People give advice all the time.
I give it way more than I probably should.
But everyone has one piece of advice, one tidbit, one little morsel that hits home with them. That they carry with them for the rest of their life. It sticks with them for all different kinds of reasons and they are learned in different seasons. But you will never forget it.
My advice that I carry with me in my heart? A lesson of showing gratitude. Appreciation. Love.
I was always told to write thank you notes.
But it’s the thank you note that I never sent that reminds me just how important it is.
This weekend was emotional. Hell, this past week, month, year has been emotional. For many reasons. But overall, I was just emotional. Reflective. Pondering.
And I came across the thank you note I never sent.
I am blessed beyond measure when it comes to my family. We are all wildly different- but in the big scheme of things I am truly lucky. I have two amazing, smart parents who despite being divorced and having their differences, raised us girls right. (or tried with me-my damn rebellious spirit.) I have 3 beautiful, unique sisters that despite how much we have put each other through, we love each other like no other and know we are always there for one another. Amazing grandparents.
And then there was my Aunt Judy. She holds a special place in my heart. My dad’s older sister, was an amazing woman. Despite all my struggles, battles, rebellious streak, trouble I got into, I know going to her house I would feel welcomed. Embraced. Loved. Non judged. I was always greeted with the sweetest, warmest hug. Although she probably never knew it, going to her house every Thanksgiving was an escape. A treat. A light in a sometimes dark young world.
Every holiday, birthday, special occasion, she sent a card. Even when I was well into adulthood. It was a small reminder of her warmth and and kind heart.
Two years ago, she sent a card when my daughter was born with a check and the sweetest words.
And I meant to send a thank you note.
I bought it. Wrote it up. Addressed it.
But life happened and I never sent it.
She passed away from Thyroid cancer last year.
I never did get around to sending that thank you note. And for the longest time it killed me on the inside.
I was too ‘busy’? Too busy to show someone I loved I appreciated them. I loved them. That their kindness and generosity touched me.
What a ridiculous person I was to think I was ‘too’ anything to do the little things that mean the biggest things. Like she had done for me. It broke me up inside.
I keep it on the shelf in my closet. I see it everyday. I keep it there so I can see it, not to make me feel bad-because I know she would forgive me. And I forgive myself. You have to. Forgiveness is a powerful, healing thing.
I keep it there to remind me to slow down.
Life is fleeting.
You have to just slow it all down. Relax. Escape the busy. Cherish and spend time with the ones you love. Remind them how much they mean to you.
In a world so focused on being ‘busy’ and ‘connected’, you have to step back and get busy connecting to the human things. Not a screen. Not how many likes you have on your facebook page. Not how many people follow you on Instagram.
Go play outside. Go hug your mom. Dance in the rain. Call someone. ( The real, dial the number and talk. )
And always send your thank you notes.
Originally posted 2016-02-15 07:43:07.