Three unexpected thank yous 3


I received three unexpected thank you notes in the past week.  All of them were from young people – 1 teenager and two young women in their 20s.  They touched me deeply.  Everyone appreciates recognition. 

#1 – The outside of the card said “Joy”.  Inside, the young woman who I mentored and who was so inconsistent in communication during the time I interacted with her, wrote a note “I didn’t forget about you.  You’re always in my thoughts.  Happy Holidays.  Love…”

#2 – I sent a set of note cards to my cousin who is more like a niece some months ago.  I’d been sending her articles about art works, artists and art careers for a little over a year.  The articles were never acknowledged.  Occasionally I would call her to check in to see what she thought but she didn’t have much to say to the point that I thought I was bothering her.  So, I decided to back-off.  I sent her things when I saw them and stopped worrying about whether she liked them, found them useful or even opened them.

She handpainted one of the cards and wrote: “Thank you so much for those inspirational art news clippings.  I would like to apologize for not writing you back this year.  This is something I will be working on next year.  I hope you have a good holiday and tell everyone I said “hi.”  Love…”

#3 – Came from a teenager who I befriended as a middle school student a three years ago.  This year I was able to get her to go with me to the August Wilson Monologue competition at the Huntington Theatre Company.  I also send she and her mother information about academic enrichment programs, jobs, etcetera.  She wrote:  “You are a great person and I’m glad that I can tell you so. You bring joy to everyone’s soul.  You are a wonderful, amazing woman.  I just wanted to let you know!!!  Thank  you for everything.  Love…”

Getting these cards feels like I won the thank you lottery!  I would do what I do without their recognition even though I have sometimes been annoyed that each of these girls didn’t follow-up on something I’d shared with them. 

Now I have these lovely mementos to pull out and read occasionally when I need their warmth.

Thank you for the thank you’s. It’s never too late to send a note or make a call.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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3 thoughts on “Three unexpected thank yous

  • Paula

    “You bring joy to everyone’s soul.” How very true. Your young friend summed up exactly how I feel about you. Thanks for making an impact on so many people, including me!

  • Peggy

    You are spot on Candelaria when you wrote “everyone appreciates recognition”. As humans we need it, we crave it and we respond to it!
    I can’t remember as a teenager if I acknowledged in writing a thank you note to those who guided me – I hope I did.

    I can certainly understand your joy in receiving these cards. I have been mentoring 3 young people (1 boy, 2 girls) over the last 10 years and only occasional get a phone call or a text.

    I do remember to acknowledge my mentor regularly and your post is an excellent reminder as to why this is important.

    Be well my friend and keep shining.
    Peggy ♥♥♥