How does one adequately thank others for kindness?
Of course there are the words "thank you" or "I really appreciate what you have done for me".
Very often words are just not enough.
For me and all the kindness that has been shown to me and my family, words are definitely not enough.
I don't even know where to begin?
There are people who are raising me up when I literally can not stand, and raising money for a future that is unknown and I can not fathom to understand. People I love taking us on a trip of a lifetime and creating memories and making me laugh and forget even if it is just for a little while. Friends offering loving words - people from my distant past, my immediate past, and some new friends from my future. Past students, past parents, current students and parents, my children's friends, old boyfriends, people I have loved and have loved me back. People planning events, making me lunch, watching me cry, offering us shoulders, and time, and generosity beyond our wildest dreams. Messages, cards, hugs, sentimental jewelry, spiritual guidance, texts, videos of their cute kids, meatballs, including me, remembering me.
Understanding my deep, deep seeded fear of being forgotten.
How does one adequately thank others for such kindness?
I don't know. And every time I am offered such a kindness I do an internal double take. Is it me? Am I the one with ALS? Am I the one that has the uncertain future? Am I the one who is being taken care of in such a remarkable way by my husband, and parents, and children, and family, and friends, and community? Am I the one in this physically and emotionally vulnerable situation?
How does one thank others for this type of kindness?
I think it is to continue to be kind yourself. Continue to pay it forward. To show people that even when one is presented with a devastating illness, you continue to be kind. To show people that those who take care of you and love you are always worthy of your kindness. To show strangers that even though you are in a precarious situation yourself, you always have enough love inside of you to be kind. Say hello to the stranger in the elevator, give the homeless man a few bucks, wave to the baby in the airport. Smile at the man offering his arm to you on the airplane, listen to the lady tell her story on line at the donut shop, and make sure you really didn't hurt the gentleman you almost ran over with your scooter. Throw away another's garbage, forgive others when they have made a silly mistake, hold the door for as many people who choose to walk through it. Check on a sick friend, return a kind email, and pass on some of your strength to another when they are running low.
There are an infinite amount of ways one can be kind. That is how I choose to say thank you.