by Denise Dykstra
Has this ever happened to you? I don’t think I could be the only one who has found oneself in this situation.
I washed my hands at the kitchen sink and reached for the ever near kitchen towel. A bird was at the feeder that I was watching, and so, I was not watching what my hands were doing. I wouldn’t have even paid any attention to the towel had my hand not gone through it.
You read that correctly. My hand went through it. My beloved kitchen towel had a hole right down the middle of it.
I knew it was in rough condition, this turquoise and white towel. But it always worked for me. And I couldn’t help but think that the day my mom gave it to me, which, granted, had been years ago, it had been the nicest kitchen towel I had owned since the day we had been given kitchen towels for a wedding gift.
I knew I was keeping it long past its time to leave. But we had been through so much together, this towel and I.
It had seen me through those years when my boys were young. It had spent hundreds of hours flung over my shoulder as I kept busy feeding all the growing boys, wiping tears and mud from faces, being stolen from my shoulder by a boy so it could flick a brother, wiping sweat from my brow as I canned all the garden produce, pulled hot dishes from the oven with me, held ice for the crying boy on his injury from an outdoor adventure… so many small moments that had turned into a big life for this turquoise kitchen towel and me.
It still dried my hands, once I had gotten my hand through the hole. And I laughed. Who keeps a towel this long, well past its usefulness?
I took a photo of it and shared it with some friends. It garnered some laughs at my sentimentalism, but it also brought up some ideas to repurpose the towel. Mostly, they all agreed it was time to say adios to the towel. And I, not even thinking, tossed that towel into the wash to live another day’s adventure with me and laid it by the sink as I am prone to do after I pulled it from the dryer. Old habits die hard.
Now, I may be the person who is always looking for joy in the everyday and I do have these fun moments in life that I get to share with you all, but I am just like you, and I have bad days too.
And one day this week, I was having a particularly rough day. I had found some good in it, as I am prone to do, and the evening had found my home filled with laughter from my boys and all of their friends that were here and a whole lot of taco food that was involved. Taco food always makes a night with those you love more delicious.
I was curled up on my couch, knitting away, when there was a knock on my door. I am not prone to get visitors knocking on my door in the dark of night. I opened it tentatively, seeing a woman was standing just to the side of the door opening. And when I recognized her, I smiled big, because she always brings a smile to my face.
“Here,” she grinned at me, handing me a gift bag. “Have a good night.”
I was so surprised, so touched, and truth be told, still kind of shocked by it all, that all I could do was laugh. I didn’t even call out a “thank you”.
My mom, on the other couch in my living room knitting, was with me as I lifted the card off the gift bag. It was an Easter card, and believe it or not, Easter is by far one of my most favorite holidays. That Easter card in and of itself would have meant so much. But under the card, that gift bag was stuffed full of brand new, bright and cheery, kitchen towels.
I nearly cried.
Never underestimate how a small act of kindness can touch someone deeply. Never think it’s just a little thing. Those little things are big moments to the person they touch.
Now, if I can just let go of that black sweater – one I literally have accidentally started on fire once – that I purchased while I was pregnant with my now 19-year-old son…. Baby steps, I guess!
Today, as I prepared for the Easter dinner that we host at our home for my extended family (12 adults at our dining room table!), I pulled out my worn turquoise and white towel. And I knew it was time to let it go.
Easter, the time for new beginnings. And apparently, new kitchen towels.
I used the new towels as I worked in the kitchen and not once did my hand go through them. I had forgotten how fluffy and soft new towels can be. And they brought a smile to my heart all day long.
Have you ever held on to something much longer than you knew you should have? Tell me how you let it go, or if you still have it. It can’t be any crazier than an old, worn kitchen towel! Let’s hear your story!