Saturday, December 6, 2008

When Thank You Isn't Enough

For my fifth birthday, my parents threw me a birthday party and invited some little friends over to celebrate my big day. At the end of the party, I was banished to my room for displaying ungrateful behavior during the opening of the presents. I absolutely, categorically refused to say "Thank You". My parents were appalled and as a parent myself now, I can kind of understand why. I'm sure I was the perfect picture of selfishness in their minds.

But I remember the situation a little differently. I remember very clearly the internal anguish I suffered over trying to find the right words to properly express my appreciation. It's one of my earliest and clearest memories. I remember thinking "I can't just say 'thank you' because everyone says that. If I just say plain, old, ordinary 'thank you', they won't understand how very much this means to me. 'Thank you' is so overused that it's not special anymore! They will think I don't mean it and am just saying it to be polite. The might think I'm insincere! I need something grand and intense that really captures the gratitude that I am feeling in my heart!" (Yes, I clearly had issues, but whatever.)

So, because I didn't have any better or more intense way of expressing the overwhelming gratitude in my heart, I said nothing. And thus ended up exiled to my room to ruminate on the brat within.

I find myself in that place again in life. While I have learned to say "thank you" with better grace and dignity, it sometimes still feels terribly insufficient. Right now I wish I knew a more suitable expression for how our little family feels about the people in our lives. I think crises really bring out the character of individuals; let me tell you, we are surrounded by the best people on earth. Our prayers of gratitude get a little longwinded sometimes, to the point where Tanner starts to whine, grunt and squeal that he "just wants to say amen". But we can't help but to be so thankful for our support system.

We feel so amazingly loved and supported by both of our extended families, our friends near and far, old and new, our neighbors, previously less familiar ward members, and even perfect strangers. We are continually astonished at the kind and generous words and deeds of so many people. This has been a very difficult experience for us, but the burden has been made bearable by the many acts of love and expressions of faith and support we have received.

So, while I continue to wish that I had the perfect turn of phrase to express our deep and sincere feelings of gratitude, "thank you" is all I have.

5 comments:

Christine said...

I've been reading Crew's blog ever since you posted about him on Racketty Scrappety. I'm so thrilled to read that he's hangin' in there! What a trooper! You go little man!
Calico aka Christine

Carolyn said...

I've been reading about Crew for the past couple of weeks (and even caught up on the back posts) and praying for him and the rest of you. I'm so thrilled that he's doing so well! What good news to share.

We all know that you are dealing with so much right now, so thank you really is sufficient! Be blessed.

Carolyn

Joselle said...

I just wanted to stop by and say that I am sorry for your loss of Dex, and to stay strong for Crew. Mine were born at 29.3 weeks (water broke at 28 weeks) and spent 74-95 days in the NICU with many complications including NEC, BPD,CLD and many other preemie issues. They are now 2.5 and the NICU roller coaster is but a distant memory. Hang in there and best wishes for a speedy NICU stay.

LadyRedstone said...

I read your story at PDW and paid a visit to your blog.
First of all Congratulations on such a beautiful blessing. Crew is a little fighter for sure like his momma and will keep you on your toes.Just as you keep the docs and nurses on theirs. Don't stop.
And prayers to you to be able to hold sweet little Dex tight in your hearts.
I have been where you are more than once and know your frustrations, joys and anguish.
Stay strong and know that others are holding you in their prayers.
Cynthia

Scrapping Mom of 5 said...

What wonderful, wonderful pictures.