Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

On Monday, Rory left us in Malaysia to head back to California to finish up her last year of college. We had a few good weeks with her here so we were and are thankful.

Early that morning, even before I posted my Facebook status that she was leaving, I received a message. Out of the blue. Very unexpected. From the daughter of a friend of mine in Texas. She had never emailed me before that day.

It was very complimentary. I really didn’t even feel that I was deserving of her words.

But it truly lifted me up. And I needed it on that particular day.

I remember reading an article about five years ago. Basically, it said it was important to let others know how you feel. How grateful you were if someone helped you. Taught you. Guided you. It suggested writing a letter to a family member, an old friend, mentor or teacher. Terrific idea!

In 1997, I attended a parish/school reunion with my entire family. My second grade teacher, Sr. Mercia, was there. We caught up and laughed. She was very good-humored. A hot ticket as they used to say.  When I was leaving I heard her say to the other women in the group, “I always liked that kid.”

I was over thirty years old at the time. But it still made me feel great.

So, years later, after being prompted by that article, I wrote to thank this particular person. Not for liking me or for pulling out my wiggling baby teeth. But to let her know that I was appreciative of her commitment. To let her know that she had an important role in my life. I admired her choice to dedicate her entire life to teaching. Without a partner. Without her own children. Devoted to God and second graders while eschewing many of the material goods that most of us couldn’t imagine living without.  I wanted her to know that she was and had been appreciated, valued and loved.

I knew her address. From time to time, my mom would keep me updated on Sister Mercia. When she was battling breast cancer and beating it. Where she was currently living.

But by the time that letter was signed, sealed and delivered to her door it was just a little too late. Sister Mercia was older and had Alzheimer’s. She wouldn’t have understood my words of gratitude and love.

I was glad that I wrote the letter but very sad that she would not be able to read the words. The woman who taught me to read. She would never know how I felt. I waited too long.

So, if there is someone who helped, nurtured, guided or loved you then go ahead and drop them a few lines. Out of the blue. You will absolutely make their day.

I guarantee it.

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Allow me to share (not basking-just sharing) a proud mama moment. As any parent will tell you we have many of the not so proud moments. So grant me this one.

On Monday, I stopped by Annie’s school to drop off some uniforms and our forwarding address information. I chatted with Carol, the woman at the front desk, for a few moments. I thanked her for her help over the years.

She said, “I have to share this with you. The other day Annie came in to see me, all by herself, and said that she just wanted to say thank you.” Carol said her eyes filled up (as did Annie’s) and they hugged. Carol said, “She’s a wonderful girl. I’m really going to miss her.”

Okay, so what makes this a proud moment for me?

1) It was of her own volition. No one told her to do this.

2) She’s thirteen and went to visit Carol privately. No big show with all her friends. One on one.

3) It was a thank you stop before a farewell stop.

4) That Annie went to visit Carol in the first place. The lady at the front desk. Sometimes those ladies get a bit overshadowed by the bigger players and don’t receive the thanks they truly deserve.

Annie didn’t do this because I value it or because of ad nauseum nagging on my part. If that were the case her bedroom would be spotless. It’s not.

It’s because somewhere along the way thanks and gratitude became valuable to her.

So thanks, Annie, for being a good kid and expressing thankfulness. I am really proud of you.

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