Thunder and lightning and rain, oh my! Storms like these remind me of the stories Mom used to tell me and my sisters when we were little. Really, the thunder happened because the giants in the sky were bowling, and the lightning was when they got a strike. Rain happened when the old giant emptied out his bathtub. After the storm, we were sent out on expeditions to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Mom read us stories about elves and fairies and wicked trolls. We dressed up, acted out fairy tales, and then made up our own plays. When life was gloomy, we could always count on a good book, a game of make believe, or a song to lift our spirits. Her Classical and Scottish music got equal time with Rock from the radio or Dad’s Country music. She even taught us to do the Highland Fling. Mom enriched our lives with stories passed down in her family. We were descended from Robert the Bruce! Remember Tullymet! Even though her family lived far across Canada, we knew them through the stories she told. Chores became fun when we were really Cinderellas, waiting for the handsome prince. We never just made cookies — We were cooks who worked in the castle, making tarts for the king and queen. In reality, life was hard. We were poor, and Mom suffered from severe health problems, but that didn’t stop us from drawing on a wealth of stories from heritage and literature. We had a childhood rich in imagination and creativity that has carried us forward and sustained us throughout our lives. So, on behalf of me and my sisters, here’s a toast to our mother, gone thirteen years now. Thank you, Mom. Happy Birthday, and Happy Mother’s Day. We miss you.