Letters from Me, Day 2: Jill P. Clark, Queensbury, NY

Dear Mom,

I sent Dad a letter yesterday, the first in a series of 365 letters and cards that I am sending over the course of the year to come.

It would have been a perfect New Year's resolution, but hey - starting in March isn't so bad, right? This springs from the writing I've been doing each day for the past 370 days (as of today). I thought - I'm already doing it, how can I make it more impactful? So I'm going to spend this 15 or 20 minutes per day telling one person in my life how I feel, what I've been up to and sending them good wishes.

This is day 2!

We had Dylan's mom over for dinner and a movie last night, and she was remarking about how beautiful you are. And how happy you look when she sees photos of you on Facebook. She's so right. These days, you are looking pretty darn happy. (And you've always been beautiful!) It just seems like you and dad have been having a wonderful time whatever you do and wherever you go.

I know much of that is that you have each other. You're such a great team. You love and support one another through everything. You always find ways to show the other one how loved they are. And you make each other laugh. I now know how supremely important that is.

Your relationship is a big inspiration for Dylan and me. You guys have a big love, a sweeping, grand love about which people write books and make movies. After 35 years, you find new ways to make each other happy and take care of one another. It's exactly what we want for our relationship 30 years from now.

I know another part of your happiness is yourself, too. You, yourself, standing on your own, are a strong, brilliant and amazing woman. I know from hearing stories about other people's parents - when they were kids and now that they're adults - how lucky I was to have a mom like you. You've passed your light on to Josh and me, and I know we owe all of our success and our joy to you, in one way or another.

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Like we hold your and Dad's relationship up as a goal post for Dylan and my relationship, I strive to - on a personal level - walk in your footsteps as a woman. I want to work hard, make a good life for my family, be creative, have fun, never stop learning, plan parties, make people happy, start traditions - and keep them going, create a happy home, support those I love and take care of the people around me. It's a lot to live up to, and I know I have a lot to learn. But the good news is, you've always been a wonderful teacher.

From learning your recipes to figuring out how to keep a clipboard of 23 lists as once, I want to soak up as much of the brains and soul behind Jill Clark as I can in the next 25, 30, 40 years.

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I am so excited for our trip this summer with you guys and Josh and Kristi. It's so wonderful to spend time with the whole family together. I know we're going to make a whole new bunch of memories, take a thousand pictures, eat some awesome meals and have wonderful adventures together. 

I look forward to our time together every time, even times like in February when I came back for just one night for dinner and breakfast with you guys. I want more nights like that! 

We will be seeing you in...is it only a month away?! John and Grace's wedding is April 4. And that's one month from tomorrow! It will be fun to celebrate with the whole family. Weddings are such a fun time to get crazy. I can't wait to dance with you guys!

I've already been getting notes from my friends about our luau picnic this summer - everyone's so excited!

By then, we'll be all settled in our new house! There's so much to look forward to. 

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Thank you, Mom. Thank you for being my inspiration for a healthy loving relationship, for a happy, fulfilling life, for being a great mom, for teaching me how to be the best me I can be. Thank you for taking time to spend with me and for loving me the way I am always. You are awesome.

And I love you more than ever.

Love,

Amanda