My brother thanks you. My daughter thanks you. And I thank you. With apologies to James Cagney and George M. Cohan

Yesterday one of my brothers thanked me for being his sister. Not that I had anything to do with it, but as he said, some sisters don’t act like sisters. Maybe the thanks had something to do with the fact I read him bedtime stories when he was little or that I let him live with me for a time when he moved to my town. I was best “man” at his wedding, too.
A long time ago of my daughters thanked me. Just as she was graduating high school and getting ready to leave home she said thanks for letting her see a side of me that wasn’t mom…that there was more to me than that. Not to diminish “mom,” but that it was not my total identity, that women are many things.
I deliberately do not use the word role here. (Role from the French roule originally meaning the roll of paper on which an actor’s part is written.) I do not like the connotation.
My husband has thanked me many times for loving him and marrying him and being his wife. All of those are different actions and he seems to recognize that.
My point is that one doesn’t always know what fruit will be reaped from the seeds one sows by simply being oneself. These thank-yous have borne in on me a profound sense of gratitude that I am part of the harvest.


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