The Sweet Christian Bride

Thank You Letters to Mom and Dad

by admin on June 13, 2011 in Family, Gifts and Favors, Thank You, Uncategorized with 1 Comment

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become excited about writing people thank you notes. I don’t love the process, but I love the results. Telling people what you appreciate about them is done far too infrequently for the level of selflessness we desire in the world around us. But in addition to encouraging others in their generosity and thoughtfulness, thank you notes do a number on my heart. They slow me down and steer me away from awe of the gift to gratitude for the giver.

How many times do we thank our parents for being our parents?  It can feel sometimes like they are just doing their job, following through with what they signed up for, right?

Well, if you’re anything like me, you weren’t the easiest princess to live with.  You weren’t always right like you thought you were, and your perceived entitlement turned out to be unsubstantiated by any real truth or right.

With a little distance, perspective becomes clear: my parents were so patient, so intentional, and so empowering.  What a gift they were and still are to me. 

During my engagement, I spent many hours reflecting on who I was and why I was that way.  And also on who I wanted to be and how I could become her.  All that to say, the wedding was a prepared transition in my life.  It truly marked a different me; one who was committed to live for someone other than herself. 

The one aspect of the transition that felt rushed and incomplete, however, was the recognition of my parents in that process.  In this season of reflection, I had stored up a lot of perspective on how well my parents had loved and raised me, but it all sat in my mind without ever escaping my lips.  We had many conversations about wedding details and about my upcoming marriage, but there weren’t many conversations of intentional gratitude for them simply being my parents.  I didn’t want to rush off after the wedding and have them sitting there with an emptied heart feeling like their youngest daughter was gone forever without ever knowing all that they had done for her.

Sounds dramatic, and probably wouldn’t have been the case, but emotions can make us think the darndest things.  To make sure, as best I could, that they knew that I knew all they had done for me, and that they knew that I wasn’t exiting their lives but simply transitioning into a new role, I wrote them a thank you note.

Each parent got his and her own note.  Simply a jotting of memories, appreciation, (I might have even thrown in an apology or two in there), affirmations, and wishes slipped under their door during sleeping hours.  A note to let them know that they were deeply loved and appreciated, not just for the wedding they were about to give me, but for the life and the upbringing that they had offered me.

It cost me nothing except for the stationery, the time, and the price of reflection, yet it was one of the most valuable gifts I could have given (for my parents, hopefully, but for me, absolutely).

What have your parents taught you or sacrificed for you that has shaped you into who you are?  Maybe as a wedding present to them, you could pen those thoughts for posterity.

By Lindsay
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  • The Sweet Christian Bride
    • Katherine Wolf says:

      L- I love this idea! Our culture is TOTALLY ungrateful! I love the idea of writing thank you notes and of thanking our parents. What a cool way to honor them during such a special time. xo