This is Jeri's 45th birthday and I thought it might be fun to list 45 things about Jeri that are part of who she is.
1. I love her independence. She has done more by herself than I ever have.
2. I love that we can talk in theater quotes.
3. I like it when she texts from the orchestra pit during the run of a show.
4. Jeri gets more pure joy out of life than most people I know.
5. She's married to a neat guy too.
6. ...and I love their dog
7. I love how she always spreads her time out here by giving as much time to all her friends and relatives as she can.
8. I love her close relationship with her grandmothers (obviously including Walt's mother up until the end).
9. I have enjoyed watching her progression from neophyte teacher to popular teacher.
10. I like it when I see her self standing up for herself.
11. I love her dedication to staying in touch with her friends and family.
12. She's a great dog mommy.
13. I love listening to her play music. Her "Amazing Grace" at funerals is enough to un-harden the hardest of hearts.
14. I remember how David delighted in listening to her play the flute.
15. I remember how desperately she wanted a sister and how disappointed she was whenever we brought another brother home from the hospital for her.
16. I still can't believe that we put her on a city bus, alone, to ride up the hill to her 1st grade class.
17. She was always my godsend when I had to decorate a cake because I knew how to put designs in frosting, but didn't have the imagination to come up with the picture in the first place, and Jeri would draw it for me.
18. I remember the vacation when she read "Little House on the Prairie" over and over and over again.
19. She wanted to be Pippi Longstockings.
20. I was always in awe of her cavorting on stage with Marta and the rest of the Horns of Adequacy.
21. Jeri did usually know better.
22. I love it that she can fix an electrical appliance.
23. I remember the horrible night she was trapped on the bridge in San Francisco after the Loma Prieta earthquake.
24. I remember her inadvertently busking on the steps of a building in Dublin, when she played an Irish flute and people started giving her money.
25. Watching Aunt Jeri playing with Brianna is a true joy.
26. I remember her first ballet recital in Oakland, and subsequent performances in Davis (the dwarf beard was particularly fetching)
27. I look forward to her letters and she has inspired me to get back into writing snail mail.
28. I admire her lack of materialism.
29. She's one of hardest working people I know.
30. I will never forget the feelings of pride when I sat in the audience and watched her conduct the orchestra playing her own composition.
31. Or the feelings of pride watching You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, which she directed.
32. Or the feelings of pride watching The Peabody Duck, for which she was the set designer.
33. So proud when she was offered a full-time teaching position at Berklee.
34. Such fun hearing about her starting a musical theatre course at Berklee -- and how successful it has become
35. Such joy sharing with her the magic of fireflies during her time doing summer stock in Ohio.
36. Amazement that she doesn't care about television (my daughter??)
37. I love how much she loves Lester, "my baby."
38. She's so good about sharing pictures of Lester on their daily walks.
39. Her relationship with Walt has always been such a beautiful thing.
40. I loved sharing France and Italy with her.
41. So grateful for her support on that trip. I never could have made it without her constant "You can do it, Mom!"
42. "My fake Italian is better than my fake French"
43. Her lifelong friendship with the Blackford women is something very special.
44. She is better at sustaining friendships than anybody I know.
45. She's my firstborn, my only daughter, my friend and a beautiful personHappy Birthday, Jeri!