Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Saying Thank You

This week I've naturally been thinking about gratitude.

I think sometimes as adults we remember to be thankful to God for the intangibles in our lives - the love of our families, our freedom, etc.  But lately I have been thinking about a number of gifts - physical wrapped presents - that I have received from other people during my life.  You certainly can't buy happiness, but the love and thoughtfulness that was put into these gifts actually made a huge difference to me.  That is why I have remembered them for years after they were given.

So as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, and as we move into the season of gift-giving, I just want to say thank you once again for five presents that I have received throughout the years.  In chronological order, they are the following:

- A special birthday gift - When I was about 10 or 11, my dad went on a business trip right before my birthday.  While there, he visited an ethnic church like the one we had previously attended.  The church was selling pierogis (a delicious Polish dumpling), and he remembered that they were my favorite food.  Somehow he bought a couple of pounds of them frozen and transported them back on the plane with him, specifically for me.  That same birthday, he also surprised me with tickets to the Ice Capades for my mom, my sister, and me.  These things may seem small, but in our large family treats like these were uncommon, making them all the sweeter.  I've never forgotten how special I felt on that birthday.  Thank you, Dad.

- My wedding - Let's just say my parents did not expect me to get married at the age of 21!!!  They had college costs and children still at home, so plenty of expenses at the time.  I knew this and was willing to accept the minimum for our wedding, including making our own food.  Yet in the end, through much research and careful spending (that's a whole other post!), we were able to have a beautiful wedding with many of the classic accouterments, including a catered reception in a lovely historic inn.  My parents paid for the majority of the wedding, but even more than their generosity, I remember how they supported and trusted me at that special time.  Thank you, Mom and Dad.

- My wedding dress - An anonymous donor paid for my wedding dress.  I'm not kidding.  Early in my engagement, my mom informed me that a person close to me who wished to remain anonymous wanted to pay for my gown and veil.  She said that this person didn't want me to "shop at Bargain Basement."  Haha - the person obviously knew me!  So I had the luxury of visiting dress shops with only my tastes and not so much the price in mind.  I ended up a reasonably-priced-but-more-than-I-could-afford dress and was able to buy everything I needed right at that shop.  I have my suspicions who that person might be, although I don't know for sure, but as little as I could forget how I felt in my wedding gown could I forget this person's gift.  Thank you, Anonymous.

- The limo for our wedding - A lot of these gifts seem to be centered around my wedding; I think that's because in good circumstances I think that weddings can really bring out the love and generosity in people.  For example, as we were planning the wedding I planned to dispense with a limousine to save money.  I figured that some family member could drive us to the wedding and reception.  Out of the blue, one of my brothers, who was in high school at the time, informed me that he wanted to pay for a limo as his gift!  I was just blown away by both the thoughtfulness and generosity of this gesture - I didn't even know he was paying attention to the wedding planning!  We ended up with this vintage-looking black car with a very gentlemanly chauffeur, and I felt like a queen.  Thank you, Greg.

- A laptop - More recently, I posted over a year ago on this blog how difficult it was getting for me to continue blogging, mostly because of our very slow, old computer, which we could not afford to replace.  After I posted that, two different friends offered me computers!  They both had recently upgraded theirs and offered me their spares, which were still very usable and much better than the one I was using.  They could easily have sold or otherwise used these, and I was so touched by their generosity.  We accepted one offer and thanked them both, and I felt so blessed in my friends.  Thank you, B. and E.

I have been so blessed in my life and have received far too many wonderful gifts to name in one post.  I hope one day to be able to bless others as I have been blessed myself.

What special gifts have you received during your life for which you'd like to say thank you?

Photo by canna_w.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. I love to hear your feedback!