A SMALL THANK YOU NOTE
I recently attended the first of a series of Bridal Showers honoring my only daughter’s upcoming marriage. The hostesses, in an effort to minimize some of the stresses associated with the hectic pace of preparing to get married while finishing your senior year of college, handed each guest a pen & an envelope, & asked us to address the envelopes to ourselves. Guessing that this was for the requisite Thank You notes, I was hesitant to comply, thinking that, as Mother-of-the-Bride I did not believe that it was necessary for my daughter to send me a written note of thanks. However, knowing that proper etiquette dictated that she do so, I went ahead & addressed the envelope to myself, & then dismissed it from my mind.
One day, when the loneliness of facing the prospect of getting snowed in all alone set in, I found that exact envelope, written in my own hand, in my mail box. Tucked inside was a thank you note written in my daughter’s hand. I opened the envelope hastily as I walked through my townhouse, expecting a half-hearted, quickly drafted note. After all, not only was my daughter busy planning a wedding, & finishing college, but as Editor-in-Chief for one of her college’s magazines, she was about to embark on an assignment overseas. All of this meant that she had little to no time for writing thank you notes.
I began reading the note as I was walking inside, but stopped dead in my tracks as I realized the time & care that she had taken in composing it. The contents are too personal to share, but she wrote words that deeply touched me. In that little note, I found a very real glimpse of the wonderful young woman that my daughter has become.
As a Journalism major, I would have expected nothing less than eloquence from whatever she wrote, & indeed, I found that. Her creativity was most evident. However, what struck me more than that is that the note itself clearly illustrated what a gracious Christian person she is, & that made me very proud. Her attitude of gratitude for the fact that I drove 5 hours round trip to attend the event came through in her words, as did her faith in God.
What touched me most of all, though, is that she told me that she loves me, that we will always be best friends, & that she was praying for me! There are no sweeter words for a mother to hear from her grown daughter than those. I have long known that one day I would have to give her over to a spouse, who would replace me as the “BFF”, but I had hoped & prayed that she & I would remain, even then, the best of friends. I have prayed every single day of her life for her & for her future husband, & it is such a delight to me to see those prayers being answered before my very eyes.
I put the note in a conspicuous place on my refrigerator. As I live alone, it serves as a reminder that there is someone that loves me unconditionally. That, by the Grace of God, my little girl has become the woman I always hoped she would be. That she is strong & smart, & that while I will always be there to offer her whatever it is that I have to give, she has found her own wings, & can fly solo now.
I have actually taken the note down & re-read it a couple of times. This reminds me of the power of words. Often, people use words to wound one another. Once in awhile, as in this case, we use them to express love, gratitude, & friendship. It was a small note – short & sweet, yet it spoke volumes.
Once upon a time I used to write handwritten notes of appreciation & encouragement to friends on a very regular basis. In this age of technology, more often than not my notes are via social media, email or text messages. Still, I continue to write them. I hope that the words I send forth will uplift someone, & bolster their spirits like this one did mine.
Tonight, as we approach Easter weekend, I offer a thank you note to God, & I express gratitude, love & friendship for Him, just as my daughter did to me. I know how very wonderful it felt for me to read the words that she wrote, & I know how God will also appreciate any such words from His children.
I hope & pray that those who take the time to read this post will stop & think about who they should write a thank you note to today. Just a few minutes of your time may make a big difference in someone’s day. And whatever you do, don’t forget to thank your Father in heaven for the gifts He has bestowed upon you.