My dad informed me at 10 pm last night that his buddies from the Disabled Veterans of America need the veteran angel tree presents Wednesday. We get two every year. Since we have a niece going to school and staying with us this year, we got three. So tonight off we go to get the gifts they requested which are usually simple everyday kind of things. I love doing this particular holiday tradition.
As I was driving in today, I was discussing with myself (yes, I talk and answer myself, ha) how to sign the accompanying Christmas card. Thank you just seems so inadequate. I mean what is thank you to someone who laid their life on the line for you and was permanently wounded in the process. How can those words mean anything? Aren't there deeper words that would more completely convey how you feel? What are they and how do I find them?
Are they in a dictionary, a therasus? Is the word gratitude too grandiose? Do I use a word too airly, too formal, too common?
Then I started laughing, right out loud. Only a writer would struggle so to find that perfect word that describes that perfect feeling. Only a writer would agonize over such perfection.
Every year my office plays dirty santa for our Christmas party (or should that be its??) and since our soldiers have been at war at Christmas, I have taken that money and sent it to them. And most of these like Treats for Troops or Operation Gratitude have posted letters back from the troops. They all seem to say the same thing. That the simple thank you, I'm praying for you, be safe, take care, I'll check on your family, mean the most to them.
There's no need to search for a perfect word or phrase. There is power in thank you. In just the simple act of giving you say how much you care.
This all related back to our Sunday School lesson where our teacher had pictures of our Savior and played a song and had us think on all those things He did, what seem to touch us that day. I fixated on His tender bathing of His disciples' feet. So a simple act, so full of example, love, humbleness and perfect sweetness.
The simpliest acts are the most powerful, perhaps so are the simpliest words. As writers we enjoy (and bemoan) our search for the perfect word only to find the simple ones really are the best ones.