Recent events in my life and a spat with my daughters, caused me to reflect upon life and the value of those who help out along the way. I wrote the following letter to put my thoughts down on paper. To all those who have acted in kindness toward me and my family now and in the past: know that I hold you as precious treasures.
My wonderful daughters,
I lost my cool and yelled at one of you. I yelled words like ingratitude, lack of appreciation, saying thank you, and ....less intelligible things. Sometimes I get carried away. I just want you to understand how blessed you are so you can savor life and be a blessing to others.
But I must admit there was something else behind my anger today: my own frustration at the loneliness of life. There are times in life when no one can help you. There are things in life which must be done by you alone. And there are times in life when others could help you but they will not. Rarely because they are cruel. Mostly because life is happening to them too and it either distracts them from the needs of others or drains them so they have little left to share.
Growing, maturing, grief, standing up for what is right, and many other things in life can be lonely.
Amidst all this loneliness, when someone can help you and does, treasure it. Count it as precious. Do not turn away out of stubbornness or pride.
This is not easy. Getting on toward 40 years and I am still learning gratitude. Perhaps I could give you a little more time. But that is an odd thing about parenting: while I know such lessons take time, I also know if I just sit back and wait for it to happen it never will. This is a time when someone can help. I can help you to learn. I don’t expect you to be grateful for it. God knows, I did not show enough gratitude to my own mother. Yet I will keep on trying to help you to learn.
I could improve on my methodology a bit. Perhaps trying something besides the “yell really loud” methodology. I will do my best.