Do You Give Thanks?

Celebrating 70!

Hubby and I recently drove to Canada to see our moms.  Bernard’s mom has the beginning of Alzheimer and my mom was turning 70.  We realize that these women are not going to be around forever (we both lost our dads a long time ago) and we try to visit whenever we can.

I am the first to admit that I’m not always the first to give thanks to those closest to me. I will show it in my face and in my gestures but not always in my words, especially when it comes to my mom.

Somehow, sharing my deepest thoughts and emotions with her seems more challenging but it’s a process that I’m working on changing for the better. Mothers and daughters have a special relationship that isn’t always easy as Debrah Tannen’s book “You’re Wearing That?” demonstrates.  Maybe it’s the feeling of trying to show mom that I can do it, maybe sometimes better than her.  Other times is wanting to hear “You did a great job honey” which is a rarity from my family (praise was seen as creating vanity).

I wanted something special for mom. Not just your typical birthday party but sort of an homage to her.  She does a lot for the people that live in her condo and enjoys it.  She’s been a mom that cooked, baked and made our clothes even when we least appreciated it. She’s also a great grandma to all her grandkids and great-grandkids.

As I stood in front of a room of 45+ guests, I told mom that I wanted her to see the impact she has on all of our lives, to show her how much we all appreciate  and love her. I thanked her for being the person she is and wish her many more decades with us. I expressed how we often come together for funerals or weddings but rarely for fun occasions.  I saw heads nodding. Why wait until it’s too late to say what’s in our hearts?

Mom cried. I cried. Friends and family cried. After my toast, people came up to me and shared their stories of what mom meant to them.  It was beautiful. The best part is that mom is still with us, alive and well, and able to hear what impact she has.

I’m glad that mom got to hear what we thought.  I’m sure that we will still have our issues, that not everything will be perfect, but at least she saw how much we appreciate and love her.

November is Thanks Giving month.  Who are you thankful for? Share with us so that we may acknowledge them too.

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