Thanks. A simple expression of gratitude.

I was very fortunate to have had good manners instilled in me as a young boy. Although there were a number of manners I was taught — such as being polite, holding the door open for others, not talking while chewing food, and respecting my elders — saying ‘thank you’ was the most important.

One way we showed our appreciation as kids was to send thank you cards after receiving gifts at Christmas or on our birthdays. I enjoyed the process of creating and sending cards and never gave much thought as to whether my parents and grandparents enjoyed receiving ‘stick-man-themed’ ‘crayon-colored’ cards that highlighted my limited artistic talent. It was only after my mother passed away and my father sent me her little box of ‘treasures’ — cards that I had sent my Mom and my grandparents over the years — did I realize their significance.

As an adult I have continued to express my appreciation — sometimes simply by saying ‘thank you’ to those that hold the door open for me, buy me a coffee, or extend some other small act of kindness or consideration. I often send cards to express my gratitude to those that have touched my life — whether it be helping me, treating me to lunch, or buying me a gift for a special occasion. I still enjoy sending cards, although I’ve graduated from stick men and crayons. I continue to seek out card shops in the course of my travels looking for new cards to add to my collection — which now exceeds 100 — and take great delight in looking through them for that perfect card whenever I need to say thank you.

The older I get the more appreciative I become — of the people that have come into my life, regardless of whether for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I’m grateful for the adventures that I’ve been fortunate to have, and for my ability to enjoy and experience them.

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for caring. Thanks for teaching me. Thank you for hiring me. Thanks for challenging me. Thanks for your support. Thanks for forgiving me. Thank you for making me laugh. Thanks for being a friend.

Thank you for holding the door.