Response from College Counselor
For those who read my September 4th blog entry and asked me if my HS college counselor ever received or replied to my letter of gratitude… I did successfully track him down! The experience of expressing heartfelt gratitude has been profound for me. I realized my default mode in life is often to take the easier, lazier route — not reflecting on the impact others have had on my life, let alone expressing it. I think when one goes through life this way, all the stuff you wish you had expressed but never did form a hard shell around you… The exercise has been a freeing and powerful, and somehow has made the soul feel lighter…
So with no further ado, here’s Mr. Tim’s response to my September 4th letter:
I do remember you!! And what a lovely letter you wrote me. Old teachers, especially retired old teachers… being remembered by their students, esp when they are remembered the way you remembered me — in the context of “the red wheelbarrow”…mean so much to me, to us. Your remembrances seem somehow to validate all we try to do, all we dream about accomplishing. No matter what the profession. Your remembering me in a strange way remembers all of us …
Your life sounds exciting and stimulating. Mostly, your life sounds GOOD because it is not self-centered; it is structured around Gratitude, around others, thanking them for the small role or roles they have played in your life. Perhaps I should join the gratitude Challenge since gratitude is what I am filled with because of your kind and dear letter, so eloquently written.
What I am doing now is writing (trying to write) poetry and volunteering at Hospice in Middletown, where my goal and dream is to help bring some sense of undying-ness about life to those who are at the brink. It is desperate work sometimes. Very rich work – like meeting one day an Anna in my office who forever changes my life by the very lively, alive, response she gives to something I believe in deeply.
Well this is all just to say thank you for your incredibly wonderful and inspiring and life-affirming letter you wrote to me. I will hold you in my heart and I will owe you a debt all of my days.
Not sure if my letter deserved this nice response or if it’s true that my life is not “self-centered”… I’m just really glad to have made the leap and reached out to give thanks to someone who has made an impact on my life. I am looking forward to continuing this exercise for many many years beyond the Gratitude Challenge, and have already made a list for future gratitude letters :-)
I hope this entry inspires you to write a gratitude letter or two. And if you do, please do drop me a line and share your experience!