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Take the Time – I sent a thank you card today, 53 years late

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Several events and dates converged this weekend to remind me of the importance of the advice in the picture below.


That image was part of a weekend blog from one of my “imaginary friends” here on Spark (DH’s loving term). She wrote it before being taken to the ER. Of course I am hopeful for a good outcome and more blogs to come

This weekend marked the first visit of family to our lake house in 13 months.
Part of my enforced hermit time was spent sorting through pictures, clippings and assorted keepsakes. While I have kept albums chronologically since 1967, so many items are more significant to one child than another. Now I put special ones in separate albums for each child.

DD (Karen) & SIL (David) spent several hours with us looking through everything I had saved.
School pictures, class photos, music performances and competitions, swim meets and even her pitching in our town’s All Star softball game. I kept it up even after her marriage in 1994 – Race and marathon results as well as the accomplishments of the swim team she coached. Her children are adults now and I know they would like to see “when mom was young”

But the date? April 10th? Why was that sticking in my memory?
Nothing historical, no family birthday, anniversary etc.

Oh yes, on April 10, 1968 a very scared 20 year old and her husband walked a few blocks from their apartment to a hospital in Garden City, NY for GYN surgery. It wasn’t life threatening, but it did have potential impact for future fertility. We very much wanted to have a family.

Obviously, all turned out well. I have written about our 3 children and 6 grandchildren often here.
I thought about the doctor. I remembered his name. He was a young surgeon, 7 years in practice.
He would be in his mid 80s now. Could he still be alive? Turn to Google. Yes, there he was – his bio, not an obituary fortunately, just retired.

It took another day for me to write a message and I mailed the card this morning.


I remembered the photos in his office of the babies he delivered and wondered at the time if would ever have any of my own.

I know I am only one of thousands whose life he affected, but I wanted him to know that I remembered him and how thankful I was and still am for his caring expertise. Without his intervention there would be no memory albums to peruse and pass on.

So if there is someone who made a positive difference in your life, I hope you will let them know.
As always, I appreciate hearing any similar stories you wish to share.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BUTTONPOPPER1
    That was so good of you! I have always wanted to write to the doctor who lovingly took care of and oversaw the death of my mother 20 years ago. You have inspired me to try to say thank you. I’m sure your doctor was moved by your note. Thank you.
    18 days ago
  • FITMARY
    Great story! I'm sure of two things: 1) he knew you were grateful without the note and 2) he'll be delighted to get the thank-you card!
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    23 days ago
  • CHERIRIDDELL
    What a lovely story, I owe my one and only daughter to a lovely French Catholic Doctor in the north of Quebec..I had 5 miscarriages prior to my daughter and some after finally in Germany the doctor said "Enough" years later when our daughter was sixteen we learned the anti-inflammatories I was on my entire life (still am) to control the swelling in my damaged legs caused miscarriages, so you can imagine how much I owe that family doctor in a remote radar station in Northern Quebec!
    24 days ago
  • ALICIA363
    Wonderful! I hope that message gets through 🙏💕
    28 days ago
  • THINCPL2004
    That was a fantastic gesture on your part. That's awesome. I wish everyone was that kind!
    29 days ago
  • NANHBH
    What a beautiful idea!
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    29 days ago
  • SPEEDY143
    What a beautiful gesture on your part. Our children and grandchildren are the jewels in our crowns. Now you will be a jewel in the doctors crown. emoticon
    29 days ago
  • SUSMANNIE
    I hate to sound old, but it sure beats getting an email from you! Not that there’s anything WRONG with email, but nothing beats a good old fashioned handwritten greeting card. Oh hell, I guess I’m all right with sounding old after all.
    29 days ago
  • NOVEMBERGAIL
    Beautiful and very touching!
    29 days ago
  • MARKSMOM3
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    29 days ago
  • PATSGIRLY
    Thank you for writing this blog. emoticon
    29 days ago
  • RUFFIT
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    29 days ago
  • SUSANYOUNGER
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    29 days ago
  • 1EEYOREFAN
    What a great blog entry! I had tears in my eyes. I am sure your former doctor will appreciate the card!!
    29 days ago
  • THOMS1
    emoticon emoticon means a lot. emoticon
    29 days ago
  • SPARKUVU
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    29 days ago
  • KEIANN1
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    30 days ago
  • PATRICIAANN46
    What a great blog........................I am sure that your Dr. will sincerely appreciate your Thank You note.

    I received a phone call yesterday, telling me that a friend of mine had just learned that she has uterine cancer. She had a hysterectomy today and all went well. She starts chemo in a few weeks. I talked to her husband on the phone as she was too emotional to talk. I sat down last night and wrote a card and finished it today after her surgery. I listed our many memories over the years and reminded her of how much she is loved. I always write cards because then the recipient can read them over and over and hopefully the true meaning will be relayed.

    The people I love are told often as I have lost many over the years and want there to be no doubt emoticon
    30 days ago
  • SHAKERATTLEROLL
    emoticon for such a great reminder to show how much you appreciate someone.
    30 days ago
  • LGRIF22
    Wonderful advice! My mother was such a person. Always thoughtful and encouraging. She hand wrote most of her letters. Sometimes made copies by hand so she would have a record of what she wrote. Those hand written notes are almost a thing of the past. I'm afraid I don't measure up either. Your blog has me thinking of how often I could at least comment on other's impressiveness. Anything that uplifts!

    Thank you!
    30 days ago
  • JUNETTA2002
    thanks for sharing.
    30 days ago
  • BEATLETOT
    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
    30 days ago
  • MSMOSTIMPROVED
    The art of handwritten Thank You notes may be lost with this next generation. I love this idea and I'd have a list as long as Santa because there have been so many special people that have poured into my life. This made me think of one very special couple and I will gladly take your advice.
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    30 days ago
  • SHOREVIEW-DEB
    Unsolicited thank you's are so important for those profound unrealized moments of impact people make in our lives. I'm a firm believer in actively seeking out a manager or remembering the name of the rep that assisted me in a store and write the store manager when I get home.

    Recently, I got a new dental hygienist and I was SO IMPRESSED with her care delivery (I hate the dentist office but am not an overly nervous Nelly) and as a person in health care myself, i automatically take note of the providers routine, engagement, explanations, delivery of care etc. This young gal was AWESOME! I could tell she had a personal work ethic as I detected she herself rechecked her own work at each stage of the appointment. She was a perfectionist!

    Once again, I went home and chronicled the visit and details in an email to the office. I described her attention to detail, the genuine care provided and personal ethics displayed. If we are impressed by service or a kind gesture and it truly made a difference reach out, write it down for that moment to be memorialized and savored beyond your quick words of thanks at the moment.

    About a week later, I got a personal, handwritten note from my Dentist affirming my observations and his appreciation of bringing his staff member positive to his attention along with management. Tucked inside was a $25 gift card for ME which I will pass on to an unsuspecting person. Keep paying it forward, even if it's a note ~ our communities are so short on kindness especially here in the Minneapolis area. Be the Spark!
    30 days ago
  • SHOREVIEW-DEB
    Unsolicited thank you's are so important for those profound unrealized moments of impact people make in our lives. I'm a firm believer in actively seeking out a manager or remembering the name of the rep that assisted me in a store and write the store manager when I get home.

    Recently, I got a new dental hygienist and I was SO IMPRESSED with her care delivery (I hate the dentist office but am not an overly nervous Nelly) and as a person in health care myself, i automatically take note of the providers routine, engagement, explanations, delivery of care etc. This young gal was AWESOME! I could tell she had a personal work ethic as I detected she herself rechecked her own work at each stage of the appointment. She was a perfectionist!

    Once again, I went home and chronicled the visit and details in an email to the office. I described her attention to detail, the genuine care provided and personal ethics displayed. If we are impressed by service or a kind gesture and it truly made a difference reach out, write it down for that moment to be memorialized and savored beyond your quick words of thanks at the moment.

    About a week later, I got a personal, handwritten note from my Dentist affirming my observations and his appreciation of bringing his staff member positive to his attention along with management. Tucked inside was a $25 gift card for ME which I will pass on to an unsuspecting person. Keep paying it forward, even if it's a note ~ our communities are so short on kindness especially here in the Minneapolis area. Be the Spark!
    30 days ago
  • COUNTRYGALINNY
    What a great blog. We should tell people how much they have meant to us.
    30 days ago
  • TOMATOCAFEGAL
    Love this thought
    30 days ago
  • NANCY-
    How thoughtful.
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    30 days ago
  • MAHOLMAN1
    Great blog. I am sure your card will be appreciated knowing you have not forgotten this doctor and are still grateful to him.
    30 days ago
  • WHILLSW
    Thank you....thank you....so good to read good news in these days of "the other." We need to heed nagging thoughts & take action when it happens...not years later but then later is better than never....
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    30 days ago
  • KITTYHAWK1949
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    30 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
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    30 days ago
  • DSJB9999
    What a beautiful idea and a super thing to do, well done, seems very special and I am sure it will be well received. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    30 days ago
  • ETHELMERZ
    We have honored several much loved school teachers this way. Nice feeling.
    30 days ago
  • THROOPER62
    emoticon
    31 days ago
  • AZMOMXTWO
    what an amazing tribute to some one who was there in the past
    31 days ago
  • MSLZZY
    A lovely reminder to thank those who made a difference in our lives.
    31 days ago
  • CHERYLHURT
    Beautiful!
    31 days ago
  • DONNALEE-53
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    31 days ago
  • UPTOIT59
    I am sure the thank you card will have even more meaning now. I was born at North Shore Hospital in Manhasset- it is now Long Island Jewish- that wasn't the hospital you went to by chance?
    31 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    My story is not as momentous as yours, however I had the same nun for 1st, 3rd and 6th grade in grade school. I never realized that my mother had kept in contact with her. My mother used to do ironing for the nuns, back in the day when they had to wear the starched habits. My mother loved doing that, called it her mini-mission. Well fast forward to 8-6-76, after our marriage in the reception line in the back of church, this lady hugs me. I am so puzzled as I didn't keep track of her, but she did me. It was Sr. Irene Marie. We then re-established connections. Fast forward to 1983, we moved out to the "country" as it was the only affordable housing at the time. Lo and behold, Sr. Irene was principal of the parish school in the next town over. We started having a bi-weekly dinner with her, and she met our children as they were born. Unfortunately, in 2018, she earned her heavenly wings. It was a sad day for me, but I was so lucky to have had her in my life. My kids thought it was nice that I kept in contact and had such a friend! I will have to look for a poem she had written about our friendship. Very tender words.
    31 days ago
  • PLCHAPPELL
    You are right
    31 days ago
  • LIS193
    How wonderful you had your family visit!
    31 days ago
  • SUNSET09
    emoticon emoticon When my church conducted it's first Zoom Sunday school session, I looked around at the people I had been in close proximity every Sunday morning, hearing how this pandemic was affecting them and how we weren't able to get out like we used to. I requested an updated copy of our membership roster and sent out "thinking of you" cards. The Dollar Tree has these butterflies and I added one in each card. Being an avid traveler, I used to collect and send post cards to my friends and family, sharing my experiences and "wishing they were there". Letter writing was something I enjoyed doing as well and still do. It's a nice jester to reach out and "touch" somebody emoticon as it's so personal and we're lacking that. emoticon Let's cherish the times we have. emoticon
    31 days ago
  • RKOTTEK
    emoticon emoticon
    31 days ago
  • SAMMILESSACH
    Sweet!!!!

    AS I had had"extra" time on my hands and been trying so hard to declutter. I have found so many notes,cards,photos,newspaper clippings not catalouged. ....in boxes, envelopes, even grocery bags!

    Not to mention a few summers ago before my grandmother in law passed she gave me so many photos of my husband growing up. Then I was working gone 12 hours a day. Days off dr s appt, mow grass, batch cook etc.... I just have them in a box.

    I was going to start putting them in a book, but after she passed Oct 2019, I just haven't been able to do it. She meant so much to my husband, and the 20 years she was in my life she made a big difference in my life...she lived in the midwest. We keep in contact & the last few years she was with us our vaca were going out there. Now I am just sad to do it.

    My grandma lives in the northeast turning 93 next month , th e past year she has been in and out hospital and nursing homes. She is home now w a 24 hour nurse.

    Through my decluttering , I have found the sweetest cards,letters, newspaper clippings photos she has sent to me over the years.

    The past year she hasn't been able to send anything nor would I expect it......it just amazes me the time& effort, the thought fullness she has taken to send me things. We were very close when I was little and I still feel close even with all the miles between us.

    I finished my courses this Dec. There was one instructor I had I think my 3rd semester..online course( before Covid) I learned with my courses I had to stay ahead b.c. If anything came up& needed to email my instructor for help..it could take 48 hours for a response. Well.....this instructor emailed me instantly and it was like 130 in the morning! Of course I thanked her then& at the end of her class. After graduating I sent her a thank you card, of course not expecting to remember my name or anything. Wanting her to know she really helped me and how she helped me. .....She did acknowledge my thank you and congratulating me for graduating with honors.I

    I did a survey for every instructor and was always honest not knowing if what I said ever reached the instructor.

    I was taught to always thank whoever, however they helped me.

    I also did customer service for decades& I know the importance of a sincere thank you.

    I find your thank you letter& blog amazing! Keep up your cheerful self. emoticon

    31 days ago
  • MARYJEANSL
    That's a lovely story. I have a somewhat similar one. The priest who was at the Air Force base where we lived when we were first married was a very good man. He baptized my oldest son, and he introduced me to the Byzantine liturgy, which I loved. (He was Melkite, but bi-ritual.) We moved away just before that son turned two, and I totally lost track of him, although I never forgot him. A few years ago, I did an online search, and I found the parish where he had been in 2011, but nothing more recent. I contacted that parish, and was told that he had retired to the Pacific Northwest, and was acting as chaplain to a group of Byzantine (Romanian) nuns. So I wrote him an e-mail thanking him. But I never heard back. I still think of him now and again. He was a really good and kind priest.
    31 days ago
  • no profile photo GREYTDOLPHIN
    Love your thoughtful blog. I would only add to not wait too long. There was a lovely man who worked at my company for over 20 years. Our cubicles were close. We were only about a month apart in age. We kept up with emails after we both retired, maybe about 3 months apart.

    I was very shaken when I realized that Ed had not responded to any of my joke or political emails. I dreaded it, but decided to look through the obits. There he was---he died over 2 years ago. I guess his wife never closed down his emails. I wonder how many unanswered ones are still there.
    31 days ago
  • LORI-K
    What a caring, thoughtful gesture. I am sure the card will make his day.
    I am glad all turned out well for you.

    I have been praying for CHERI, and quite concerned.
    emoticon

    31 days ago
  • SPEDED2
    In my humble opinion, he will treasure that thank you more now than if he had received it those many years ago. Those "out-of-the-blue" thank yous are the very best. One year I sent my mother a thank you card to arrive on my birthday. It was a conversation piece for many years after.

    You do post the most thought provoking blogs. Maybe you'll consider posting a follow up if he responds in kind.

    Thank you. emoticon
    31 days ago
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