I know you have.
Not a national crisis, 24 hours-of-live-CNN-coverage kind of day. Nothing of that magnitude. It was just little stuff piled on top of more little stuff until somehow, without warning, it became Big Stuff.
All day long.
Which is why I was tired by the time I got home that evening. Tired and cranky. And maybe a little ornery. So when I sat down to dinner with the family, I was ready with a shock-and-awe response to just about anything. Except love.
I noticed the blue paper under my bowl, as I was about to take my first slurp of soup. My first though was that one of the kids had left some homework undone, or that an art project mess had gone uncleaned. So I slipped the paper out from under my bowl and unfolded it to see if I could determine the guilty-soon to be executed- party.
“Dear Joe,” the typewritten note inside the folded blue paper began, “you do such a great job of taking care of our family.”
Still being in my Monday mode, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Who was the “Joe” character, and what was he doing taking care of my family? And who, I wanted to know, was taking the time and trouble to thank him for it on my beautiful blue computer paper?
“I know that we are constantly on your mind.” The note continued, “and I appreciate the little things that you to help make our family happy and well.” Suddenly a warm feeling enveloped me. It started in my chest, where my heart recognized the words of my wife, Anita, and realized that she was writing them to me. The warmth quickly spread to my face, where a goofy grin replaced the furrowed grimace that’d been plastered there when I walked in the door.
“We know we can count on you,” the note continued.
“Whether the need is medication or Godiva ice cream, you are always so willing to make a store run no matter what time it is.”
My face felt red, and I was sure I was starting to blush. I looked up to see if anyone else noticed. But 13-year-old Elizabeth and 11-year-old Jon were both busy reading notes of their own-and smiling. As we finished reading, we all folded our notes and tucked them carefully away. We didn’t share their content. That wasn’t really necessary.
But for the rest of the evening, the entire family shared the wonderful feeling that comes when someone dear to you takes the time to let you know that you are loved and appreciated. I’ll be the first to admit that it isn’t always that way in our home, just as I suspect it isn’t always that way in yours. Sometimes there’s confusion. Sometimes there’s chaos. Sometimes there’s acrimony just this side of mayhem. Even so, the home can be a magical place-a refuge, a haven-where hurts are healed with hugs and where frowns are turned upside down.
And where bad days turn good, with love.