Today I received a thank you note from a woman who lost everything in the Wine Country fires.
Minutes before receiving her thank you note, it struck me how tired I was and that my body was literally aching from lack of sleep. This fatigue had caused me to spend very little time with my family since the fires began. People around me had lost so much, and I couldn’t wrap my head around how anyone could possibly conquer this feeling of numbing grief.
Then I received her note and my perspective changed. She showed me that she had not lost everything, after all. Her thank you note made me realize that I needed to stop grieving for something I cannot change. Instead, I needed to keep moving forward with love.
So I kept going.
I took out the list of addresses I made for dropping off donations, and I gathered items from my house to deliver at the donation sites. If this woman who lost so much could find the energy and inner peace to write a thank you note, then I really had no excuse to complain or be overly emotional.
During times like the past few weeks, it seems even more important to let our community know how much we appreciate them. And I don’t mean just our immediate loved ones. I mean the people that we run into every day who make a difference, often without knowing it. The people who offer a smile or a few kind words that make such a difference throughout the day.
So, to the woman who started this with a thank you note and to my Wine Country community, I say “Thank you!”
Thank you, Playground Mom
You made my mood change from “Definitely got up on the wrong side of the bed.” to “Today is going to be amazing!” You let me know that all our kids behave like animals sometimes, and it’s not just mine that have turned against me. Your infectious laugh and earth-shattering honesty was better than all the migraine medicine on the shelves. You have no idea how much I appreciated your playground banter. Thank you.
Thank you, Next-door Neighbor
I spent years of my life living in big cities, so I thought it was normal to not know your neighbors or learn their names. So when I moved to a street where the kids played outside and neighbors waved, it took me time to adjust. Thank you for making it so easy to love my neighborhood. Thank you for screaming “Hello!” when I clearly was not about to do it before my morning coffee. Also, please know that I have terrible eye sight, so often miss your cheery wave unintentionally.
Thank you, My Son’s Teacher
You do more than just teach my child – you are there when I am not. He often comes home excited about what you taught him. You make him have a “great day” versus an “okay day.” He smiles when he tells us a new word he learned in class , and we smile when he tells us the definition. That is all down to you. Thank you!
Thank you, My Big Kid
You might scream and fight me at every turn, but when you give me a hug it’s the best feeling in the world. Your sweet little smile and warm eyes cure the worst of days. The energy you bound around with can be exhausting, and I find myself wanting my bedtime earlier than ever before. But honestly, I would not want it any different. Your big kid love for your baby sister makes me so proud to be your mom.
Thank you, Work Colleague
Your deadpan humor and the honesty that comes with your friendship makes me realize that you’re more than a colleague. You are the work family I have missed for so long. You make the Monday blues (or any day of the week blues) easy to overcome. And I finally get that quote “Good colleagues are those who make work seem like play!” Here’s to more years of playground chaos, my friend 😉
Thank you, Barista
Thank you for asking how I’m feeling rather than coldly taking my order or staring at me blankly. It clearly took me by surprise, as I hesitated before answering. You probably have no memory of me babbling about my morning mayhem, or the silly English quip I told as I walked away. Nonetheless, you smiled and made a difference in my day.