For our Lenten booklet in the year after my Mom died, I wrote a piece about her titled “The Power of Thank You”, about how long after she disappeared mentally and verbally, she still said an almost inaudible “thank you” to everyone, about everything, large and small, significant and insignificant. She did not anymore know who the person was who was speaking with her or helping her, and often it was unclear whether she understood the service being performed, but no matter - there was that “thank you”, every time, to every person. Somehow, there still remained inside this woman, once so mighty, now so diminished, an enormous, still-flowing reservoir of gratitude, a reservoir that could not be stopped or used up by the ravages of age and mental decline. Even though almost everything else had ended, Mom’s gratitude did not. And we had the evidence of that, every day, in each murmured “thank you”.
I’ve thought about this a lot in these few months since I quit my job several years ahead of when I had planned, taking a swan dive off a financial and professional cliff. And, in no small part thanks to all that Kitty and George Barnes poured into me, I have realized that I am rich beyond measure. That’s definitely not “rich” as in financial terms, but rather in the what-really-matters terms. I have come to realize that how full of gratitude I am for all that I do have, for all that others have given me, for all that I can – and should – give to others.
So, Mom, in this Lenten season, I renew my endeavor to be like you in one more way, to live the gratitude I feel for my life, to enfold the power of thank you into all I endeavor to do.
And, with God’s help, I will.