It pretty much goes without saying that us Burke's are a force to be reckoned with. We all bring a little something different to the table and when at that table, we often don't leave it for hours. We are a family who actually enjoys one anothers company, with the occasional hiccup along the way, of course. The dinner table is typically surrounded by the usual suspects: Aubrey (that would be me, first Burke babe), Cullen (#2), Jack (#3), Mathilda (#4) and Olivia (#5). These are the "given" attendees but more often than not there are many more present - boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, family and oh, the occasional stranger/straggler who happens to be randomley and often quickly drifting thru one of our lives. We are a welcoming bunch, with a open door policy and a "the more the merrier" sort of outlook - as long as you have a good appetite, that is.
Our memories established from these table gatherings are all thanks to two people: my mom and dad. My dad, Jim, has a knack for getting us all hyped up and laughing until either someone spits out their food in a fit of hysteria or until the other end of the table notices things are getting a bit out of control and calls a stop to it - my mom. I could go on and on about my dad, being the amazing father and person that he is but seeing as though this blog is between myself and my mom, lets shift gears :)
So Mom, I am finally getting on top of things and starting this blog that you and I have talked about and what a more appropriate day than your Birthday! So as the first post for "Giving You My Best", I'd just like to thank you for the thousands of days in which you have sacrificed, loved, held, advised, and literally have given your best to each one of us. A dear memory I have as a young girl is of you doing your makeup in our tiny upstairs bathroom at 23 Gleason Road; it was the first time I remember seeing you as a woman, and not just my mom. I was sitting on the toilet as you were preparing for a rare night out with dad (can't recall what that occasion was but I think you were wearing a long black velvet dress...ring a bell?), and as I watched you gloss your lips and dab on a bit of Chanel I thought, "wow, that is MY mom, how lucky am I". Not only are you beautiful on the outside but you are even more so on the inside. I have learned so much from you and can only hope that my children will look up to me half as much as I look up to you.
Our dinners have been filled with joy, laughter and happiness because you decided long ago that we would congregate every night and devote that time to family. As a child none of us could comprehend the importance of that, and often made a mad dash for it as soon as that last bit of food was chewed but now we savor and appreciate that time spent together. We are so thankful for everything you have given us and perhaps, most thankful for providing us with an environment that has allowed us to create steady, compassionate and loving relationships with one another. It is a gift to own this, one which is impossible to pay back.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! As you open and read this at our dinner table, know that you are surrounded by people who love and cherish you!
Oh and don't worry Dad, I'm sure there will be many posts down the road devoted to you :)