Words we hear and say automatically. Just what do those words mean?
I checked online for definitions that would lead me to fascinating, column-worthy information. Hmm. Not much, except that the word "thank" came from the word "thought." Well, that didn't do me any good.
So, I looked to my own "thoughts" on the word. Verb or noun? Both.
Yesterday, my sister June told me that her meal had been paid for by strangers. Yes, I had the same happen this year. I was full of warm feelings that brought me to tears. There was no one to recognize or "thank," but my heart grew a few sizes. I felt loved. Hmm. Thanks versus love.
"I didn't get a thank you note, did you?"
Yep, we've all heard it.
Confession: I do not send thank you notes. I feel that timely, personal online notes, phone calls or face to face conversations show a more intimate "thank you" than a stamp and a card. Conservationist.
"Yes, but social media is so impersonal."
Well, is it? A note of warmth shared with many serves to show grateful feelings as well as the generosity of the person for whom you are thankful.
Yes, I have given up the old ways and have moved on to sharing immediately and warmly. There is nothing wrong with notes. All forms of gratefulness are special.
All forms? My dad would do a thumbs-up when the roar of farm equipment covered our voices. Sometimes it was a simple OK sign. His eyes and smile were the true words. A mere head-shake, a twinkle in the eyes or a smile conveys what words alone cannot express. Hugs and tears are the warmest form of thanks.
Wow, so many ways to express a feeling of love and gratitude.
Why love? "Thank you" doesn't mean love. Maybe not for you, but whenever I hold a door for someone, help someone get their packages to their car, put a Band-Aid on a wound, make someone smile or write a column, I am giving love.
And, in reverse, when I receive it, I see recognition and connection that I call love. A bond created by action. A word that can change a mood, an outlook, a direction of someone's day. The grateful heart.
I think perhaps that "thanks" serves the giver and the receiver equally. When a stranger tosses a "thank you" to me, I give back 100%, making it personal.
When someone holds a door, "have a wonderful day" can give pause to the stranger. There is warmth and caring each time the words are said, the thumbs are up, the nod and the smile when returned with sincerity. Signs of "thanks."
You can't see it, but I'm giving you all a thumbs-up for your continued support. For you, I am indeed thankful.
Pass it on.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at email@example.com.