Archive for the ‘Gratitude Contests’ Category

Winners of February’s Gratitude Contest Share Their Stories – Part 2

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Congratulations to our two winners!  On Monday, Joan Valley shared her story of expressing profound gratitude to her colleague and today I am pleased and grateful that Andy Monfried has agreed to share the letter he wrote to his grandmother.

Andy first reached out to me on Facebook page  with this message:

“Walter, I LOVED your book.  It recently inspired me to write a six-page letter to my grandmother…(who, as you say is in the “cocktail hour” of her life) and, how much she has meant to me, and most importantly – how much I truly appreciate her.  She received the letter last night and called me crying.  She told me it was the most significant gift she has EVER been given, and its worth more to her than anything in her possession.  This was all inspired by your book. Many thanks for bringing the spark that has ignited to many of these dynamic emotional, appreciative and worthy fires…” – Andy

Rather than reprint Andy’s entire six-page letter here, I am grateful to be able to include excerpts of his expressions of gratitude to his grandmother.

“Dear Grandma,

I can’t adequately explain to you in words how profoundly your life has positively affected me.  I figured it was high time to tell you the tremendous impact you’ve had on me — in every single aspect of my being.

As a child, I learned generosity, compassion, caring – and about being selfless, from both you and Grandpa.

I knew I was a good athlete.   I was the captain in every sport I played.  From little league baseball, to soccer, to football..  the one constant ingredient that helped me, reassured me, and propelled me —- was the realization that you and Grandpa would be at every single one of my games, home or away.  You came with those wicker chairs, propped behind the fence…..and sat, cheering for ME.

What a boost of confidence it was to know that you cared enough, to drop whatever it was that YOU were doing,  to show up in the “cold rain or snow” to see your grandchild participate in little league baseball, soccer, football…  And, you came to hundreds of them and I never had to tell you, or remind you.

Because of you and Grandpa I developed confidence.  I know it’s too late to thank Grandpa.    I think about him every day.  Every time something positive happens to me, every challenge I come across…..my familiar refrain is…

“What would Grandpa Bernie do?”

His wisdom, his gentle caring – his firm handshake – yet soft touch…..are traits that made him the most GENUINE, down to earth – and courageous man I’ve ever met.   It’s no wonder you loved the man with all your heart and soul. He was my role model – as a business man, hard worker, loyal family man — and trusted confidant.

You and Grandpa.

You who would talk, or just sit and watch TV with me.

You who would pick me up, and take me out to breakfast or dinner, ANYTIME.

You who would buy me clothes, shoes, cleats for each school year and season

You who would stock our refrigerator.

The comfort of your presence, the steadiness of your love, and caring  –  these are attributes that you’ve passed on to me……..that I plan on passing onto (your great-grandchildren)  — and by extension their children…..

You’ve given the gift of legacy. You’ve help to make me successful. Socially, intellectually, family, and business……I can’t ever say I’m nearly as content, driven, or as well rounded as you and Grandpa were — but. I’m on my way.  I’ve married a woman who is BETTER than I am.  Like Grandpa did with you.  I’ve got kids who are well adjusted and will be great adults.  (I hope and pray).  Like you and Grandpa.

A really cool philosopher once said, when dealing with the problems and challenges of life…. “When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Not me. You’ve given me the skills – and a toolbox full of love, confidence and love, to know that I’ve got a toolbox full of support, capabilities, and know-how to tackle anything that life throws my way.

I can’t thank you enough. I love you.  Your life has inspired me to be better.  To care.  To communicate.  To be genuine.

I can never EVER (in this life or the next) to thank you enough for all that you have done, given, and provided me……  I will try to pass it on, in every way.    I will pass it to your children, my children, and grandchildren,

All the while, I will think of you and Grandpa as I do it.

That’s the only gift I can offer you.  It’s not much …(compared to what you’ve given me)…

I love you.
Andy”

Wow–I have read this letter several times and every time I am deeply moved.  How wonderful it is for Andy, and his grandmother, that he did this while they were both alive and well.  In addition to the joyfulness of expressing this gratitude, he will never have the pain of regret for what he wished he had said.  Well done, Andy.

Mark your calendars – we will be running another contest in May for expressions for gratitude for mothers and grandmothers.  The winners will receive an autographed copy of This is the Moment! and with their permission, be featured in a blog. You have two months to enrich your relationships in a way you never imagined – have a conversation, write a letter, create a video, etc.