In honor of the beautiful holiday of Thanksgiving I want to share a story about saying “thank you”. Have you ever had a friend that simply made you want to be a better person just by knowing them? Laura Carmichael was that person for me. Ms. Laura was my role model for living a purposful life, enjoying each day, giving back in small and large ways and always saying “Thank You”.
Laura had the corner market on writing “thank you” notes. Her notes were legendary, no sooner had the gift been delivered, than she was at the post office with her thank you note ready to mail. Ms. Laura probably had heavenly choirs singing each time her delicate fingers hit the typewriter keys. She penned her notes until her hands had such a tremor that at age 101 she couldn’t write legibly so used the trusty Royal.
For over 60 years Ms. Laura clipped the good news from the local newspaper, accomplishments by ordinary people, and sent them a copy of their photo. She would do her “clippings” on Sunday after church, gathering extra papers from her friends to send extra copies to proud parents of the brides and other notables. Her detective skills were exceptional and without using a computer! She looked in the phone books, city directory, church registers, schools rosters, and of course used her underground connections.
Her favorite groups were the children who had been selected as outstanding students of the month. Laura would send them their photo and a crisp new one dollar bill that the bank tellers would save for her at the beginning of each month. She rarely received a reply from these children or their parents. One young man however did send a note that became her favorite, the note read, “Thanks for the dollar, it’s not much but it was something”.
In honor of Laura who would have been 111 is this month, please accept this Thank You note from me. Thank you for your kindness, your generosity, your dedication to your family and friends, for the work you do to make a difference in the world, for the contribution you make to your family and community and country. I am deeply thankful for those I have the privilidge to work with and know, you inspire me and lift me up with your service to those in need. Happy Thanks-giving!