I believe that a sincere Thank You, given with no conditions or strings, is the beginning of healing our wounds. We forget that we need someone to look at us and say “Thank you” without hesitation. We forget that we need to thank someone for taking care of us. We forget to appreciate each other.
And the sad part is, we don’t realize that we have forgotten. We just go along, unwittingly hurting ourselves and others, and at the end of the day we are so tired and unhappy…
I’ve been in love for a few months, and the most important thing he’s ever said to me is “Thank you for being you.” He’s a good man, strong and so very present in his son’s life, and he understands that sometimes I get tired and sometimes he gets cranky, but we thank each other anyway. Word or deed, we owe it to the world to each show the other that we are loved and appreciated.
A family friend died recently, and I spent the day of the funeral with my beloved and his son. My mourning was punctuated with hugs and kisses, with moments of tears during which I was not rebuked for my sadness. Instead I was presented with a box of tissues and exhortations to let it out.
I thanked them both.
The next week I was sick, and recuperated with my beloved and his son. Every now and again I would hear the boy’s soft footsteps as he’d peek in on me to make sure I was sleeping okay. I remember wandering into the living room in a congested haze to find them playing Rock Band with the volume down as low as they could get it and still hear the game.
I thanked them for that too.
Yesterday I was off work, staying at my beloved’s, and I took the time to clean his house because I knew, with the sureness of the connection we share, that he was going to have a bad day. He did, but the look in his exhausted eyes when he walked into a freshly scrubbed and vacuumed house was the only thing I cared about. He was home. I could care for him now, help him move past his day.
And yes, he thanked me.
It is a gift we give each other on a daily basis, this gratitude and love and appreciation. We have transformed each other into happier people, a better father (him) and a better teacher (me). Which makes me wonder… if I thanked you for the chance to write this, will it heal you too?
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.