I am not sure how to begin a letter to someone who is responsible for my existence here.
We have so many memories and I learn more from you in my adulthood than ever (having more than something to do with my maturity). Some of my favorite memories from childhood involve parties, food and always something creative.
One of my first memories with you, was of the smell of clay as you were throwing pots in the garage of our house. I loved the smell and I was captivated by the graceful movement of your hands, molding the clay. You would squeeze the sponge and I would stare, trying not to blink, as a big lump of mud would magically form into a beautiful bowl or a vase or be pulled into a plate. I was amazed at how your thumb would create a groove around the outside of the plate. It was an amazing partnership between your fingers and the Earth. I also loved to see you working in the garden. You loved flowers, plants, trees. You were (are) amazing at designing the shape of the garden itself and, every season, I couldn’t wait to see how the blooms exploded.
A memory that will always seem like yesterday is that of my 6th grade birthday party. I was nervous about it, because some of the more “popular” girls were coming. It was a smashing success… You had arranged a delicious dinner, beautifully coordinated table decor, fun activities/games that my friends thought thought were so “cool.” That was HUGE!
The lessons I’ve learned from you over time are many and cover all kinds of topics. The divorce and other life events presented seemingly insurmountable obstacles, however, you have taken so much responsibility for healing over the years. Forgiving. Renewing. Watching you learn how to value yourself through your faith has been incredibly encouraging. Over the years, as I have grown into a woman, a mom, a wife, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about the freedom that grace has to offer.
You are forever a student of everything around you. Your curiosity and vivacity come together to exhume a celebration of life and God’s creation that is so inspiring!!!! I am desperate to imitate that. Lastly, your art is contagious and your love for children and teaching encourages my love for my children and teaching. You embrace/support my family and all of your grandchildren with abandon.
Mom. Noni. Barbara Lee Sparks.
I love you.
AnneMarie Anderson is a 41-year-old wife, Real Estate broker, mother of two (8 & 6). She grew up here in Colorado, went to CSU and moved to NYC for 9 years, then returned to the Mile High City.