Does anyone else have that one person in their lives that makes them feel beautiful in any weather? A person who seems to exude sunlight, smiles rainbows, smells like what you imagine mother Earth should smell like, and leaves a trail of fairy dust behind them? No? Well, I do, and I am incredibly lucky.
A few decades ago I was blessed with a new (to me) cousin, who was given up for adoption and then later reacquainted with our family. He and his whole family were amazing, and we all were so happy that we were able to reconnect with him and have a new family of faces to love. After a while I lost contact with him, thanks in part to my horrible inability to contact the people that I love. Years later Facebook reintroduced us, and I’m so glad that it did. His daughters, all grown up, are beautiful and wonderful to talk to, he is older and wiser and looking exceptionally like the rest of the men in my family, (biology, right!?) but who I really connected with was his wife.
As far as what’s on the outside, we should have nothing in common. I value material things, I watch too much TV, I don’t spend enough time appreciating the things that I have or the people that I love – and she is the opposite. She hears and sees and smells everything, takes time to say nice things to everyone, and I highly doubt she would ever yell at her dog for barfing on the floor. (My dog is gross like that. I still love him.)
Being introduced to her opened up a whole new part of me that I didn’t know existed. She really does see beauty in everything and everyone, and you feel beautiful just being near her. Hell, we live a day’s drive away from each other, and when she texts me, I feel wonderful. What did I do to deserve to know someone so amazing?
I am trying my best to take parenting cues from her (and my cousin) as I think that they are amazing parents, and they have the sweetest little kids in the whole world. When I get stressed out, I like to think of what she would do. (The answer, almost always, is meditate). I have been inspired to find the better parts of myself thanks to her, and I don’t think there was anyone else who could have shown me these little snippets of goodness. I know my husband tries to highlight my goodness, and I’m so grateful for him, but there is something to be said for having someone in your life who owes you no extra kindnesses, who needn’t expend any extra energy on you because they don’t know you, who wants to get to know you, and loves you once they do. She chose to love me even after she found out how crazy I am, and she actively tries to make me feel good. What more could you ask out of another human? She expects nothing from me, puts up with me being horrible at communication, and loves me through all of the days that I don’t feel like a good person. She inspires and encourages me every day, and I will never be able to repay her for her kindness has softened my heart. I can feel her energy with me every day, and I honestly believe that she was the catalyst that put me on the right track to being a better person. My daughters love her, my husband loves her, my dog loves her, find me someone that doesn’t love her and I’ll straight up punch them in the face. (I’m sure she wouldn’t approve of that, but I can’t be good all the time!)
Long story short, this is my thank-you letter. I was always taught that when someone shows you a kindness you repay it the best way that you can; and writing a letter is the way to see me in my finest form. Thank-you, Mrs Meadows, for helping me to feel good about myself at a time in my life when I didn’t believe there was anything good left about me. I will spend the rest of my life making sure that I do you and your family proud.