How often do you tell your family and friends how much they mean to you? Susan Meier talks about Barbara Bush's legacy and how it made her think about the blessings in her own life.
The week Barbara Bush died, I watched an interview she gave to her granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager. Mrs. Bush ended the piece by saying how blessed she was. Then, casually, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, she turned to Jenna and said, “You’re one of my blessings.” Her granddaughter teared up. So did I.
It was a tender moment to be sure. Something I wish we’d see more of on TV. But that wasn’t why I teared up. The tears came because I wondered what it would feel like to have someone tell me I was one of their blessings. Just as quickly, I wondered who were my blessings? If I were to write letters to the people in my life who had been blessings, who would get one?
Or is that something better said face to face?
I’d have to say it face-to-face to my husband. He doesn’t text, have email or even like to read his regular mail. I know when I say it, he’ll get gruff and change the subject, but he’ll hear. And appreciate it.
My kids would be next. I could text Sarah and send Allen an email. But I’d probably write each an old-fashioned paper letter, so they could keep it and maybe read it occasionally to remember that I love them, and they were a blessing. Even if they don’t feel it at the time.
That’s when I realized all the blessing letters should be on paper. Everybody who gets one will want to keep it to pull out on days when they don’t feel their own worth. Maybe on days they doubt themselves. Maybe on days they suffer a loss. Maybe on days they are just plain tired.
But after I send the letters, I also want to remember to tell my husband, kids, children, siblings, and friends at least once a year that it is a blessing to have them in my life. I think the face-to-face thing has value. I could almost see the warmth wash through Jenna when called a blessing by her beloved grandma. And Barbara Bush was beloved.
Not because of her trademark pearls or because she’d been a First Lady. Because she was kind. Because she really saw people and their worth. And because she was smart enough to say it. In fact, I think she was smart in general.
The day of the interview, assisted by a walker as she strolled on a pier with Jenna, she wasn’t in any hurry. I’m sure the walker slowed her down. But there was a casualness about her, a sort of acknowledgement that time was precious, and she intended to use it wisely, to be aware of every second, and that made her blessing statement even more powerful. Though I thought both Barbara and Jenna were lucky, I didn’t envy them. I’m old enough now to know that when you see someone doing something that touches your soul you copy it.
Barbara wouldn’t mind.
Susan's most recent book is The Spanish Millionaire's Runaway Bride. For more information, you can visit her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Have you ever taken the time to write a letter to someone you consider a blessing? Is it something you try to tell them every day? Who do you consider to be a blessing in your life? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on our Social Media.