Have you ever seen a talk show wherein the participants stress the importance of thanking a loved one in writing while we still have the chance to do it? That's what this blog is about this week. Just do it--it's later than you think!
Years ago, a beloved principal suggested strongly that a fellow teacher and I take the writing institute. It was a three week course, so that was asking a lot, but Teresa and I did it. It changed my life!
One of the tenets of the course is that the teacher write while her students are writing--what better teaching than to model it and share your writing. So one of the facilitators in the writing workshop was writing a book for her father. As I recall, it was a series of essays on her memories of her father. I was so taken with that, that I started writing essays for my mother. I wasn't as aggressive as my instructor, but for my mother's birthday and Mother's Day, I wrote and sent her an essay. Some piece of writing about memories of her from my childhood.
One summer my sisters' birthdays rolled around (they both have July birthdays), so I decided my essays shouldn't stop with my mother, I should write an essay for them for their birthdays. I'm including it here, so you can see it doesn't have to be some elaborate piece of writing--just a snapshot of your memory. Enough description of some event to tickle their memory too, and perhaps bring a smile. Here goes~
One of my best childhood memories is washing dishes after supper with my sisters. There was always a huge argument over who was going to do what, meaning who was going to wash and who was going to dry. It never involved me--I was the youngest. I let my two big sisters battle it out, and their battle cries mostly involved the debate over who did it last. I was relegated to dipping the washed dish in the rinse water and stacking it in the drainer. I was the "stacker." But after all the tears and arguments and screams, "But, Mother, didn't I do it last night?" we could settle into my favorite part--the singing. Oh yes, there was the endless popping of the dish towels, and the rejections of a dish because it wasn't clean enough, but eventually there was the laughter and the singing: "The Old Rugged Cross," "Deep and Wide," "Do Lord," and "I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy down in my Heart." Curses to the invention of the dishwasher--I found Christ and sisterly love at the kitchen sink.
There's even an addendum to this story. Flash forward to the '90's: When visiting my mother, I often attended her sweet country church. And when I did visit, I loved that they still sang the old hymns. That triggered the memory of the essay I had written for my sisters years earlier, since the essay was all about singing those old church songs. I could still put my hands on the essay, so I sent it to Mother's pastor. I wanted to thank him for still including those old hymns in their song service. I'm not sure if he included it in their weekly church newsletter, but he did slip in to my mother's Sunday School class, and ask the teacher if he could read something. He didn't tell my mother what it was--he just read the above essay I included for you to read above. My mother, who was one of three sisters as well, listened to it and whispered to my step-dad, "That description sounds like it could be written about me and my sisters." Imagine her surprise when the preacher revealed it was about her daughters! I still chuckle about that. So there are all kinds of blessings that can come about if you'll take the time to write a simple thank you note to an old friend, an old teacher or a family member.
Always this reminder!
This blog is for and about grandparents and nurturing all those important family relationships. Writing a thank you note to your siblings certainly falls in line with this philosophy. Just do it! It will bring a smile to your face, and for sure, it will bring a smile to theirs!
This week's blog is dedicated to my fabulous sisters. Besides always being there for me when I was growing up, they are fabulous role models and wonderful examples of why I write this blog. They are terrific grandmothers themselves! Thank you, Ann and Barbara! Love you!
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Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!