Today I am grateful for the words, “Thank you”. I don’t think we use them enough, especially with close family. We. . .okay. . . I. . . tend to be right there letting my husband know when he hasn’t measured up or pulled his weight at a certain task, but then neglect to thank him when he does. I assume that people who know me well will know I appreciate them by osmosis.
The day after we got to Madison, my mom insisted that ONLY my sister and go out to lunch. . .”Just the three of us,” she said. “No husbands.” We were warned of this many weeks ahead of time and did a lot of speculation on what the deal was, since this was out of type for mom.
“She’s getting married,” one of us said. “Maybe she’s quitting smoking!” Uproarious laughter ensued. “She has an illness.” Oh no, I hope it’s not that. “It’s nothing at all, just mom being dramatic.” And you wonder where we get it from.
Thankfully she didn’t insist on the usual Kentucky Fried Chicken and let gave us a choice to upgrade to Red Lobster. Well that’s a no brainer! We had gotten the groceries for Thanksgiving first so we were late picking her up. She was already done-in. We grabbed a seat very close to the door and when my sister parked the car she said to us, “You two sit over there and shut up,” she barked like a Nazi Commandant. Suddenly we were 8 & 10 and wondering if she knew about the last act of terrorism we had caused while fighting in our bedroom.
“I need you girls to tell me what Thanksgiving is about,” she said. Holy smokes. I started to sweat like I was in English class being asked to diagram a sentence. My sister yammered something about the meaning of the day and I said, “Um, well, thanking, and stuff and you know, being, well. . . why?” Ah, ever the wordsmith.
“So it’s about being grateful. We should be grateful,” she continued. I reminded her that I’m grateful every day and say so in my blog and on Facebook. No situation is ever to stressful that I can’t throw in a commercial plug. “Shut up, Mary!” Ah, mothers.
“Well, I’ve been thinking and talking it over with Louise (the cat),” she said. “I’ve been in Madison for three years now. That’s how long it’s been since you both showed up in Arizona and packed up my house, sold it and dragged me out here kicking and screaming.” We were quiet as toddlers who just had a flour-fight on the black Persian rug and knew the lecture was happening whether you wanted it or not.
She continued, I think a little gleeful that she knew she “had” us. “I have moved before and I know how much work it is. I also know that I was so upset that I wasn’t being very cooperative or nice.” An understatement. “Well I want you girls to both know how much I appreciate all you did during that move. You took months to make it happen and it cost you a lot and I want you to know that I now realize it was awful for you, too, but this was the best timed thing I could have done. I would never be able to handle life in Arizona anymore and I’m glad I have Judy nearby.” I started looking around for the space ship. Who is this woman and what did she do with my mother?
She then insisted we take a certain amount out of her bank account to help with the expenses we incurred during her move. Not a fortune, but not ten bucks, either. I’m not often speechless. But I was.
Before she wilted like lettuce in a Texas sun, I told her, and my sister agreed, “Mom, the money is great, but the real gift you just gave us is the thank you. We’ve been waiting a long time for this thank you. We hated that you were so angry and hated feeling guilty about it.”
I am very, very grateful this Thanksgiving. And I’m going to say “Thank you” to everyone. BING! Heartprint!