My mom adventures in Fort Collins

21-Day Gratitude Challenge: Day 2
November 8, 2013, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Writing | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today I decided to actually read the prompt for the Gratitude Challenge! Woo-hoo, I’m growing up!

The prompt asks you to think about a situation where you can never repay the individual that helped you–You can only “pay it forward.”

I am a very lucky girl, and I can think of many of these types of situations. I can recall two of my favorite teachers: Mrs. Kathleen Fischer and Mr. Robert Gorges. These two gems taught at Sheboygan North High School, and, for reasons no one knows, they were very kind to me and extended themselves for me.

I can also recall Dr. Crumrine, a college professor, who sat me down and told me he saw me falling asleep (often) in the Organic Chemistry class he taught. That day, we fleshed out some ideas on professional direction and life. I still don’t know what I wanna be when I grow up, but that conversation sticks in my head.

But when I think of all the many faces and people who have bestowed kindness on me, kindness that I can never repay, my mind drifts back to situations in which I was vulnerable. I cannot even remember the anesthesiologist’s name, but I can hear her whispering in my ear as I was in the OR after Ruby’s birth. Each word was a confirmation that I would be okay, and that she would be right there by my side while the doctors and nurses worked to stop the bleeding. I can also picture the faces of the critical care nurses Betsy and Penny, two of the amazing women who took such good care of my father following his open-heart surgery last April.

I think of the people that I can never repay, and it makes me want to be a person who never cares about being “repaid.” I hope I’m not carrying some enormous score card, where I keep track of the debts and credits of my life. Banish quid pro quo, unless, of course it’s my husband’s night to do the dishes, in which case it’s: “I cooked. I did ’em at lunch. Your turn.”

What I put out into this world in terms of kindness, thoughtfulness and general courtesy is an ends in and of itself.

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