We have often heard the quote, “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime…” and I believe it’s true. Sometimes, in the hours of our greatest need, someone will walk in and help you get through whatever problems you are facing. It’s happened to me many times over the course of my lifetime. Sometimes, they don’t even come into your life in the real sense, but just their existence and knowledge of them, can make an impact on your life.
When I was a preteen and teenager, as most teenagers do, I had some serious growing pains. My parents argued a lot, my mother was critical of me, I was extra sensitive to everything and my hormones gave me mood swings I would not wish on my worst enemy. It’s going to sound stupid I know, but I found comfort in watching “Bewitched.” I would not miss an episode because it was my escape from reality. At bedtime, I would put myself to sleep by imagining I was part of that family and I could perform witchcraft. I often thought I would like to tell Elizabeth Montgomery how, without her knowing me, she helped me get through some pretty rough emotional times. I was so sad to learn she died so young and I would never get the chance to tell her, though I’m sure it would have meant more to me than to her.
At about the same time, I went to spend my summers with my cousin. The first time I went, her third baby was a year old. I love babies. I became a mother’s helper. In a couple of years she would have two more babies, one year apart. I was in heaven. I would try to spend as much time as the school year would allow me to spend there. The babies were really just a “bonus” to the bond I formed with my cousin during those summers. She was like a second mother to me, but she never criticized me. She would always say and do nice things for me and appreciated the help I gave her. Sometimes her kindness would make me cry, because I didn’t think I deserved it. I knew she loved me for who I was and she didn’t seem to see any of my faults. If she did she never mentioned them. This was another “escape” for me during those years. I learned a lot about love and kindness and that I was deserving of both. I always wanted to tell her what those times with her meant to me and, many years later, I went to Florida and had a talk with her one night and told her everything.
Also, during those years, I sent for a POW bracelet to wear. The name on the bracelet was Robert Shumaker. After 40 years of wondering if he ever made it back home, I found him online last fall and wrote him a letter. He wrote back. It was a very heart warming experience. I have blogged about it already on Veteran’s Day, in November, if anyone is interested in reading the story. I was thrilled to be able to communicate with him after so many years and to learn that he has had a full and happy life.
I guess what I am trying to convey today is that if there is someone out there, who has impacted your life in a positive way, maybe it’s not too late to let them know. It doesn’t matter who it is or what they have done. They may have done nothing, but their existence, their words, their actions may have affected you or helped you. It would be great if you could let them know.
I recall one Christmas when my mother invited everyone over to our house. My Aunt Mary always did Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve year after year, my mother rarely had everyone over. I always appreciated all the work my aunt went through and the special memories she created for me and my cousins. That Christmas my cousins and I chipped in and got her a bracelet to show our appreciation. I wrote a nice note in card and said a few words about how we felt. Of course she started to tear up, it was unexpected and she was surprised, and then we all cried. I’ll never forget it.
We are all quick to speak from anger and tell people how much they hurt or disappointed us, but when it comes to expressing gratitude maybe we could use a little work on that. I have not witnessed many episodes of gratitude in my lifetime, but I have seen many arguments and harsh words said.
Just a little food for thought.
Please take a moment to watch this video: