Okay, it probably sounds a little cheesy, but you just had to be there.
My wife gave each member of our family a colorful piece of paper on Thanksgiving Day. On it, an acrostic of the word Thanksgiving, with the letters down the side.
Our “before we can eat” assignment (a powerful motivator) was to list by each letter an “I’m thankful for” that started with that letter. Then we talked about them. Not for real long. We could smell the turkey.
It’s not a bad idea to go through the exercise of thinking about what you’re grateful for.
Especially about the people you love. Because – let’s face it – we often spend more time telling them what we don’t like about them than what we do like. And dwelling on their weaknesses more than their strengths.
Until the funeral.
I’ve heard some beautiful things said about people then. Sometimes you can’t help wondering if they said them when that person could still hear them. Bouquets are best when you can still smell them.
I’m not saying we all need to break out the construction paper acrostics this Thanksgiving. But it might be a great time to break out some kind of paper and start writing. The qualities, the kindnesses, the sacrifices, the changes you really do appreciate. No agenda in that letter but to hold up a mirror and tell that person some of the good you see.
Who doesn’t need that? And what relationship wouldn’t run a little better with a shot of the oil of gratitude.
Maybe even a strained relationship. Even a broken relationship. Sure, it may be tough to think of anything you like in that person. But there was probably a time when you did. That’s why there was a relationship.
A few “thank you for”s – maybe even an “I’m sorry for” or two – might even lay the foundation for a bridge where there’s been a wall. At a time when broken relationships hurt the most – the holidays.
Long after the turkey leftovers have mercifully disappeared, the Thanksgiving “thank you’s” will still be there. Satisfying a deep hunger.
To be appreciated.