I have been blessed with a very, very wonderful friend (who shall remain nameless until I can convince her to reveal her identity to the throngs of men, women and children reading this blog… And by throngs of men, women and children, I mean my loyal family members and their respective spouses/children, along with a few supportive friends). This nameless friend has provided me with the courage to start the Thank You Project, and I credit her with much of my post-collegiate successes, both personally and professionally. Her sincerity is stunning and her humility is humbling.
This nameless friend of mine has a knack for putting her own needs aside in order to tend to others; it is a gift that never fails to amaze me, and it is one that I will continue to admire. It cannot be learned, and it cannot be mimicked. So, in keeping with the theme of the past few posts, I present to you the raw, honest and touching message that she sent along to a former teacher today. I hope you appreciate her words and their careful honesty as much as I do. (P.S. Thank you to my fantastic, nameless friend and, as always, thank you for reading).
Dear Mrs. Hare,
I hope this email finds you well – or, for that matter – finds you at all, given that this might be a wildly outdated email address. I had the honor of being one of your last students back in 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 and wanted to send my sincere, albeit very belated, thanks.
It was never lost on me – the noble pursuit of being an educator. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had my share of wonderful teachers and professors throughout grade school and college, and even mentors in the working world that I could argue have been equally influential in making me who I am today. But they were only able to build on what you had already instilled in me at 16 years old – a love of language, a passion for learning and a true appreciation for uncovering world views that differ from my own. For that, I couldn’t be more grateful.
I’m currently living in New York City working for a global PR firm. I couldn’t tell you what that really means – the longer I work in the industry, the less I understand its value. However, I can tell you I get to write every day, and I get by on the notion that I’m sure I’ll find an avenue one day soon in which I can write about something I care about. Once I do, you’ll be the first to know. You once said you’d be happy in prison with the “punishment” of writing a dictionary – if you need some promotional materials for that venture, I’m your gal.
I hope retirement has treated you incredibly well, and you’ve gotten to spend countless hours with your grandson, who must be hitting those wonderful tween years by now (yikes, time flies). Hopefully he’s had some great teachers himself, but he’s already a lucky kid to have had you around. Again, thank you for everything.