Dear Mum

Dear Mum,

There are so many things I want to say, and I feel that I lack the vocabulary or the nuance to say them all. Firstly, and more obviously for-mostly, I love you. That isn’t to be taken lightly or seen as a passive line, I mean I love you. You are selfless, generous, loving, kind, and caring. You are the largest influence in my life for those traits in me. Without your influence, I would not be half the man I am today.

Always by my side

Always by my side

You are alway willing to sacrifice your time and your energy to help others. The number of times you have taken the girls for a weekend or longer to simply help Alinta and I out is beyond calculable. You care for the children and are willing to care for them our way, not yours, simply to be kind. You put others before yourself, often to your own detriment, and think nothing else of it. The example you have set for Ashley and I, and our children, lays us in good stead. The example of selflessness you have set has given me one of my most valued traits as an adult. I will never be able to live up to the standard you have set, but I will continue to try.

Mum and Dad

Mum and Dad

Your generosity, to date, knows no bounds. You are more then willing to pick up a tab, pay for the coffee, or pay for a meal, without even giving it a second thought. You have taken to be sneaky just to be generous, which is both frustrating and appreciated. Your generosity is held high amongst my friends circle, and they can even see the same generosity in me. You give more than just financially, you give with your time, your heart, and emotionally. Your level of generosity has impacted almost everyone you have come in contact with. The number of stories I have heard from people you have worked with, or come in contact with that highlighted your generosity is ridiculous. Don’t ever change your giving heart.

Mum & Darby

Mum & Darby

I knew growing up that you loved us. Even when we where in trouble as kids your love could be seen through it all. You invest so much of yourself into others, through your love, that you leave others better then when you found them. I have the inordinate joy of seeing you love on the girls, like you no doubt loved on Ashley and myself. I see you hold them, hug them, kiss them, play with them, and put them first. I see the mother that you were, and the Grandmother that you now are. It warms my heart, just to see you with them.

Answering the "Phone"

Answering the “Phone”

The kind hearted nature that you have it obvious. You do not try and be kind, that would show through, it comes to you as second nature. The above scene is an excellent portrayal of just that. With Darby sitting in your chair at work, you don’t hesitate to answer the mouse as if it were a phone, when it was passed to you by Darby. You entertain Darby by playing along to her game, in her reality, instead of bursting her balloon and dragging her back to reality. Your kindness has always been that way. Simply ask any person you have ever worked with or engaged with, and they will say you are kind, almost to a fault.

Mum on the Boat

Mum on the Boat

You care for us, our wives, our children, your husband, and somewhere in there right at the end, yourself. You always make sure that I am taking enough breaks, relaxing enough, taking time to care for myself, often while you are sacrificing yourself for someone else. You are actually interested and invested in our daily lives. As the great mother you are, you are still making sure I am sleeping enough, eating enough, drinking enough water, exercising enough, and generally existing at an acceptable level. I am eternally grateful for the level of care you continue to provide.

Wind Farms

Wind Farms

Finally, you can have a laugh. Sometimes at a joke that’s funny, sometimes at someone else’s expense, and sometimes at your own. You always have a smile on your dial, you try and lift the mood of the room by saying something timely, or funny. You know when it’s appropriate to pull a prank on someone, like about banking hours, and when its time to leave it alone. I enjoy the moments of stitched up laughter that we have shared, and I look forward to many more like them.

Christmas Mum

Christmas Mum

You have always been my greatest support, even if I didn’t realise it. You have been my rock, my safety net, my sounding board, my confidant, my example to live by, and my loving Mother. As I said at the beginning, there aren’t enough works, or words that are of a high enough calibre to describe what you mean to me, and those around you.

I love you Mum.

Luke Sondergeld

Dear Wife

Dear Wife,

I know you hate these public displays of emotion, especially affection. They cause you to feel anxious, shy, and force you to become a little more recluse. I know that what we feel is between Us and God. I know that everything I am going to say here is of no surprise. And it shouldn’t be. This should be nothing more than an overly public confirmation of everything you already know. But I am going to share it anyway.

While I am writing this you are baking treats for our children and trying to pry out of me what I am writing. I am doing my level best, and failing, at trying to hide it from you. You tell me that somedays I am a brick wall, and this is true. But even still you manage to leave your mark, and it doesn’t go un-noticed. I know some days it seems like I am not present, I’m sucked into my phone, or zoned out on TV, or even simply staring off into space. You try to engage with me, I give simple one and two word answers and seemingly get annouyed when I have to answer anything more. All in all, a wall. However, every conversation, every comment, every question, is graffiti on that wall. It is something that I will see, and feel, and show forever. Every conversation is cherished. Every moment together is precious.

Graffiti on the Wall

Graffiti on the Wall

You could very well be the most loving, kind, good hearted person I know. You not only see the silver lining in almost every situation, you see the good in every person, and every action. There are days were I feel like I am the worst human being, not worth anything, and generally useless. You always take the time to life me up, encourage me, show me what I am, what I am capable of, and the worth that you and God sees. I love your selflessness, your drive, and your inability to do something half arsed. You kill yourself over a computer, planning, researching, replanning, organising, building, and scripting every class you teach. Every classes script is uniquely written for each student. You endeavour to make sure that every single person in that classroom has the very best shot at learning, and growing. It is that that level of dedication and self sacrifice I strive to even get even half way towards, so that I can be the best nurse, the best father, the best husband that I can be.

Self Sacrifice

Self Sacrifice

My love for you grows every day. Every day I get the opportunity to wake up next to you, fall asleep listening to your faint gremlin like snore, every time I come home to your embrace, even hear your voice on your voicemail. I am so incredibly lucky to have you in my life, let alone have you as my wife, the mother of our 3 beautiful children, my confidant, my sounding board, my common sense, my anchor in the storm, my shield, my shoulder to cry on, and my warm body to curl up with. Every day I think I couldn’t love you more, and every day I am exceedingly delighted to be proven wrong.

If not for you I would not have come to know Christ in the very real and intimate way we should. I would probably have wound up miserable in the middle of the ocean somewhere pining for my next drink in one moment, while struggling with my direction and sense of self in the next. You showed me what was possible, the love that He can provide. You showed me how much closer we could be with Him in our lives. You nurtured me through my stupid questions, and encouraged me to lean in. You are the physical embodiment of what Jesus Christ has asked of us. You are kind, love others, you share the word at every possibility, and you live your life like it is the only bible someone might read. You are amazing.

I Love You - I Know

I Love You – I Know

If by now you can still stomach me being open for just a few word longer I will conclude. Alinta, you are the kindest, sweetest, nicest, most loving person I have ever had the pleasure of crossing paths with. You take me at my faults and use them to help me grow. You soften my often hasty, and rash decisions, but you still allow me to lead or decide as necessary. You are the love of my life, and I just wanted you to know that.

Love you Always

Luke Sondergeld