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Thread: Thank you or no thank you?

  1. #1
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    My husband, son and I got a package in the mail last night. We opened it to find a bunch of odds and ends and knick knacks and such. Then with a card. The box was from my husband's aunt. She lives in Michigan and we live in Washington.

    In the card she states that she has stage 4 cancer (yes we did know) and that she doesn't know how long she has and wants everyone to have a piece of her. So she picked out some of her things for us to have.

    She was only diagnosed a few months ago. From what I have heard the doctors told her that she could still potentially live a very long life. But she is taking it like her life is over. The gesture of giving us some of her things is sweet and will be treasured. But how do I go about thanking her? Sending her a thank you card that says thanks for giving us your stuff because you think you are dying just seems wrong (lol no I wouldn't really word it like that but that's what I feel like a thank you note would come across as) I feel like I should say something or acknowledge this somehow but am at a loss as to what I should do.

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Could you send a holiday card and just mention that you received the package and it was very thoughtful of her?

  3. #3
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    Question:

    Are these non-essential things (dust collectors) that she sent to you?

    If so, I would just send a note saying something like - Thank you so much of thinking of us and letting us know you are ill. We will be thinking of you, too. Love, ____

    If praying is what you do, you can add that to - I never know what to ask for - complete cure, to be pain free, for serenity, for enough energy to get things straightened out, acceptance - My "fall back" prayer is to ask that things work out the best for all concerned - because God knows (and I am not being facetious here) that I don't know what the best is.

  4. #4
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Just send a note saying that you'll be praying for her recovery, thank her for being so thoughtful and tell her that you'll treasure your gifts for years to come.

  5. #5
    Junior Member EskapetheNorm's Avatar
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    If you can afford it, send flowers and say something like "Thank you, thoughts of you always brighten my day"

    No need to dwell on the negative aspects ... take pictures of them all and then Goodwill the ones you really don't want.

  6. #6
    dforesee's Avatar
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    Speaking from your aunt's point of view (as I have had stage 4 cancer before; now in remission)... she opened this pandora's box herself with her gift, so it would not be offensive to thank her for the gifts and assure her they will always be treasured as will your memories of her. I am guessing that this gesture could indicate that she needs to talk about her possible impending death. If that is the case and you are willing, maybe you could carve out some time to pick up the phone to thank her and "let her talk." It may seem to you that she is looking on the negative side of things, but that negativity may be born of fear and uncertainty.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae
    Could you send a holiday card and just mention that you received the package and it was very thoughtful of her?
    I think that this is the kind of note I would like if I had sent a package to somebody.

  8. #8
    Super Member dream56's Avatar
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    I would send a thank you with words of encouragment for a healthy recovery. These may be items she wasn't useing and sometimes its times like this that make us think about cleaning out the unnecessary items instead of leaving them for someone else to do if the worst does happen.

    .

  9. #9
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Awww that poor lady. It is a very nice gesture on her part but I can see how awkward it would be for you!
    I can't imagine how it feels to be in her shoes. You may want to say something to the effect that you will treasure her gifts and that you fully expect her to be around for a long time ahead. (maybe in a light-hearted but meaningful tone)
    EDIT- I love the post about calling her, if you are able. She may be very scared and depressed.

  10. #10
    Super Member starshine's Avatar
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    I think a lot of times when people pass away family or friends that are not in the area often don't get the chance to have some momentos of their loved ones, especially if no family live close. But even when family are close they aren't able to get things to others or it isn't important to them so they don't bother. Perhaps her diagnosis was a reminder of some similar situation and she wanted you to at least have something of hers. Perhaps they are favorites of hers. I think thanking her for being so considerate, with an added "hope we have you for a long time yet" will seem less -should I say morbid.

  11. #11
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Send her a Thank You note telling her you will treasure them.

    Maybe she wants to get her things in order while she is still able and not wait until she either needs help doing it or burdening someone else with it. And for some reason she picked these items for you and right now she really doesn't have to explain her decisions- maybe later if someone else was there they might "question " her decisions or not follow thru.

  12. #12
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    That's a hard one. Maybe she just needs to talk with someone. Pick up the phone and let her talk to you.

  13. #13
    Super Member leiladylei54's Avatar
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    It was very sweet of her to think and remember you. Regardless of what the final outcome will be, it's probably her way of getting her affairs in order while she's able. Maybe part of it is that she prefers the "immediate family" not to fight over her possessions when she's gone later, too. Say "thank you" for remembering you. No need to get all gushy or weepy or feel guilty about it.

    When I remarked that I admired a old metal cannister set that hubby's aunt had displayed and even more so when she said that it was a wedding gift to her from my hubby's parents, she sent it along to us. I was quite sad that she sent it along so quickly but she said she wanted us to derive pleasure from it while she is still alive and who would treasure it more than us knowing it's history. How sweet is that???

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EskapetheNorm
    If you can afford it, send flowers and say something like "Thank you, thoughts of you always brighten my day"

    No need to dwell on the negative aspects ... take pictures of them all and then Goodwill the ones you really don't want.
    I like this idea. If flowers are out then how about a nice letter with thank you written in.

  15. #15
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone. I think I will include a little note with our holiday cards that I am sending out this weekend. I like the idea of letting her know that we will appreciate the items and are praying for her. We would love to call and talk to her but we have been told that she has requested that everyone stops calling. She does not want any phone calls :( If she wants to talk she will call you :( Makes us a little sad but she does live with her sister and brother inlaw. So she does have someone to make sure she is ok. It's a huge family. She is one of 10 kids. And all of them have had families of their own and so on and so on. So I can understand it. She is still working. So it is ok that she wants her time and to rest. I just wish she had a better outlook instead of the doom and gloom.

  16. #16
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I like that she is doing this now instead of letting someone do it later. My father had stage 4 lung cancer and they said he had about 6 months and that was about what he had even with treatments. My parents were in deep denial since he was the caretaker of my mother at the time. So saying goodbye was nearly impossible until he was in the hospital, but by then he had a stoke and couldn't talk. I wish he would have been able to give away something or mostly been able to share is memories.

    I would thank her offer any support you think you can genuinely do and maybe share with her what she meant to you as an Aunt. She is grieving now I would guess.

  17. #17
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    And I thought about flowers but not sure how she would take it. I know some people don't like flowers because they die :( And death is already on her mind. I don't want to make anything worse.

  18. #18
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LovinMySoldier
    And I thought about flowers but not sure how she would take it. I know some people don't like flowers because they die :( And death is already on her mind. I don't want to make anything worse.
    Fruit basket?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Feather3's Avatar
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    My Huz & I are both cancer survivors. Doom & gloom come along with cancer diagnosis. Fear sets in instantly as soon as the doc says you have the big C. Not all will survive the treatments & those who do have ongoing thoughts of cancer returning, especially with those darn yearly tests.

    I'd suggest sending a nice note thanking her for the treasured items. Tell her you will pray for her recovery & let her know if there's anything you can do to please contact you. Let her know you're willing to talk/listen if she's willing. If possible send her a nice lap quilt or fleece blanket. She'll be glad to have it during treatment.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    Just send a note saying that you'll be praying for her recovery, thank her for being so thoughtful and tell her that you'll treasure your gifts for years to come.
    ------------------------
    And I would also mention some of the things by name, remark on how thrilled you were to get something that matched ..........and how nice it will look sitting right near it so you can admire it. If she THINKS she will die soon maybe there's something that she isn't telling anyone.
    Thank her again and tell her how much you love her. You don't have to mention the cancer, just tell her something that she did for you many years ago and you still love her for it.
    AND, then write all this in your own handwriting. Us old folks are thrilled when someone goes to all that much trouble, just for us.
    At the age of 77 I go through my old letters yearly, and sadly they grew fewer and fewer as the Internet grew and grew. I treasure the childish scribblings when a small one loved a gift, and hurried writing of kids when they were first out on their own..so give Auntie something to really and truly remember.

  21. #21
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Listen to this one, it's the best response you've gotten.

    Jan in VA

    Quote Originally Posted by dforesee
    Speaking from your aunt's point of view (as I have had stage 4 cancer before; now in remission)... she opened this pandora's box herself with her gift, so it would not be offensive to thank her for the gifts and assure her they will always be treasured as will your memories of her. I am guessing that this gesture could indicate that she needs to talk about her possible impending death. If that is the case and you are willing, maybe you could carve out some time to pick up the phone to thank her and "let her talk." It may seem to you that she is looking on the negative side of things, but that negativity may be born of fear and uncertainty.

  22. #22
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Jan, I agree with you.

  23. #23
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    Definately a Thanks You, a note, letting her know you are glad she thought of you, and that she's in your thoughts and prayers, even so far a way, with the offer for her to call you, or you call her and that it would be no bother, she may not want to burden any one. If you loose her or not, hopefully not. She will know you are sending positive thoughts her way.
    Good Luck {{{ Hugs to all }}}

  24. #24
    Senior Member gramabiese's Avatar
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    I would send her a thank you note and tell her it was so thoughtful of her to share part of herself with you, and every time you look at them you will think of her. Make it simple and thoughtful.

  25. #25
    Super Member wanderingcreek's Avatar
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    Maybe she wants to get her things in order while she is still able and not wait until she either needs help doing it or burdening someone else with it. And for some reason she picked these items for you and right now she really doesn't have to explain her decisions- maybe later if someone else was there they might "question " her decisions or not follow thru.[/quote]

    My mother is doing that right now. She has some minor health issues but nothing too serious (she is 81) and she is starting to give aways things to her grandchildren and says she doesn't want any fighting over them when she is gone. She would rather give them now and then it is taken care of. I think it has a lot to do with certain family members letting her know what they want. This way it is her choice as to who gets what!

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