“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it” – William Arthur Ward
Once upon a time there was a self-willed, headstrong teenager, desperate to be freed from the confines of her home, her family and her parents. As her teenage hormones raged, her independent nature increased rapidly, more rapidly than her common sense. Her days became an endless battle against the boundaries of home and the perceived strictness of her mother.
This feisty young girl plotted and schemed for ways to escape and often succeeded. Finally, just shy of her eighteenth birthday, she left home with grand plans to stand on her own shaky feet and make her way in the world.
Life was hard for a very young, unprepared and rebellious teenager. Mistakes were made, over and over again, and thankfully, lessons were learned. Determination laced with stubbornness kept this young girl on her treacherous journey for many months.
Eventually she succumbed to the realisation she was in no way ready to take care of herself. No job, no money, no car, no plans, no furniture, the list was long. She meekly returned to the family home, with the understanding she was to abide by her parents rules. The same rules that forced her to leave. Needless to say this was a recipe for disaster and once again she fought and she struggled for release.
This time a plan was hatched, a plan that now included the benefit of hindsight. To live an independent and successful life this young girl needed to provide for herself.
Her mantra became and remains If It Is Going to Be It Is Up to Me.
At this point I will say there is a Happily Ever After. Her first job led to a successful career, her teenage sweetheart became her husband and together they have lived, and continue to live, a blessed and comfortable life. The young girl is now a woman, she has 2 children of her own and an ever-changing perspective on those difficult years.
This woman now sees the world through the eyes of a parent. She has a daughter and a son and is often heard to say “I sound just like my Mum”. A phrase that now fills her with joy and pride. You see this woman now realises her Mum was pretty awesome.
Today I am delivering a long over due thank you to my Mum. I thank her for equipping me with a tool belt for life. For the skills and values she taught me and for the guidance she continues to offer.
You see, although I may have left the family home young, I always carried with me my mother’s wisdom and teachings. When I have fallen, doubted and succumbed to the pressures of life it is this tool belt I have reached into.
Tools she carefully crafted and endowed me with during my younger formative years.
Tools that I have now reshaped and worn in from years of use. Moulding them to fit my own hands, and my own heart.
Today I stand tall and proud today of the person I am and the person I will continue to be. I thank you Mum for a lifetime of your love, your support and careful guidance.
One more time Thanks Mum and I love you.
Is there someone or some people in your life you would like to thank?
This post was written in Celebration of World Gratitude Day on September 21st and has been entered into Alexandra Franzen’s Story Contest.
Join in the celebration and let’s all say thank you.