Showing Gratitude to Those Who Made a Difference In Your Life

I've wanted to tell my best friend how much I appreciate her. 7 Thank Yous helped me do just that.

From the time we are born into this world until we leave, there are numerous people who will come and go throughout our lives who make a difference in the path that we take, the decisions that we make, the careers that we choose. At random times, and for no apparent reason, these individuals hold a special place in our memories and will jog our memory about something … sometimes 20, 30, or 40 years later.

What about teachers that made a difference in your life? Joan Kristoff was my typing and shorthand teacher in high school. I’ll never forget the repetition she would dictate as we typed – “f, f, f, f, j, j, j, j” to get us accustomed to proper placement on the keyboard and which fingers went where. It is because of her (and my love of writing and typing) that I can type 110wpm without having to look at my keyboard. Mrs. Kristoff, you were the building block to the road I have traveled since graduating … and I can’t thank you enough for teaching me a skill that has taken me far.

What about mentors? Or your first boss who got you started on your career path? One of my mentors was Cheryl Leone at the first law firm I ever worked for in Jacksonville, NC. I wanted to work in the legal field so desperately and had a willingness to learn everything I could. Cheryl took me under her wing and taught me everything – including working with the computer systems since I had a knack for it. Her mentorship provided me with a career that spanned 18 years. My daughter came to work with me and would play underneath my desk while I was working. I learned everything I could from Cheryl, and she was an excellent teacher. I can never repay her for the skills that she taught me that gave me a career doing what I loved.

These are just two examples of people whom I have been blessed to know and who have helped me in my career path.

GRATITUDE: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Who Are You Grateful For?

There is one person, a dear friend of mine who goes by Faerie, who has been my rock over the past 17+ years. Way back when my sons were still young and my daughter in high school is when I met Faerie. We were both in some of the same PSP (PaintShop Pro) Yahoo groups and, as her name states, she loves fairies and was constantly making the most beautiful signature tags for our favorite email program, Incredimail. We began chatting in private and our friendship just blossomed from there.

She has literally been the one constant in my life that I could always count on. When my two sons had problems at school and I didn’t know what to do, she was there with solid advice. When my anxiety levels were through the roof and I just needed someone to LISTEN, she was there with an ear to bend. When I was hurt and struggling, she was there to help comfort me. When my granddaughters were born, she was there to share in my joy.

Why I Am Grateful For Her

Now 17+ years later, I have still never met her in person, but if you ask me who my best friend is, it’s Faerie. She knows EVERYTHING about me – probably more so than my own sister. I laugh with her, I cry with her, we get mad at each other, she calls me out on my b.s. when it is warranted, but she is ALWAYS there for me. I talk to her every day online. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to survive the teenage boy years without her.

And even though we talk every day, and I tell her how much she means to me – again – it’s not PERSONAL. It isn’t something tangible that she can hold, that she can look at, that she can listen to over and over. It’s fleeting, and the sentiment disappears as fast as we type and our conversations scroll and scroll.

Earlier this year, she underwent major surgery and we could have lost her. I did not, I do not, want to imagine a world without her in it. So I wanted to do something to show her how much I love her, how grateful I am to have her in my life, and 7 Thank Yous was able to help me do just that.

My friend is very private, so I won’t share the video that I made for her here … but you can find numerous videos on the 7 Thank Yous website. I was, personally, chomping at the bit wanting to know what her reaction would be once she had watched the video. Once she was able to find a quiet moment to watch it – she texted me the following:

“Oh My Gosh! I am crying my eyes out! Thank You So Much for the wonderful video. I am SPEECHLESS!”

If you know my friend, then you would know that she is NEVER rendered speechless and unable to find the words to express how she feels. So 5-stars to Andy and Paul for setting my video to just the right music and making it an experience she will not soon forget and, hopefully, cherish dearly for many years to come.

Gratitude Improves YOUR Health

Did you know that gratitude improves your WELL-BEING by 10%, which is the same impact as doubling your income? I have always been one who can find the silver lining in the clouds, mostly. It is probably why I don’t catch a lot of colds or get sick very often, other than the usual aches and pains associated with growing older.

READ: Random Acts of Kindness This Holiday Season

Gratitude makes you friendlier, more social, and therefore, more helpful to others. Being grateful also increases optimism, which gives you an improved immune system to fight viruses and bacteria. I try to find one thing, every day, to be grateful for and write it in my calendar. Studies have shown that keeping a gratitude journal can result in an improved outlook on life resulting in relaxed muscles, lower blood pressure, and lower heart rate. Not only that, gratitude improves your resiliency to stress and makes you more likely to offer to help others.

About 7 Thank Yous

Andy Levine choose the name 7 Thank Yous because he said he believes each person has at least seven people in their lives who have made a difference in their life and the paths that they have traveled to get there.

READ: A thank-you video warmed my 10th grade English teacher’s heart. And mine, too.

The idea came to Andy on a morning run along the Jersey Shore. Among the individuals he has thanked via 7 Thank Yous are a guitar teacher from his teenage years, a college drama professor, and a doctor who helped identify and treat his prostate cancer.

Paul Kaplan was all in the moment Andy shared his idea for 7 Thank Yous with him. Paul is an award-winning writer, producer, and director who brings his storytelling skills and experiences to 7 Thank Yous. He’s also thankful for his 10th-grade English teacher who inspired his love for the arts, a client who served as a business mentor, and Bruce Springsteen, his all-time favorite musician. He’s thankful for living near the ocean and running on the boardwalk while trying to catch up to Andy!

be grateful

If you would like to give the gift of gratitude to someone who has made a difference in your life it’s really very simple. Select your thank-you package (there are three options), tell them who you would like to thank (they take care of tracking down their contact information if you don’t have it), and then record a short video on the 7 Thank Yous website – you can do this from your computer or your cellphone. Simply head over to 7 Thank Yous to begin yours today. You can also connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.

The Keepsake Thank You


Personalized “You’ve Been Thanked” Card with video link. Fully produced video of your thank-you message with accompanying music and graphic titles at the beginning and end of each video. Photos shared by you will be expertly interspersed in the video. Delivered in a hand-crafted wooden box with a USB flash drive and festive red confetti. First-class shipping via USPS. Other packages available for $25 and $45

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Who are the people in your life that you would like to thank and show your gratitude to?

Stay tuned, because we have a giveaway coming soon where you can enter to win The Keepsake Thank You (valued at $75) courtesy of 7 Thank Yous, so you can thank that special someone in your life too! In the meantime, leave a comment below and tell us who you are grateful for.

2020 Kimberly Signature

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