Many moms got exactly the gift they wanted on Mother’s Day last weekend: time with the kids. For empty nesters, there’s much joy when the house fills up again even for just a few hours. Many of our adult children don’t realize how much we value spending time together.
Once when I was in Switzerland, I met a local woman who went out of her way to show me around the resort town of St. Moritz. She refused payment - and even my attempt to pay for lunch. When I finally had time to pick up a gift for her, it was Sunday, and all the shops were closed. Except, of course, the touristy one. So I bought her a box of chocolates. I gave a Swiss woman a box of Swiss chocolates! Fail.
Whether you've had a lifelong sibling rivalry or been the best of friends, sibling relationships can be very difficult to navigate when caring for an aging parent . I am in contact with many family caregivers, and I often hear about conflict between siblings around caregiving decisions and responsibilities. Some are at such odds that they either don't communicate or have a great deal of trouble doing so. Others say that a simple expression of appreciation would go a long way in easing the sibling tension.
Do you remember when you were a child and the Sears catalog would arrive right before the holidays and you, or at least I would, go through and circle everything you wanted for Christmas? It had all the presents you could want in one place. I can hear my father right now saying, "Did you leave anything for anyone else?" I would always have a split second of guilt, but it quickly passed.
You'd think that it would be easy to express gratitude -- after all, giving thanks should come naturally, right? But the fact of the matter is that people can often have a hard time committing an act that requires such a revelation of true feelings. Which is why Walter Green put together a guide for gratitude, which also identifies things that prohibit us from giving thanks. His first couple of tokens of wisdom:
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