As my mom's older sister, you've known my whole family the longest out of anyone on this earth. You've been a wonderful sibling, a truly remarkable mother, a fantastic aunt and a great daughter and friend. You've made such an impact on the people who know you, and even greater on those you love and have taken care of. We are so lucky to have you in our family.
I look up to you in a big way, as the mother I've always known you to be. You raised four amazing kids, each with their own strengths and personalities, each with their own wants and needs. The Dionne brood were always welcome at events when we were young, because I always had such fun with you guys. I always felt honored to be accepted into playtime with my older cousins. You did such a wonderful job at keeping your kids happy and feeling safe and loved. I admire your strength and dedication to your kids, ever since we were all little.
Now, all of us kids have gotten older, you've become a great grandma to little Autumn, and I get to see your love and kindness continue to grow. I had such a wonderful time celebrating with your family at John and Grace's wedding. It was clear in their love, and the love your kids share with one another, that yours is a family that sticks together and supports each other through thick and thin. It was so fantastic to meet Grace's family, and be introduced more fully to the woman who chose John to spend the rest of her life with. She's such an incredible person, and it speaks so highly of who John has grown into. Both him and Ted are wonderful men, who love and respect women, and I know they learned that from their mom.
Thank you for all of the times you've driven to see us in New York, for parties and picnics. It is wonderful to have you and any combination of your kids, grandkids and greats with us as we grill and play and craft and chat and eat and drink. It always means a lot that you guys make the drive.
Thank you for introducing us to Rex, a wonderful man who makes you so happy, and who we've all come to love as an uncle.
Thank you for including me in celebrations when you and the Vermont crew would come down to visit Gerry, Laura and Alexis. I loved last summer when you came to Philly for the afternoon and we peeked at the Liberty Bell and took a carriage ride, topped off with some very tasty Philly ice cream at Franklin Fountain. I loved that day, and getting to see my family just steps away from the office I come to everyday.
Thank you for all of the wonderful gifts over the years. We will remember the wine from Costco fondly, and always wonder why we could never find it anywhere else! You've always been so thoughtful in your Christmas presents - and I know you look forward to the holiday all year long, just like us, so I wouldn't think you'd be capable of anything less. We appreciate your generosity and kindness, and hope that in the years to come, we can get as good as Christmas gifts as you are!
I wish that we have many, many good times ahead of us - weddings, yes, and Easters and Christmases and birthdays and get togethers for any reason at all. I wish you joy and health in the years to come, as you get to watch the next generation grow up - and new little ones join the family! I wish you peace of mind and relaxation, in your home and in your heart. And lastly, I wish you love - from all directions - that will last your whole life long.