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Eyes up, heart open

Carla Ten Eyck

the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me

Today would be my Mom’s 65th birthday. She loved birthdays while we were little and always put so much effort into our cakes and our backyard parties! I am filled with such great birthday memories, thanks to her! So in honor of my Mom, who was the champion of the underdog like crazy… and who also loved an unsung good deed, I am going to out one of my favorite people and let her know that she has done the most kind thing for me in my whole life. Ever.

To prep: I am not going to totally out this person, because in knowing her, I know she would be super shy about it, and most likely would not want the unwanted attention of people knowing how incredibly thoughtful and kind she was. I will call her B. Those of you who know me will be able to figure out who she is, because she is one of my o.g. besties Mom. So some anonymity. But not entirely, sorry!

While my Mom was wasting away in the hospital for years she got few visitors. Our family visited as much as we could, of course, but for people outside of our immediate family there were very very few people who took the time to go in and see how she was doing. B would ask me regularly how my Mom was. Her Mom was also sick, and so we had this sick Mom connection, this sad point of understanding that once you have, you appreciate. But you don’t want it.  B would not only go in and visit my Mom, she would bring in her favorite books to share with my Mom, who, like me, was an avid reader. She appreciated that  so much, I am not sure B even knows. I actually still have a book that B loaned my Mom- Yellow Raft in Blue Water I think it is called. It sits on my shelf, waiting to be returned. But I am slow to do it. It was one of the last books my Mom read, and she loved it. I have not read it yet, nor have I returned it. But I will.

While my Mom was in the hospital I was pregnant with my daughter, who Dave and I decided to name in honor of my Mom. Georgie. What a special name for a little girl. I had no idea how fitting this big name would be for my Georgie, holy smokes. I knew that my Mom would not be able to be there for the birth, tho we would talk longingly about her being there. ‘Maybe, if you get out you can be in the room’ we thought. So optimistic! Sadly, that was not meant to be, and we were both really sad about it.

Georgie’s birth comes about and she was delivered in about 3 pushes! Viola. Here I am, let’s cuddle! Afterwards, Susannah came in for a visit and waited until we were alone for a bit. She sat down and said something to the effect of how she is about to give me something that is going to make me very emotional, and she is sorry, but she has to.  She then hands me a beautifully wrapped gift and card. They are from my Mom. My Mom, stuck in a hospital with no place to get anything. B had gone in and knowing G’s room fairy theme bought two beautiful wood fairies and a card for my Mom to write to me. I bawled like a crazy person when I read this card. Half of which doesn’t make sense, as she is oxygen deprived. But this sweet card, and this even sweeter gesture leaves me reeling far longer than just that afternoon. It is something I have never, nor will I ever, forget. I think about it every day. A small gesture to B, most likely. She is just that kind of thoughtful person. It made a huge impact on me, and how I think of others. How small, simple freedoms like not being hospital bound and able to drive and do things for others can truly impact how others view life. But also that she knew how a daughter would want her Mom there with her in the hospital, as she gave birth to her own daughter.

For my Mom’s 5 year anniversary I decided to do something to memorialize her. A tattoo seemed like the way to go, and my older sister Tere had the brilliant idea to take my Mom’s signature, and in her own writing, have it tattooed on her wrist a few years back. I saw that and immediately felt like I had to have that too. So I waited a few years. At her 5th I asked Tere if she minded if I got one too, but from a card that my Mom had written to me. Now me and my two older sisters all have my Mom’s signature on our wrists. A place where we can see it every day, and remember her.

Mine is from my Mom’s signature from the card that B got for my Mom. Thank you B, so, so much from the bottom of my very full heart… I cannot tell you how much your small gesture meant to me, and will continue to mean to me! I am so lucky to be able to see this reminder every day..!

XOXO

8 Comments

  • I’m a little teary reading this… you know how sentimental I am! A small gesture has now become a part of you… forever. So special. xo

    Reply
  • Jazzy Ginko Biloba

    When I read her card to you this morning, I didn’t know what I was reading. What an amazing gift to have been given. Happy birthday to your mom C10! xoxo

    Reply
  • Shannon Grant

    Tears are streaming down my face. This makes me want to be such a better person! Thank you for sharing such a personal story… <3

    Reply
  • love you carla. thanks so much for sharing something so personal & reminding me to be thankful of what i have. xoxo

    Reply

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