Following my 70th birthday in Jan of 2005, my four grown children got together and sent me a beautifully hand-decorated box of little slips of paper.
On each little slip of paper was written a Thank-You note for something I'd taught one of them during their early childhood, teenage and young adult years.
There was over 300 little Thank-You notes in the box.
From my oldest daughter and firstborn, I laughed when I read, "Thank you Mother for teaching me that there are other colors besides just red and green". Those were the only two colors she wanted to use in her first coloring book, and dogs, cats, chickens, houses and trees were all either red or green. I remembered sitting down with her one day, and talking about the sky being blue, and some flowers yellow, etc.
From my middle daughter, I laughed when I read, "Thank you Mother for making me wear that dress to Jimmy's birthday party. It got me my first kiss". Sure enough, she'd come home that day from her little friend's birthday party so full of herself. She had a "boyfriend". It lasted 4 days, then it was a new boyfriend. What was special was that first kiss though, and she gave me the credit for it because I wouldn't let her wear her raggedy old blue jeans. (She was my tomboy).
From my youngest daughter, I almost cried when I read, "Thank you Mother. Thank you so much for helping me to save the money for my horse". Her first horse was a 17 hands high jumper and she looked so tiny up there on him, but she wanted that horse so much and I matched her dollar for dollar in order for her to save up enough to buy him.
And from my youngest child, a son, I cracked up laughing when I read, "Thank you Mother for showing me 1573 times how to tie my shoes".
Everything they could think of that I'd taught or helped them with was written separately on a little "Thank-You" note. It took hours for me to read them all, and for all the laughing and crying and talking about each one... but I'll say this. It was the most wonderful gift I've ever gotten in my whole entire life.
That pretty little box is my most precious treasure, more than any diamonds or gold or rubies worth millions of dollars. If this house were to catch on fire, (God forbid), I'd grab my kitty cat and that little box and hit the door.
As far as I'm concerned, I've been given everything I'll need now for the rest of my life.
I just wish I'd thought to do that for my Mother. I have so many things to thank her for.
Source: My four children.
By Julia from Boca Raton, FL
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Thank you Julia for sharing that beautiful story. What a lovely gift idea. I too wish I could have given my mom something like this. That box would have been filled to the brim.
You guided and raised some very sweet and thoughtful children! Thank you for sharing this story with us!
Geesh, it's 7am and you made me cry! What a way to start the day with such a beautiful story. I'm going to do that with my mom.
Awww...how sweet! You made me cry. Thanks for the lovely idea.
Oh I love this! I love that you matched your daughter's horse-fund dollar for dollar. As a lifetime equestrian (who struggles to support her own riding), my mother's help through my childhood and adulthood has meant the world to me.
I'm with StellaAdmin. Wish I'd thought to do something like this for my mother. I can't now, she's been in Heaven these past four years.
I know I'm not your child, but you've just taught me something: I need to do more treasuring of my grown children, less worrying about daily cares. Thanks for the reminder.
Thank you to everyone who has responded to my true story about Mother's Day Thank You Notes. I realize that not everyone has the time to make a box, or to write so many little "thank you" notes, but if you just send her a card with your love, and a few thank-yous for the life she gave to you, perhaps her example of going to church and bringing God into your life, help with homework, and any other lesson she taught to you that you might be using every day and taking for granted that you were "just born" knowing, it will be enough to make her happier than anything you could spend a lot of money on.
I've read articles written by much smarter people than I'll ever be who mentioned about gratitude itself enriching your own life; being grateful for all that you've already received from everyone around you. I'm not meaning to "preach" to anyone, but when I received that box from my children, it made me realize more than anything else that expressing gratitude to a person who has helped you along the way is the best way in the world to use that gift as well as serving as temporary repayment.
Even though I never thought to do for my Mother what my children did for me, I still "talk to her" and thank her every day for everything I can think of. I choose to believe that she hears every word I say, and it sure does made me feel good to do it.
Father's Day isn't that far away and the same thing can be done for Dear Old Dad. My hubby got a "thank you box " full of notes that same year (2005) on Father's Day. For all the little things that are long-forgotten maybe, but reading a child's note of thanks brings it all back like it was only yesterday.
Again, I thank you all for the lovely responses.
Julia in Boca Raton, FL
My Mother passed about 3 years ago, and I too wish I'd thought to do this. I would have had to write an awful lot of thank you notes, that's for sure.
I know you earned it, but you are a lucky mom. You have nice children.
Thank you for sharing that.
I can't remember ever hearing of a nicer gift. How fun it'd be to give a box like that or to receive one.
This vote is for your children. What a wonderful idea.
My mother left this life for a much better one two years ago, on 4/24/08, and even though she received many "thank yous" from her kids, she would have loved such a keepsake. I wonder how many little slips of paper there would be in a box done for me. There are 7 children who could contribute. I know that had to be a wonderful gift. Stuff is stuff, but the thoughts from the heart of your loved ones is priceless.
I am so fortunate to still have my mother, and even though I have already purchased another one of her favorite nightgowns and have a gift certificate
for her favorite restaurant, I'm going to use your wonderful idea and make her a "Thank-You" box too, Julia. I have the perfect box and all the trimmings to go on it. I only have to make a list of all the things I have to thank her for. No matter
how many I recall, I know I'll leave out a million lessons and gifts of advice and love she's always given to me. At least, this will be a start if I can see through the tears.
Thank you for telling us about this.
I thought I'd mention that this idea would work just as well on her birthday or anytime you want to just give her something special. For those of you who are still lucky enough to have your mother, just know that no matter when you thank her, it'll mean the world to her. Sometimes mothers wonder if what they do is even noticed. So many times, we just take a lot for granted. Thanking her lets her know that you were paying attention and best of all, you remember.
And I thank you all for the lovely feedback, but the real thanks goes to my children who remembered.
Big hugs all around.
Oh, I just love this so much!
What a Lovely Gift! As other people mentioned, it can be used for multiple occasions. that it is not limited to Anniversaries. Your Children must have exerted a lot of time to get 300 "thank-you" notes.
I am a recent member of AARP. I have everything I need. But the BOX-oh how I'd covet it. You must be a wonderful lady for the kids to come up with this priceless gift.
I will start a box for my son's birthday and many more occasions to come.
So glad Thrifty Fun re-posted this tip. It is lovely, Julia. I tried to add a different "thank you" each time I sent a special occasion card to Mother and Dad. (They've been gone since 1980 and 1978, respectively, but I still hold them in my heart for the wonderful childhood they gave me.)
I have the idea that the reverse would be special, too: Let each child know you remember their positive contributions to your family growth. Cay from FL
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