Blessings! Blessings! Blessings! — There was a widow at my church, Faye Warren, who must have been in her mid-eighties when I first met her, who would offer praise by saying, “Blessings, blessings, blessings!” And then she would go on to tell us just what those blessings were, and often, her gratitude was directed toward her children and grandchildren. Well, I want to borrow her phrase, and say, “Blessings! Blessings! Blessings!” And express gratitude to MY children. I have six children, Melanie, Brittanie, Jason, Katie, Jaimie, and Cameron (plus my true middle child, Marcela, and several others who have lived in my home from time-to-time who call me mom); I have also added sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren to the mix, and they ALL bless my life in so many ways.
Thank you for being there for me, especially during the last few years, which as you all know have been fraught with challenges. As I was thinking about how you have all rallied around me, to help, to lift, and support me — at times with great personal sacrifice to your lives, putting plans on hold and such, and I was reminded of the words of a blessing I was given years ago, one of several for which I happen to have a transcription. (In my church we believe in receiving blessings through the laying on of hands, and I’ve received several at key points in my life.) This is the part of a particular blessing that came to my mind this evening:
“I bless you with a sweet, warm, loving spirit that you may radiate love and be the hub of your home. That you may radiate a spirit within your home that will call your family to rally around you and to return to your home, and to find there a source of inspiration, and a peace, and a unity.”
It was the part about rallying around me that struck me, because that is exactly what you have done, with love, with no judgement, and with great patience as I’ve worked through some deep waters. I honor you for that, and I love you all. You are good people, with good hearts, and deep love for those you care about.
You all have strong work ethics, and you are contributing members of society. You give back to your community in various ways, and you care. You are good parents to your children, you work hard to be good spouses, you honor your grandparents, and you love your families. I know your father would have been so proud of what each of you have done with your lives. He always felt like it was his responsibility to make sure you did what was right. You each have a moral compass, and in this day and age, that is quite an accomplishment. I love each of you, and I am proud of you. Thank you for loving me and making my life better.
And, you may be wondering what brought this post on tonight, well, it was Brittanie. Mere words are not enough to express the gratitude I feel for your help tonight. (She came before I even got home and started cleaning my house, and had most of it done before I even got home.) And then we finished together. She even brought her steam mop over and did my floors. I have been so busy trying to get projects done that I haven’t taken time to keep up with the basics, and she rescued me. All of that after she worked a full day herself. And then to top it off she took me out to get a bite to eat. (Because we didn’t want to mess up the clean kitchen.) Blessings upon your head, Brittanie.
She is my defender and champion, she is always in my corner, and none had better cause her mother grief.
It is Scott, who loves my daughter, and realizes what a gem she is. And he is willing to help me out with projects big and small, he lets me borrow his drill, and he monitors his vocabulary when he’s around me, and I appreciate that.
And it is Jason, Cameron, and Scott who have hefted, lifted, and carried, taken in, then out pieces of furniture, appliances, carpet, and all the stuff as I’ve been trying to get my latest projects finished. It’s all of you who were able, coming to do a giant spring clean of my yard, hauling off winter debris, pruning the trees and bushes, down to Braeden gathering up the pine cones.
It’s Dillan fetching and carrying endlessly up and down the stairs, and reaching the tall places to change light bulbs, and taking Captain on walks, and teasing me. It’s Joslynn’s pictures every time she comes, and her hugs, and I love you Grandmas, and it’s Thing 1’s sharing so many interesting facts, and Thing 2’s delightful belly laugh. It’s phone calls from my Oklahoma grandkids, David, Alex, and Liam sharing what they are doing and telling me they love me. It is the boys running back in because they forgot to give Grandma a hug goodbye.
It is Katie sending me flowers and driving to meet me in Salt Lake just so we can spend some time together. She watches ridiculous romantic comedies with me, and is patient when I get down on myself. She calls me randomly just to tell me she loves me, and I love her for it. It is Jeff calling me, Mom, (which still feels slightly ridiculous, yet I love it), and giving me the best bear hugs, and always welcoming me and being glad to see me.
It is Jeremy working hard to provide for his family, and making sure Melanie can be here for important things (like weddings) and for taking on the boys when I visit Oklahoma so Melanie and I can have mother daughter time. And it’s Melanie using her artistic talents to create things and knowing just what to give me (that will make me cry) and that I will treasure. It is the joy I find in listening to her sing, she has such a beautiful voice. In fact listening to any or all of my children produce music is one of my favorite things in the world.
It is Marcela who brings a spirit of peace and love to my home whenever she is here, who did so much more than she will ever know for me, simply by being herself when she lived here, and she shares her sweet baby with me. And it is Efrain who puts up with our crazy family, and just takes us in stride.
It is Jaimie, making sure I had a proper vacation after I hadn’t had one in years — and it wasn’t just a get away, no. It was an all expenses paid multi-state get-a-way that included beach time, camping time, adventures in the redwoods, and in the city; and then sending me to visit my sister in Alaska. And coming home to be with me, and rub my feet, and give me apple cider vinegar (nasty stuff) for a cold. And she lends her artistic talents to my latest endeavor too!
It is Cameron calling me and telling me to get dressed up because he is taking me on a date, and he arrives with flowers, and takes me to dinner and the theater. It is LeeZa who simply calls me Mom, and loves me even with all of my quirkiness. And who picks me up at work to take me to lunch. It is LeeZa and Nicole not judging me when my house is a disaster. It is them not being resentful when I call and ask their guys to come and help me with one thing or another.
It is Jason, who helps me believe in myself, who listens to my sorrows, who comes, and often cooks Sunday dinner so I’m not alone, and always, always, makes me laugh.
Of course we are all human, we have our faults, challenges, and foibles, but tonight I simply want to say, Thank You. I have the best kids ever! And I repeat the refrain,
Blessings! Blessings! Blessings! I thank God for each one of you, you have truly blessed my life.