Sometimes, I am overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and love from my family.
Of course, family is supposed to love you. That’s kind of the deal, right? That’s the way it’s supposed to work. Our family is no exception, and we express our care for one another in a multitude of ways.
But even still, there are times when I am caught off guard by tokens of affection, even by people who have spent my entire life giving it.
I suppose I’m not the most gracious of recipients when it comes to gifts, compliments, or other generosities. Sometimes it’s just that I’ve allowed life to carry me through way too fast, and I only realize after the fact that I didn’t properly thank the giver. At times I have a bad habit of waving off a genuine, heartfelt compliment, as if I don’t deserve the gift given to me. (A bad habit, to be sure.) Still other times, I’m caught off guard, almost shocked by the gift, and I don’t know what to say.
But deep in my chest, my heart is warmed. As I soak it all in, I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know what to say to express my joy.
I’ve always had a fondness for cooking, but in my early adult years, I didn’t have much skill to go along with it. Over time, I started to try to teach myself. I bought books and learned a few fundamentals. Then, in late 2007, I began truly focusing my interest. By mid-2008, I started this blog. At that same time, my parents took notice – and they encouraged it. There were gifts of knives, bowls, books, a chef’s jacket, and a slew of handy cooking utensils. As time went on, they continued to encourage. (So did my loving husband, who is my consultant, confidant, critic, and a daily source of inspiration and motivation, and has helped this blog grow from a little baby blog into something much more sophisticated and beautiful. He continues to give more than I can imagine.) They would willingly indulge in any creations that came from my kitchen, and would boast to friends and family about my latest activities, almost to the point of my embarrassment. But that’s the job of any loving parent.
Still, when “Cooky Sue” arrived, I was unprepared for her. “Cooky Sue” is a carving, given to me by my Dad. You see, Dad started carving as a hobby a few years ago. He enjoys it a great deal, and he has considerable talent, winning several awards at various competitions all over the state. He has always been an artist, and has always enjoyed woodworking in various forms, but I think that carving is an area where his skills and creativity meet and flourish. He has excellent attention to detail and incredible patience – two things I lack – and his ability to “see” his art as he works, to envision a final piece, is something that will always amaze me.
“Cooky Sue” is one of his best pieces. And he made it for me. It’s hard to express how “big” of a deal that is. Whenever someone spends hours upon hours creating something, ensuring every detail is carefully tended to, just for me, it’s hard to respond appropriately to such a gift. It’s a beautiful carving – and it is displayed proudly in my living room. There are no words that can express how I feel about it though. I’m honored, and I’m a little taken aback at the same time.
So I wanted to spend a moment to slow down and share my appreciation for my loved ones – my parents, my husband, my kids, my family and friends. Life goes by too fast, and I don’t feel I always give my best in return. Sometimes, you just have to surrender and accept that the best people in your life love you, and some are going to do their darndest to express it. And I’m incredibly thankful for that.