I will be telling a story about my grandmother (Nana) on Sunday, but there was one attempt to honor her long ago that didn’t go as we expected. Thought it might be encouraging to all of you looking for that “perfect” way to honor moms this week.
Our family made the trek to the family farm to check on my grandmother while she was recovering from a medical problem. After we check on her in the rehab facility, we went out to the farm and decided we would really clean her home. Our biggest project was the kitchen. Every square inch of counter space was covered with utensils, pans, cooking staples, and spices, as well as the proverbial grease from a woman who had fried virtually every day of her life. My bride worked so hard on that project, and as she cleaned, I put things away. Two hours later, the kitchen was spotless, and everything was back in the cabinets where they belonged.
I was about 30 minutes from home when I called my sister to report about my grandmother’s recovery and tell her what we had accomplished. We were so excited to think of her returning home to that spotless kitchen. And then my sister broke the news to us.
“You know why her kitchen is like that now?”
“I thought she was too tired to really clean it,” I said.
“No . . . it’s because her shoulders are so worn out that she can’t lift her arm higher than the counter.”
We looked at each other in the car, groaned about her condition, and then roared with laughter over our misdirected kindness. “Well, I feel like an idiot,” I said to my sister. I will not type her appropriate but snarky remark!
But then she said something that redeemed it all. “You know, it really is the thought that counts.” And our thoughts that day had been of a woman who had loved us so well, who had modeled patience and sacrifice so well, who had been one of the most precious people in my world. And even in our blunder, we had worked hard to communicate that.
My sister broke the news to my grandmother. It was, indeed, the thought that counted to her, as well.