Most families have quirky little traditions that end up passed on for generations. It might be great-grandma Jean’s annual chocolate pie for Thanksgiving, or mom’s drawing little pictures on napkins in a packed lunch. They aren’t exactly world-changing, but every time you see something that you just know was “uncle John,” it makes you smile. This particular family had a habit of hiding special notes around the house for each other to find, and when dad got sick, she hid one last note and hoped for the best…
We arrived at the hospital to find Dad exhausted and weak, but his smile was as sure as ever. It was another bout of pneumonia. My husband and I stayed the weekend, but had to return to our jobs. Local relatives would take care of him, but I longed to be able to let him know that we cared too, even when we weren’t with him.
Then I remembered a family tradition I initiated when our children were small. As I tidied up Dad’s kitchen and made up a bed for him downstairs, I began writing notes. Some were practical: “Dad, I froze the casserole that was in the fridge.” Some expressed my love: “I hope you sleep well in your new bed.” Most notes were left downstairs, where he would be confined for several weeks until he regained strength.
We stayed in touch by phone, but our notes were a tangible reminder of our love and concern for him. Several weeks later I asked Dad how he was doing.
He said,”I just found your note under my upstairs pillow.”
My note read: “Dad, if you have found this note, you must be feeling better. We are so glad!”
It was a scary time. Illness after illness, he just kept trying, giving it his all to try and recover. She knew that if he never found the note, it would mean the end, and she was so relieved when her father finally found it hidden away.
Does your family have any special traditions?
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