made it up in the parking lot and won. You have a kindness that draws people to you and they can't help but realize your sincerity in your service as Children's Pastor. Always remember I love you and Ashley and those 2 sweet children more everyday.
Jonathan and William...you came into my life when I married your dad! You were such kind young boys and accepted me as your step mom right away. Watching you grow from boys to young men and see the love you have for your father is so cool. Having Kathryn join the family... was just icing on the cake...I love you all so much!
In closing, let me just say again how important all 5 of you are to me. Brad, Bryan and Brandon...you light up my world every time I hear your voice over the phone or see you on Skype. I will always love you...no matter what...ALWAYS. Jon and Will, I may not have birthed you guys, but I love you all the same. I know God has big plans for you.
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