What has your Mother done for you?
How do you say thanks for decades of care?
A basket of flowers just doesn't cut it.
My mom did EVERYTHING for me. And I don't know how to say thanks.
When it comes to orders of infinite gratitude, word's can't express anything. Words are limited.
Words limit. The Rabbis that codified the Jewish Prayer Service declared certain prayers to be "closed" to additions or emendations. The thinking behind this "closing" is that - by adding to that which is already perfectly worded you can only subtract.
I however, do not have the silver quill of a refined writer, nor do I have the clarity of expression of a poet. I once expressed my feelings by writing music, but even music has it's limits. There are some emotions, some feelings, that transcend everything. No parent can describe their love for their child. There are no words that can bottle that emotion. There are some times that there is no real way to say thanks.
My uncle used to host our large family thanksgiving dinner. The entire extended family would pile into his home every year, rain, snow, sleet or shine. The men and the boys watched and played football. The kids ran around messing up all my aunts beautifully laid out table arrangements. To this day, I can still feel the rug burn we used to get butt-bump-racing down their shag carpeted stairs (ahh, the memories). My uncle would invariably take FOREVER to carve the turkey, which in retrospect, gave us all an opportunity to enjoy our time together for a little longer.
At the beginning of the Thanksgiving Meal, my Uncle Al ("the kiddies pall!") would stand up (as I'm sure he will again today) and give thanks for everything he had to be thankful for.
He spoke from the heart.
As a new father, I'm beginning to appreciate everything he said. To stand up in front of family and friends, to openly express your thanks to G-d for your wife, your family, your children, your parents, your relatives and your friends is an amazing experience.
Two years ago my parents retired and fulfilled their lifelong dream of moving to Israel. While my father is still stateside regularly on business (he's not ready for retirement quite yet), I have not seen my mother since the birth of my son Ari this summer. As the old saying goes - you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone. These past two years have given me an opportunity to appreciate everything my parents put into me, everything my family has given me, everything I have been blessed with.
I don't know how to say thank you for everything.
I know that I will mess-up again in the foreseeable future; not calling often enough, not replying to emails soon enough, not being patient enough. I will make mistakes that I will regret soon thereafter. But for now, in the limited way that I can, I just want to say thanks.
Thanks mom, for everything.