Thursday, July 31, 2014

On Showing You Care

There are some things you never quite understand until it happens to you....a lot of things, really. One of the things that I hope I understand a little better since my mom's death, is the fact that letting people know you care means an awful lot! Over and over I have been awed by the care people have shown -- showing up at my door that day to offer love and care, gifts of money, a bag of treats for our trip, an evening out for Chris and I after we were back home, text messages, phone calls, hugs and assurances of many, many ways that people have said "I care"! It takes so little, really.

The other day I pulled out the stack of cards I've gotten since mom's death. Cards are a very little thing. I mean, they usually get stuck away in a drawer or box eventually, or maybe even in the trash! The messages inside them tend to all run the same, tired lines and really, what good are words anyway? There's really nothing you can say that's very helpful after the death of a loved one! But I looked back through each one the other day and you know what I was looking at? Not the wording. Oh, I skimmed over the words, yes, but mostly I looked at the signatures.

Every one of those people cared about me! Every one of them took the time out of their busy life to sit down and get that card ready and put in the mail....for me. Even if they put it in the mail and never thought about me again, it's still a token that they cared. Cared enough to actually let me know. Cared enough to, not only think about me, but make sure I knew I was thought of! Humbling, really. Some people wrote notes saying what mom meant to them over the years. Those are extra special!

Ten and a half years ago, mom was in the hospital in extreme pain. The doctor thought her cancer had returned and didn't give us much hope. He made the decision to take her in to surgery and see what he would find. He discovered no cancer, but a blocked bowel caused by scar tissue! A nurse told mom later the story of how her doctor had seen a rainbow before going into surgery. Sometime after that, mom took a card a friend had made for her, added a rainbow in the sky, and the verse "My times are in Thy hand" (Ps 31:15) and hung it above her desk. There it still hangs.

When we returned from our vacation the other week, there was a card in the mail. Mom's friend, who made that card so long ago, heard the story about the card and made a replica for each of us children, and an enlarged one for daddy...with a rainbow in the sky! Talk about special, and cared for.

I hope that in the future I remember how little it takes, and how much it means, to let people know they are thought of and cared for. I hope that I remember to take the time to DO something to let them know, even if it's "just" a card.

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