As we continue to settle my father’s estate (well over a year since his death), there have been some good surprises and some not so good surprises.
There have been plenty of flat out inconveniences.
I like to talk about this in reference to my dad’s mischievous character, “Here he is still turning the screws a year after his death.”
In reality, some of these things are the types of things I would do to my family left behind after I died because I share many of the same traits as my father. I antagonize, I ruffle feathers, but I do so mostly with a kind heart and a sense of fun. I wrote about this in his eulogy.
This week, there was a good surprise. A disbursement of funds from the estate I had no idea was coming and so it was quite literally a complete windfall.
At other times in my life, my first thought might have been “what can I pay off,” or “what can I buy for myself?” I won’t lie, I had those thoughts, but only after I thought;
“What can I give?”
Whether it was inherent to who I was meant to be or whether I’m simply a product of the things I learned in my youth, my alma mater’s motto of “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew, 10:8) has grown in its importance to my life.
It is why I like to think about the “unsung” — those who impact our lives so tangibly yet rarely receive the thanks they deserve.
It is why I feel comfortable enjoying some of the spoils of my riches…because at the same I try to go out of my way to support those in need.
I’ve spoken of Blanca many times before and tomorrow she will be here once again making my life new again. Cleaning, organizing, surprising me with these beautiful white trays which she bought for me.
In my kitchen, the condiments used to sit on top of paper towel in the kitchen. In the bathroom, the endless array of gay beauty secrets sat plainly on the laminate countertop.
I came home one day and found the items arranged carefully and tastefully upon little white trays that were purchased by Blanca out of her own funds and on my behalf.
There are many ways she surprises me and I do my best to surprise Blanca also. I made her a beautiful pillow case, I tip her thoughtfully and always with a message as to why she enriches my life.
We have a special “white board” on my refrigerator which is only for me and her to use to communicate.
And tomorrow, underneath the whiteboard, is how I am “freely giving” what I have “freely received.” I wrote a check for a full week’s salary as a thank you.
It doesn’t take a grand gesture to thank those who matter to you. The hardest part is facing the sometimes certain reality that you probably hold within you a lot of appreciation for those in your life that you’ve not taken the time to express.
Sometimes just a simple and heartfelt thank you is all you need.
Grand gestures are also beloved.