You Can Never Say 'Thank You' Too Often

by Rick Raker on Tue, 2014-10-14 16:00

She wiped the morning drool from the corners of my mouth.

"Thank you," I said.

Rick Raker

She helped me sit up and get comfortable in bed.

"Thank you."

She turned on the television and served fresh coffee with a straw.

"Thank you."

Afterward, she brushed my teeth, shaved and washed my face, combed my hair and changed my shirt.

"Thank you."

She gave me my morning medicine.

"Thank you."

She flipped me on my side, so I could rest my back — prevent bedsores.

"Thank you."

She woke me up sometime later for my first stomach tube feeding of the day.

"Thank you."

She flushed my stomach tube with freshwater and changed my bandages.

"Thank you," I said.

"You say, 'Thank You' too much. You don't have to say Thank You all the time," she said.

"Why? I'm really thankful, so I say 'Thank You' ... Does it bother you?" I asked.

I started to think about this ... I do say THANK YOU quite frequently throughout the day, every day. Here it is, before 9 a.m., and I have already said this phrase at least 10 times!

"You don't have to thank me. I do things for you because I love you."

Of course, this was a wonderful answer to get from my wife of 30 years and my primary caregiver. However, I wondered if love is enough. I wanted to be sure that she understood how grateful I am to have her care and love every day ... I was taught from a very young age to always be polite — to say, please and thank you. It's a habit now. I wondered if I said, "Thank You" too often that the grateful feeling would be somehow diluted. I kept track for the next couple of days — turns out I average about 63 "Thank You's" per day!

No wonder she was getting tired of hearing those words, but I wasn't going to stop. So, I started to mix it up — started to say "Thank You" in different ways. With a smile, with a wink of my eyes, the click of my tongue, a positive attitude ... I started to say this very important phrase in different languages — arigato, gamsahabnida, mahalo, gracias, merci, danke ... It works! She knows how grateful I feel.

You can never say "Thank You" too often.

The blog was posted originally on Sept. 16, 2014.

About the Author

My name is Richard K. Raker, and I am 54 years old. I have lived in Honolulu, Hawaii, with my wife and son for 26 years. I have ALS, a terminal illness diagnosed in 2006. Prior to 2006, I worked as an English as a Second Language teacher, and then as a computer trainer for a major health care organization. Very soon after my diagnosis and a quick disease progression, I was totally bedridden, relying on a ventilator to breathe. I no longer could work, so I spent most of my time reading and watching TV and movies. And then one day, I discovered the joy of writing.

First, I struggled through a memoir about the first 25 years of my life, telling the story of the events leading up to my decision to move to Japan. It felt good to write. Writing takes me away from my everyday troubles and gives me a creative voice that I never knew I had. The memoir, A Remarkable Life, Lived by an Ordinary Person, has been self-published using and is available on After that, I realized that I had a few more stories that I needed to write. I enjoy writing. The two or three hours a day that I spend working on my stories is very therapeutic. I write selfishly. It is fun and gives me a much-needed purpose in life, but I do hope that you will enjoy reading what I have written. Thank you all for your love and support. Be sure to visit my blog called A View from Rick's WindowWeb page, DVD reviews and Facebook page.

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