Giving Thanks

October 17, 2007
By Shelbey Wanner, Lovelock, NV

How many times a day do you say thank you to a helping hand or appreciate another’s act of kindness? Leo Buscoglia once said, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring. All of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Well, Leo was right in saying that. A lot of people do it, including me. So right now, I am going to take the time to appreciate the four people who have done the most for me and have always been there for me.

My grandpa is one of the nicest persons I have ever met. He is always showing me how much he cares about me and I love that about him. He also tells me how proud he is of me every time he sees me. That is such a powerful saying, and it warms my heart every time he says it. Those words are not said often enough in our house, and I wish they were. My grandpa is always teaching me something new. Every time he teaches me something, I will remember it forever and carry that knowledge with me everywhere I go, along with all the memories of the things we did and the games we played while I was growing up.

My grandma is a small, sweet lady. Not once have I heard her raise her voice at someone. Instead, she just gives them a look, a look of disappointment. This look expresses more feelings than any words possibly could. I wish I could learn that special talent of hers so I could stop yelling so much. I might not have learned it yet, but she has taught me other things. My grandma is the one who got me interested in reading. For as long as I can remember, she has given me books to read, even when I hated reading. I finally picked up one of her books she let me borrow and started reading. Now I can’t stop. My love for reading soon turned into love for writing, and she is the one who supplied me with my first calligraphy set. Writing calligraphy soon became another hobby for me. I then started putting my own writings into calligraphy. Little did I know that those calligraphy formatted writings would soon become a part of my Wall of Words. Reading and writing are a huge part of my life now, and I am glad it was my grandma who helped me get started.

My dad is another big part of my life. Although we are constantly fighting and we never see eye-to-eye, I still love him. He always makes sure I get the best grades, and he pushes me to be better. He is always on my case about school, life after college, and getting a good job. His lectures annoy me after a while, but I am glad he gives them. It shows me that he cares about my future and about me, and I know he will never give up on me.

Then there is my mom, my all-time number one hero. She is my best friend, and I could not ask for a better mom. I cannot even begin to explain everything she has done for me and helped me with, for that would be a book all on its own. She practically bends over backwards for me and I cannot put into words how grateful I am for her. There is one thing about her that I love the most, and it is a shame that more people do not have the ability to do it. I absolutely love how well my mom can read me. For instance, have you ever been asked if you were okay and you said yes, but really you were falling apart inside? Have you ever wanted that person to just know that something was wrong with you so you didn’t have to tell them about it first? Have you ever wanted that person to just hold you close and tell you that everything is going to be okay? My mom does just that for me. I do not open up to people very well and I cannot confront someone if I have a problem. My mom can always tell when I am upset and try to hide it. She usually says, “Tell the truth,” and just hearing those three words makes me break and tell her everything. Because she can do this, it makes it easier to talk to her when something is bothering me. Without her forcing me to talk, a lot of things would have stayed inside my head, and that could have been bad, possibly even dangerous.

Everyone should show that they care for others, and everyone should always thank the people who have helped them in some way. So Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad, thank you for everything you have done for me and making the person I am today. To everyone else I did not mention, thank you. Every one of you has made me a better person and I could not have done it without you.
A simple act of kindness can be life changing. Are you going to be that person who changes someone’s life because you showed them in some way that you cared?

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