My son, Travis Kirk Leyndyke married Alayna Jovan DeSalvo, July 4, 2015 at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Orlando, Florida. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception. I am so happy to welcome Alayna to the family. Yes, she is already in my database!
One of the gifts I gave my daughter when she got married was a memory book, "To My Daughter, With Love". It was something I picked up at a book sale and thought it would be a great wedding keepsake. My son announced his engagement and I started looking for a memory book to give to him. I never dreamed I would find the same book, but for a son.
To My Son, With Love-A Mother's Memory Book is filled with journal like prompts to record my cherished memories of the days my son and I have shared. The beautifully illustrated book has three sections: About Our Family; About Myself; and About My Son.
The About Our Family section starts with listing grandparents, interesting ancestors and family traits that have been passed down to my son. It continues with memories of my mother and father, family traditions, special places, family memories, and more.
The About Myself section starts with 'The Day I Was Born' and includes lots of memories. Memories about my childhood, homes, schools, friends, daydreams, boys, passions, marriage, and more.
The last section, About My Son, is all about Travis. My memories of his birth day, toddler years, when he was a little boy, how he drove me nuts (by not getting out of bed in the morning), games and activities he did, favorite recipe, growing up and letting go, the love of his life, and his wedding day. The book ends with two pages where I can list who was special to him, who encouraged him, who was important to him and more.
The above page called "Cooking Up Trouble" has one of Travis' favorite recipes for Mexican Layered Dip. I can't even count the number of times I have made this. It is a recipe I wrote down after years of perfecting it. It is a combination of about three recipes. I would make this in the shape of a pumpkin for Halloween, using the tomatoes and olives for the face; a Christmas tree for Christmas time decorating the 'tree' with the tomatoes and olives. I would make it as a treat to eat while watching Saturday afternoon college football games, for Super Bowl Sunday, and for Halo XBox game nights at our house. It was always requested by Travis for our tree trimming party. I knew this was the recipe the minute I saw this page. I only wish I had a picture of Travis and I making it together.
Journaling in Travis' book was something that took some time to complete. Some of the pages were filled with facts and completed easily. Some pages found me digging deep in my memory bank and recording stories I forgot about long ago. Some pages required emotional honesty, sharing experiences I had never shared with Travis before. Those pages found me taking a break and reflecting on what I wanted to say.
Every page is completed in my handwriting. Some pages have copies of my favorite pictures. Every page is filled with love. It is a book that Travis will keep forever as a reminder of how much he is loved and how I cherish every day, every moment and every second that I had with him. I am proud to be his mother.
I had to chuckle at a promise at the bottom of one page. I felt it was a good reminder of the type of mother and mother-in-law I hope to be. I just had to highlight it. It is with sincere hope that I fulfill this promise each and every day.