A week into November and I remembered that it is National Gratitude Month. Maybe an entire month devoted to gratitude has been canceled, like so many other happenings this year, or likely, its appearance was buried under election and COVID updates. Maybe we are all feeling pandemic fatigue, leaving us little energy to feel or express gratitude. I know there is some truth to that, especially for those who have been most impacted by the invisible virus that has made our lives visibly challenging. I also know feeling and expressing gratitude can encourage us. My poetic prose, that I wrote before remembering November’s gratitude label, is a story about a woman who learns to not only accept compliments, but cherish them. If you have a difficult time accepting compliments, I hope my story motivates you to embrace each compliment that comes your way.😊Complimentary Jar
Never comfortable with compliments,
dismissed, ignored, or brushed aside,
until she realized
there may come a day
when all forms of admiration
might whisper, then fade away.
From that moment on, her reply
was, Thank you, and How kind.
Treasuring every complimentary word
like a personalized holiday card,
she began receiving and remembering,
then scribbling and placing them in a jar.
What began as a game, a lark,
capturing words, filled up dozens of glass jars.
Receiving words, fortified her fragile heart.
A grateful hand tucking tiny notes inside,
her eyes did light and her soul did smile
whenever, those shelved jars, she brushed by.
thanking, writing, folding, and smiling
complimentary words now sealed inside
Over time adding small cards
became less, then few,
until empty jars, she no longer needed to pursue.
Dust collecting on jars, once see-through,
echoing decades of gracious thank yous,
written with a hand that once held
the gentleness of children, the passion of her darling,
homemade from the oven, a flowing pen –
thanking, writing, folding, and smiling
forgotten words now sealed inside
Until that day when her grandson came by
carrying packing tape, flat boxes, and papers to sign.
Before stepping in, he released a heavy sigh.
His second home, where he found colorful Easter eggs,
where he unwrapped shiny gifts and learned to ride.
Soon, he would be the stranger standing outside.
What are these jars, with tiny folded cards?
the first grandchild, now a grown man,
said to the resting woman.
Waiting … no response forthcoming.
Holding one close to her visage, patient and loving,
a jar, lifted her sleepy eyes, now glowing.
That is a complimentary jar, she said,
Gather the rest, then help me out of this chair.
The notes, he helped her pour and scatter
across the surface where flowing laughter
and meals had been lovingly served.
A family table about to be protected
by bubble wrap and blankets,
now showered with compliments –
tiny cards, in all shapes and sizes,
some tattered, some faded, some blurred.
She grabbed her reading glasses
and a seat and began to read
the kindness, that at one time
she was unable to receive.
Watching her unfold, read, and weep,
her grandson repeated, What are these?
Holding a note and with glistening eyes, she replied,
Oh, dear grandson, it is just a game I have played,
capturing and scribbling words through the years.
Since life now requires that I downsize,
the time has arrived for me to release
my complimentary collection, long sealed.
I will fill up my heart with one final read,
before setting these kind words free.
Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my story. I appreciate you! Have a wonderful weekend. 💖 Michele
Being a Woman poetry book update: I am working on the poems for our third and final collection, titled, “Forthcoming.” A few more poems to go, then my illustrator daughter will bring the poems to life with her creative drawings. Links to our first two Being a Woman Books are on my “About” page. 😊
Photos: Having fun with indoor photography in my indoors.
Copyright © 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.