1942 c. Thompsons--Will, Belle & Marjorie

A strong sweep of emotion rushes over me when this picture appears. There I am, a 20-year-old, home for a visit with my beloved parents. It is the summer of 1942. I am delighted to be “home”, and it shows. Being in this house with those I love is a great tonic for me.

Unbelievably, that is 72 years ago. I remember, and feel again, many of the same emotions which stirred my 20 year-old heart then. But something is different. What added emotion am I sensing from my 92-year-old reality? Gratitude! That’s it!

Then, I took it all for granted. I was as sure of my welcome when I came home in trouble, as when I came home celebrating a success. My parents were loving and full of fun, but level headed and direct. I did not always like their advice, but always respected it. What a priceless gift life handed me – a home, a dependable home. It was a comfortable, safe touchstone, always there, always within my reach.

Did I recognize it then? Not fully.

Did I ever express it to them? In words, probably not. Hopefully, they knew. I believe that the actions and attitude of my sister and me made that clear to them.

Still, sometimes I regretfully wonder. There is a saying: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” It’s a mite late, Mom and Dad, but here’s your present. I deliver it with much love, gratitude — and memories, which never die. Love, Marjorie


Filed under Photographic memory

16 Responses to Gratitude

  1. Ralph Gibson

    Here’s another saying: “Took the words right out of my mouth.”

    Wonderfully put, Mom !


    • Marjorie

      Thank you, Ralph, your response is most welcome. This one took much time and re-writing before I was reasonably content. This reminds me of a real writer, some centuries ago. He is reported to have written to a friend “I am sorry this is so long. I do not have the time today to make it shorter.”

  2. Jim Taylor

    I had a the same kind of parents, Marjorie. Like you, I wish I had told them how much they meant to me. Isn’t it strange how much more we try to act in ways that would please our parents after they’re gone than when we had them with us?

    • Marjorie

      Not so strange, Jim. A general statement would be that the younger we are, the more we take things for granted. The years lived do count for something – more experience, more observing, more just living … may result in a wider field from which to draw, when we look back to the years of our youth.

  3. Eveline Goodall

    Beautiful, Marjorie. There are so many things I wish I had said and wish I had asked my parents. Charming photo. I can see their love and pride. They know your gratitude!

    • Marjorie

      Hi Eveline – I sincerely hope you are right. You would have enjoyed those two, Will and Belle. To start out with parents like that, in a world that challenges all the way, gives a home-grown advantage.

  4. Robert McFetridge

    This is a powerful message. Your writing has become quite compelling.

    Season’s Greeting from Bob and Irene

    • Marjorie

      So nice to hear from you two, Irene and Bob. Thank you for your encouraging words. Now on to 2015 – may it be helpful to us all.

  5. Leone Jobson

    Hello again!
    I, too, feel very blessed in the parents I had. If only every child could know that kind of warmth and security, I’m sure the world would be a better place.
    I feel fortunate to have found the same blessing continuing in my adulthood with Dave and the girls!

    We wish you the best in 2015!

    • Marjorie

      If confirmation is needed, I can vouch for your parents, siblings, and home life – and yes – how loving and special they all were (and are for the younger generations). They are part of my life, too. How delighted Ruth and Ralph would be of the new and present generations!
      Thanks for the 2015 New Years’ wishes. I’m looking forward to knocking off and enjoying yet another year. Love to all.

  6. Is it not the nature of maturing that we come to the awareness of what we have learned too late to return to the teachers who set us upon those paths? I sometimes feel my parents did not hear enough appreciation from me, too. I am sure your parents rejoiced in the personality they had helped to shape. They easily anticipated “delayed” gratitude. You thanked them while they were alive by becoming all and more than they had hoped you would be.

    • Marjorie

      Laurna – Who knows what my parents’ unspoken wishes for their two children may have been? I suspect that they would have deeply hoped that we would be decent, kind and useful adults. Later they would have enlarged the scope to doing a good job in our marriages and as parents ourselves. I know both my sister and I share the same warm memories of Will and Belle Thompson.

  7. Morag Dornian

    Your comments ring true for many of us. As well as expressing more gratitude I wish I had asked more questions of my parents about their youth and family histories. They did share information but parents seem to be too busy to share so many incidents. I try to tell my grandchildren how fortunate they are to have the parents they have and tell them incidents from their parents youth. Sadly, there are some things only parents can pass on and when we realize that it’s too late when they are gone.
    Marjorie, thanks for providing us with so much food for thought.
    May you have a happy and healthy New Year.

    • Marjorie

      Morag – Yes- it is amazing how our own aging changes one’s viewpoint! We see thing differently than we did when we were young. My mother had been a teacher. When I started to put things together for family history, no one could tell me where she took her teacher training. It took Sheldon and me a long time to get the information that one question to her would have answered!
      Thank you for your comments, and wishes for 2015, and I wish the same for you and yours. Luckily I am quite healthy and hope to stay that way. Happy New Year!

  8. Big hug and best wishes for another year!
    Loved your post because it reminded me of my 91-year-old mother’s last words: Her eyes closed, she shouted BE THANKFUL which she repeated (from what we thought was the final coma) over and over, incapable of any voice in her last week. She died within hours.
    It is something we all come to realize as we age, moment by moment even as we do boring tasks or hug our loved ones, or wake up to see another sunny (or even grey) day. 😀
    Happy New Year, Marjorie!

    • Marjorie

      And aren’t we fortunate, Barbara – to have those happy memories. Also to have lived long enough to learn to be grateful. Not everyone is that lucky. 2014 is almost gone. Have a fine 2015 – both of you.