S: Happy Birthday Sue!
1: Book On How To Do Everything In The World, Unknowingly written by: S. Ross Chapter 1- How to Live off $5.00 a Day Chapter 2- How to Shtum the World Chapter 3- Bells are Meant to be Heard Chapter 4- Stop and Look at Everything Chapter 5- How to be the Driver in the Passenger Seat Chapter 6- Take Advantage of all Your Assets Chapter 7- Everything can be a Song Chapter 8- Say EVERYTHING 3 Times Chapter 9- How to Turn Every Joke into a Literal Comment or Lesson Chapter 10- Always be on the Other Persons Side Above is a book that our family put together on a trip to Europe one summer. I was 13 years old and while my brother was 17, being the slightly obnoxious teenagers we were (sometimes still can be...), we decided to pick on my mom and turn all of her quirks into a chapter book. In the moment it was something we used to tease my mom. If my mom was trying to coach my dad while driving through the narrow streets of London, my brother and I would yell from the back "how to be the driver in the passenger seat!” it wasn’t until I sat down to write out each chapter, three years later, that I realized there was a hidden message behind this book. You see, my mom does everything in her power to teach her family to be the best people we can be. When she makes the family "stop and look at everything", I know that my mother is a wise woman and realizes that life passes by quickly so it’s important to take in all your surroundings. I'm so fortunate to have a mother that wants the best for me in life. Something I constantly say to myself is "ill thank you later". I try to remember those four words because when I am grown up, I know I will look back on my childhood, and realize my mom was there for me every step of the way. Now even though "ill thank her later", I believe there are some thanks in order for right now. So, mom, thanks for making my lunch last week, thanks for buying me that shirt I just had to have, thanks for watching Glee with me every Tuesday (even though its obvious they have no clue where there going with this season), thanks for knocking on my door in the morning to just say "hi", thanks for the times we laugh so hard we cry, thanks for the lambs watching over me on my desk, thanks for reminding me to wash Blankey, thanks for the thunder storms on my back and the sing-alongs in the car. Thanks for being my guardian, my partner in crime, my best friend and most importantly my mother. Its been a great 16 years together and I hope that when I reach 50 I can be at least half the woman you are today. You’re inspiring and strong and I love you with all my heart. Happy Birthday ma - Katie, I love you, wadah wadah wadah woo | I've had quite the writer's block sitting at my desk, thinking of the perfect 50th birthday scrapbook message. But don't get me wrong, it's not because I have nothing good to say about you. It's simply been difficult to concentrate all of the feelings and emotions into one paragraph. Some girls ask me, "Ben, have you ever been in love with a girl? Hehe!". My generic reply is, "Well, I love my mom. Does that count?" HECK YES, it counts! I know that's a completely valid answer because it's completely true. As I've grown up into a self-dependent man, it's really dawned on me as to how much care, time and effort you put into making Katie's and my lives the absolute best they can be. The hours on end at the kitchen table, brains overdosing on logarithmic functions, on the verge of, or in tears. It gives me a horrible feeling just thinking about it and you walked right through that storm with us, holding our hands. That’s just one of the countless acts of kindness you do for us on a daily basis. And I don’t think there is any other woman who could do it with the patience, persistence and sensitivity you have. As excited as I am for university, it won’t be the same without my arrival home being questioned in a loud, slightly irritating, yet extremely comforting manor. Mom, you are and will always be the most important woman in my life, and I never want that to change. Here’s to 50 years of a beautiful, extraordinary, and irreplaceable mom, wife and woman, and to the next 50 to come. Love you lots, Ben
17: You have made our lives better. I love to watch you laugh with Katie over the most ridiculous things. I love to watch you egg on Ben to a rousing chorus of “BEELEE!”. I love to see how excited and yet somewhat serious you get when it’s time to work in the garden. I love that you love a seasonal ritual of buying fertilizer. I love watch you sit at your end of the breakfast table with a grocery flyer, pen and paper to make your shopping list. I love to see the child in you when the waves on Lake Huron kick up. I love to hear you after the lights are out say “Here’s your pillow Webby”. I love how you fell in love with Webster. I love how you enjoy cutting up plates of fruit as a nighttime TV snack, complete with a toothpick for each of us to use as a fork. I love that you are starting to enjoy golf. Not that crazy about the amount of space I’m allocated in our bed but I’ll figure that one out one day. I love how you know when to be soft of spirit with Ben and Katie. I love how you bake. I love how you’ve been such an amazing mentor to our children. I love your eyes. I love your size six feet. I love that you keep a secret candy stash. I love that you can on occasion break down and have an afternoon nap. I love that so much about you that’s lovable comes from quiet, unassuming little things and not flashy, over the top grandiose things. I love that at 50, you look exactly the same as you did at 30. I love that in so many more ways than I can express here you have made Ben’s, Katie’s and my lives so much better. I love you. Happy Birthday Sue.