I recently posted a tweet asking for creative ways to say “thank you,” as I have felt that in the midst of my total life overhaul, I have exhausted the the term. I was met with a few suggestions, all interesting in their own way, but none the solution I have been looking for. I thought about the ways people have said “thank you” to me in the past, and realized that not many have. That there are so many things we do every day, selfless things, that go unnoticed and unappreciated.
To those of you who have done so much… Thank you.
I’m writing this from a borrowed air mattress inflated in the center of my would-be-new-living room. This is my first night on my own in my new place because I am lucky enough to know someone who cares maybe a little too much…and I’m not complaining. I kind of love it. Laying here on this bed of air, reflecting on the tedious and bottomless list of “to-do’s,” (not the one that i love..no no. not that one) I can’t help but think of the million things that I did not have to do on my own over recent days…All the people at home and here that have selflessly extended a hand, whether asked for or not…and then I think, “If mom were here, this fridge would not be empty.” Mom, I promise it wont be when you visit.
I was once told that my independence would be my downfall. That not accepting help, not depending on anyone, that my drive to do everything on my own, would ultimately lead me to a fantastically successful very long life of solitude. I beg to differ. I may not need financial help (knock on wood), I may not always have a hand out waiting for someone to fill it, but I know very well when I am outside of my range of capabilities, and when someone steps in, unasked, to keep me on my feet and heading in the right direction, and allows me my illusion of unchallenged self-sufficiency, I am overwhelmed with appreciation…on the inside.
For those that know me (and those that don’t may find this hard to believe), sometimes it’s actually hard for me to find the words. It’s much easier for me to struggle on my own than to be able to admit, “I really needed that,” harder still to ask for help…especially since needing is not something I’ve ever been ok with. I know that I could have done this all on my own…i could have, probably not as well or with such grace, but I didn’t. I didn’t have to…and I didn’t even have to ask.
Thank you…for the millionth time…and that will have to do for now, until i come up with something better…and i will :)
There are so many ways to physically connect with someone, but I always felt there’s just so much you give up when you hold someone’s hand. It feels almost like a whisper, something so private, often experienced in space that’s so public…for all to see, but shared between only two.
Like it’s our little secret…
Maybe it makes me old fashioned, but the palm-to-palm interaction—the affectionate linking-of-fingers—seems to me to require a certain closeness and a certain amount of trust.
65 years later, my nana can tell me exactly when my pop first held her hand. She can still affectionately reminisce about a sweet-sixteen he tagged along with her to, and how he reached out to hold her hand on the walk there…she laughs at my shock at the sheer boldness of it. There was no first date, they hadn’t been intimate at any time before…he just asked, “can I come?” and took her hand for the first time as he walked her to the party…and then he never let go.
There’s a symbolism in hand-holding. A wide-spread cultural understanding of togetherness, friendship, and/or affection. As much as it is a whisper, it is a billboard touting a bond between two people. Another reason I chuckled at my grandmother’s story. Pop was marking his territory.
I remember saying once, in a moment of vulnerability, “I’ve never gotten this far…I don’t know what comes next.” I really didn’t. I still don’t. In response I was told, “Just hold my hand…” and I wanted to. Those few words made my palms feel warm and then the rest of my body followed suit…and in my own little world of worry, I wore an uncontrollable grin…and I felt close, and I felt trust, and I knew I would be ok. That moment was just between us…that was my whisper—my “everything will be alright.” And when I finally allowed it, I believed it. That was an intimacy that I guess I needed. I think it even surprised me a bit.
Everyone’s got their one thing…the way they just know…for me, it’s always been the question, “do I want to hold your hand?”