"Thank you, God … Thank you, God"

I mentioned in my last post that I would elaborate on the story about my mom and her infamous prayer, “Thank you, God … Thank you, God.”  Since I have no breadcrumbs handy to throw along the path I am constantly weaving through my blog, and being ADD, I will never be able to find my way back here any time soon, I figure I probably should tell it now.  It’s a cute story, and one of my memories of her that makes me smile (some of them can still cause a disturbance … think something in between I Love Lucy and Throw Mama from the Train, and you’re getting close.)
Gratitude has been on my mind this week anyway, so it will all tie in.
Yesterday I had another of my train rides down to San Francisco.  I realized as I began the journey, that I hadn’t actually done this yet in the winter.  It was a chilly 34 degrees as I walked toward the train in Auburn bundled in my winter duds (I know for some people reading this, you might consider this warm, but for us lightweight Californians from San Francisco, this is pretty cold.)
I was excited for the ride, but as I secured a seat that I thought would offer me solitude for at least an hour of the journey (not many people get on in Auburn, only gets busy around Sacramento) instead another commuter sits right across from me in an empty car.  (Really?  Isn’t there such a thing as train etiquette?)
Since I didn’t think he’d really understand if I asked him to move up a few rows, I gave up on visiting with Solitude on this trip.  But to my delight, my fellow commuter fell fast asleep immediately (we board the train at 6:30 a.m.)  Awww, Solitude found his way to me … Thank you, God … Thank you, God.
As we pulled out of the station, it was dark, and I could only navigate the journey with lights here and there, the courthouse as we rounded the first bend, and the city lights of Roseville far off in the distance.  I searched the darkness in an effort to recognize where we were, and for most of the initial 30 minutes it was a guess.  I began to contemplate how much this experience was mimicking life.  We find ourselves on the train heading for parts unknown in the dark for the most part, with only markers along the way helping us to feel secure.
What a journey we humans face … reason enough to always grant ourselves some slack when we aren’t doing as well as we’d like.
I was mesmerized peering out the window on my old adventure in a new light.  About fifteen minutes into the ride, the sun began to rise ever so slowly, painting an incredibly beautiful skyline for Solitude and I to enjoy ( luckily no train etiquette man slept through it all.)  The colors alone merited my gratitude, the numerous shades of pink and blue and yellow I found myself enjoying for the next hour.
The experience made me think about gratitude, that it was once again time to remind myself of how important gratitude is in keeping my heart both happy and healthy.  We humans have so much to be upset about, but we have an equal amount to celebrate.  Simple pleasures are highly underrated.
As the skyline was taking her third bow for the exquisite performance (something I really don’t care for is being a part of the audience of a play, all the curtain calls for extra bows, once is enough, I can clap louder if you want) I heard my mom’s voice, Thank you, God … Thank you, God, which reminded me to share the story.
My mom was not what one would call a religious woman (UNDERSTATEMENT!)
I will suffice it to say, she had a tough life.  And entering a church was possibly not something my mom did many times in her life.  Her childhood precluded much for her, but nonetheless she found her own belief, and it surely included God.  It just didn’t involve religion.
During the last year of my mom’s life, she was on hospice.  I can’t say enough about the care provided by those angels.  Over the year, Hospice sent out many loving nurses, but also a spiritual worker who would come to visit both my mom and I on a regular basis.  The first time she came, I sat back letting her interact with my mom …  holding my breath.  I half expected my mom to throw her out.  And while my mom allowed her to stay and visit, it was clear to me (maybe not the hospice worker) that she was on shaky ground.  But in time, they found a common ground, and my mom came to enjoy her visits.
Near the end of my mom’s life, this lovely woman arrived one day to pray with us.  Having come to understand my mom’s reluctance, she asked ever so politely if we could pray together, the three of us. My mom answered so sweetly, “oh sure.”  What my mom didn’t understand was that the hospice worker wanted to say the prayer (uh-oh).
As the hospice worked began to recite her prayer, I think maybe she got a line in before my mom interrupted her (my mom who is weak beyond weak finds her strength to interrupt and stop this woman’s prayer … that’s my mom.)
My mom rallies and says, “No, I will say my own prayer,” with a little bit of attitude, if I am honest.  Of course, the sweet hospice worker glances my way, welcoming my mom’s prayer.
The three of us holding hands, raise our hearts to the heavens, moments passing and finally my mom utters these words …
“Thank you, God  …   Thank you, God.”
I wish I had a recording of the prayer, because it’s all in the sound of her voice, the intonations.  The best I can do to describe her words is that you could hear her faith, her reluctance, her pain and her frustration all combined, the words thank you in a normal pitch, but such an emphasis on GOD, an almost guttural pronunciation of the G in God.
When my mom had chanted her prayer twice, the room fell silent.  Was this sweet hospice woman waiting for the rest of the prayer which would not be forthcoming?  I’m thinking she probably was.  But when enough time had lapsed that she knew my mom’s prayer was complete, she so graciously closed our time together.  She will never know how much those closing prayers meant to me and I’m guessing my mom as well … one of the reasons I love the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, because you just never know what you give to others.  And in the end, while we can dress up gratitude with many fancy words, thank you says it all.
As I began this post, I will finish this post … we are blind to our paths and equally blind to what we offer others.
I close by offering Namaste accompanied with my mom’s sweet prayer, Thank You, God … Thank you, God.
 
 
 
 

2 Comments

  1. LOVELY!!!!!! So appreciate your gifts you share! Big hugs, Tracey~
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    • Thank you, and your efforts in the world both in hospice and every which direction you branch out to help others. Bigger hugs to you …xoxoxo


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