I returned a favor that I've benefitted every day of my life so far and will continue to benefit from for the rest of my life.
I have these wonderful grandparently people in my life that I am so blessed by. My genetic grandparents lived far away when I was growing up. Enter in the kind neighbors. They helped raise all the kids in the neighborhood. They invited us over for dinner and were understanding when we didn't like what they had lovingly made. They helped entertain us during the summer and gave our parents much needed breaks. They loved us and took care of us. They told us as we grew when we were screwing up and not to be brats.
Sometimes we listened and became better people. Sometimes.... we didn't.
I know that I'm indebted to these wonderful people. That's not lost on me. Every so often I get an opportunity to say thank you in little ways. For Christmas, Grandma M said she hadn't been able to do her usual cookies and canning for Christmas baskets. I let her know that it was okay and then I gave her some of what I canned this summer.
I also knew they didn't have a wreath this year. So I got one for them and had a little helper deliver it to their porch with a decorative bow on it that I'd made. It's not much really, but it's a little way that I can show my appreciation.
I was talking to Grandma M recently on the phone and she mentioned the wreath to me. She was pumping me for info and trying to see if I was the one who provided it for them. I simply told her "You and Grandma R have done a lot of really nice things for a lot of people over the years. Maybe someone just wanted to return the favor." I think she knows it was me.
I can never stop telling them thank you though. It's my obligation and right to tell them that they had a hand in helping raise me when my parents didn't know what to do with me anymore. I was a total pain in the ass. Anybody surprised?