About six years ago this time, my Sunday School teacher at the time encouraged our high school class to let our family and people special to us know how thankful we are for them. She suggested we write them all letters to give to them at Thanksgiving. Being the oh-so-busy sophomore that I was, I didn’t get around to writing the letters for Thanksgiving. That Christmas, though, I wrote a letter to each member of my small family telling them how much I appreciated them. I tried to include memories I had with them and thanked them specifically for what they had done in my life. I sealed them up and those were my Christmas presents that year for my family. Since I still felt a little awkward about showing such emotion to my family (my family is not very big on showing emotion or talking about emotions), I told them that the letters had to be read in private. I received a few thank-you notes back from some of my family and life moved on.
Little did I know that was the last Christmas we would spend with my Papaw. Shortly after that, while I was on a class trip to Alabama, my Papaw died. It was sort of out of the blue. He had had a stroke/heart attack earlier in the year, but he had been getting better. His death scared me. I didn’t know how my family structure would change. God definitely used his death for His glory, but that is a story for another time.
I didn’t remember at that exact moment, but it makes me feel very thankful for writing those letters when I did. Like I said, my family is not very vocal about emotions, and I had never told my Papaw just how much he meant to me before that time. Looking back, I am very thankful for that Sunday School teacher who encouraged me to write letters to my family. I am glad to know that I let my Papaw know how much I loved him before he went to Heaven to be with the One who loves him way more than I do.
This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to let special people in your life know what they mean to you, especially your family members. I can say from personal experience that you will not regret this.