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Thank you note wording after illness

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Thank you note wording after illness
September 13, 2018 Holiday Thanks 2 comments

Thank you note examples for meals received after you've had surgery or were in the hospital.

When colleagues provide you with major help at work, lend a hand when you're in a jam, assist with a challenging project, or generally go above-and-beyond what's required, it's a kind gesture to send a letter of appreciation. You can also send a note or email message to a colleague who has covered for you while you were out sick or on leave. 

Sending a letter of appreciation lets colleagues know that their hard work and help is noticed and valued. Everyone likes to know that they are appreciated. Plus, taking the time to show that you've noticed always makes a good impression. Expressing your appreciation also helps to build and maintain a work climate that is positive and congenial.

Who to Thank and When to Say Thank You

If you are leading a team, you might want to send out a team-wide email of thanks when you pass key milestones and, ultimately, complete a project. Team members who feel that their contributions have been publicly affirmed are much more likely to give their best effort than those who never hear a word of praise and think that they are being taken for granted.

If you are a new employee fortunate enough to have attracted a volunteer mentor, by all means, you should write a note to thank your mentor for taking time away from his or her own workload to help you with yours.

It's always nice to let people with power over promotions and raises know when their employees are performing well. 

An email is the quickest way to say thank you, but a handwritten note or letter always makes a good impression. It shows that you have taken an extra step to show your appreciation for the assistance provided by a colleague at work.

Sample Appreciation Letters and Email Messages for Work

Below you will find sample appreciation letters to send or email to an individual or individuals who have provided you with help at work. Use these examples as inspiration and guidance when you are crafting your own thank you note. 

Sample Appreciation Letter - Help at Work

Dear Name,

Thank you for all your wonderful contributions during our recent departmental restructure. It was really helpful to have your input, since you went through a similar reorganization in your department last year.

We’re already seeing a vast improvement in efficiency thanks to the streamlined processes you suggested, and I'm confident things will run smoothly as the company continues to grow.

I really appreciate your guidance and the time you spent with me to help this transition go well.

Best regards,

Your Name

Sample Appreciation Letter - Thank You to Teammates

Dear Team, 

Thank you all for your tremendous help launching the XYZ project. Without your diligence, hard work, and several late nights and early mornings, we would not have been able to meet our deadline. And we did so much more than that: thanks to everyone's major efforts, we not only launched on time, but with a wonderful result.

Your hard work has been noticed, and I, along with the entire senior management team, would like to express my deep gratitude to each and every one of you. 


Your Name 

Sample Appreciation Letter - Help from a Mentor

Dear Name,

I’d like to thank you, most sincerely, for all of the help you’ve given me since my hiring at XYZ Company. Onboarding is both an exciting and a nerve-wracking process, but from the very beginning you have made me feel welcome in our department.

I especially appreciate all of the time you’ve taken away from your own work to “show me the ropes” and to ensure that I have the process knowledge and tools I need to do a great job each day.

I’m extremely fortunate to have you as a colleague, and I look forward to the day when I can follow the example you’ve set in helping our new hires feel grounded and supported.

Best regards,

Your Name

Tips for Writing Your Thank-You Letter

When you write a thank-you letter to a colleague, opt for a more formal than casual tone. That's especially important if you are copying managers and colleagues on the letters. A breezy "Thanks for the help" email is nice, but spending the time to make sure the letter is well constructed may feel more meaningful. 

Your Letter Should Be Genuine: Avoid excessive flattery, which can seem insincere. Be specific in your praise, and explain exactly why you are writing the letter. No need to overthink your message — the most important thing is to make sure you say "thank you" in the letter. Before you send your letter, proofread it to make sure you do not have any typos.

Don't Delay Sending Your Thank-You Letter: While you do want the message to be thoughtful, it's also important to not let too much time pass between the event or favor that warranted thanks, and you sending your letter. 

Here's more information on how to write a thank-you letter, including who to thank, what to write and when to write an employment-related thank-you letter. Review more appreciation letter samples — remember, it's important to thank anyone who helps you throughout your career and job search. 

Don't Delay Sending Your Thank-You Letter: While you do want the message to be thoughtful, it's also important to not let too much time pass between the event or favor that warranted thanks, and you sending your letter. 

Here's more information on how to write a thank-you letter, including who to thank, what to write and when to write an employment-related thank-you letter. Review more appreciation letter samples — remember, it's important to thank anyone who helps you throughout your career and job search. 

Key Takeaways

It's a nice idea to send a thank you note. Take the time to thank helpful co-workers, mentors, managers, and other colleagues.Letter recipients will appreciate the acknowledgement. 

If you're emailing a co-worker, consider copying the person's manager. That way, you'll be alerting the manager to the employee's helpfulness. 

Be genuine, and not too effusive, in your message. Whether you're sending a handwritten or emailed note, aim to be authentic and sincere. 

If you are emailing a co-worker, you can also copy the person's manager.

Be particularly careful to make sure you've spelled the recipient's name correctly. 

Use these tips from Hallmark to learn how to write a thank you note. Includes a thank you note template, plus helpful thank you note wording. Since the dawn of time, people have struggled with the right way to say thank you. From prehistoric Even if it's cold hard cash, describe how you'll spend the stuff.

How to Write a Thank You Note for Any Occasion (With 3 Examples You Can Use)

thank you note wording after illness

Funeral thank you notes etiquette dictates sending thank you notes for significant gestures after a funeral. This can be done by sending flowers, bringing food or just sending a note.

It may not be much, but it will go a long way in letting people know how much you appreciate them for making out time to attend the funeral.

More so, this is an activity that will distract you from your grief even if for a little time.

See Also

What To Write In A Get Well Card

What To Write In A Sympathy Card: 60 Condolence Messages

Funeral thank you notes all follow the same basic structure:

which are:

Salutation: Dear [person’s name]. If you are particularly close to the person to whom the card is being sent, you could open with: “My dearest [person’s name].”

Expression of gratitude: Express gratitude and thanks on behalf of you and your family for his or her help or thoughtfulness. A sentence or two will suffice, but be specific about what you are grateful for (for example, a beautiful bouquet of sympathy flowers).

Personalization: People also appreciate a personal touch whereby you mention anything special he or she did that touched your heart or his or her special relationship with the deceased. The personal touch shows that you put thought into writing the funeral thank you card.

Closing:  End the note with “Yours Truly” or “Love” (depending on the closeness of your relationship to the person), and sign the card on behalf of your family (e.g. With Much Love, the Smith Family) or yourself (e.g. Yours Truly, Mrs Smith).

Seeing as we have seen the basic structure lets look at some funeral thank you notes.

See Also: What To Write In A Birthday Card For A Friend Or Family: 50 Messages For You

Funeral Thank You Notes  

1. Dear,

It was very kind of you to attend John’s funeral service. I know it must have been difficult for you to travel such a long way after just having had your operation.

However, you being present meant a lot to me and my family. You were one of John’s dearest friends and I know he treasured your friendship.

Thank you and kindest regards.

2. Dear,

Thank you so much for coming to Peter’s funeral. It meant so much to us having close friends of our family present.

It was so thoughtful of you to help with the buffet after the service and thank you for the pastries you brought. Your kindness and sympathy during this difficult time is so much appreciated.

With love…

3. Dear Mr and Mrs Jones,

It meant a great deal to me that you came to Marie’s funeral. It was a difficult day and your presence was of great comfort to me.

Your participation in the service was a great help and your words about Marie, so touching.

Kind regards…

4. Dearest Ann,

Thank you for serving as a pallbearer at Jane’s funeral. I am truly grateful to you and your family for your love and support in this difficult time.

With love…

5. My Dear Jared,

Thank you for attending Jim’s funeral and also for your generous donation. Supporting the cancer association means so much to our family and it was Jim’s wish that donations were to be made instead of flowers.

As you know, Jim always supported the charity and it would have meant a lot to him to know that so many contributions were made.

Sincerely yours…

6. Dear Joanne,

Thank you for the beautiful flower arrangement you sent to my father’s funeral. As you know, daffodils were his favorite flowers and it’s lovely that you remembered.

Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Kind regards…

7. Dear ____________,

Your presence at _________’s funeral service really meant a lot to me. He always talked fondly and respectfully about his supervisor and co-workers, and he would have appreciated the fact that you were all there for his family. Thank you for your hugs and kind words of support.


8. Dear ____________,

Thank you for extending so much love and support to our family. We greatly appreciated the warm thoughts expressed in your sympathy card, as well as the lovely plant. Your kindness meant a great deal to us.

Warm Regards…

9. My Dear ____________,

Bringing beautiful food platters to our home after the service was an incredibly generous gesture. We actually had more guests arrive than we had expected, so having that extra food on hand was such a wonderful thing. Your thoughtfulness means more to us than words can fully express.


10. Dearest ____________,

Thank you for helping us during this very difficult time. Your kindness and concern for our family means a great deal to us. We appreciate all the love and support you have extended to us during this period of sadness. You have always been a generous and beloved friend of our family.


11. Irene Dear,

Your sympathy card was so sweet and very much appreciated. You are such a thoughtful friend. Thank you for being there for me at a time when I needed it most. I will always remember your kindness.

Best Regards…

12. Dear ____________,

Thank you so much for assisting me with making the funeral arrangements for ________. Your clear and level-headed thinking and planning at a time when I felt so scattered was an incredible help. The love, support and kindness meant a great deal to me.

13. Dearest ____________,

When ___________ passed I was just totally devastated and overwhelmed with grief. I felt like the rug had just been pulled out from under me. Having you there by my side to help me figure out what needed to be done, and to assist me with making phone calls to arrange the service and reception was an incredibly generous act of true friendship. Because of your help and comforting advice, on the day of the funeral, I felt more mentally and emotionally prepared to greet a large number of guests that came to pay their respects.

I am sincerely thankful for your thoughtfulness.

14. Dear ____________,

Thank you for the lovely flower arrangement. You have always been such great friends, and having you there at the prayer service meant a lot us to.

Many thanks…

15. Dear ________,

Your presence at my father’s memorial service was a great comfort to me and my family. The fond memories that you shared of my father during the service were incredibly moving and thoughtful. The love and support that you’ve shown us during this very difficult time will always be remembered. Thank you for your sympathy and kindness.


16. Dear ________,

You have been a pillar of strength for my grandmother, my parents, me, and my entire family. We greatly appreciated that you were there for Grandpa at the hospital during his illness, and for surrounding our family with your love during his funeral. Thank you so much for dedicating a memorial bench and plaque for my grandfather at his favorite park. I’m sure he is in Heaven smiling down at you this very moment! You were his nearest and dearest friend, and he cherished the lifetime of memories the two of you shared.

With love and warmth,

17. Dear ________,

Your comforting presence at my mother’s memorial service was appreciated more than words can fully express. My grief and sorrow run deep, and to have someone there for me that truly understood the impact of my loss was a very beautiful thing. It made my heart lighter to be surrounded by such warm and unconditional love. My mother was blessed to have your friendship. Thank you for everything.


18. Dear ________,

Our entire family cannot thank you enough for your generosity. The large and stunning flower arrangement you sent to the church for my grandmother’s funeral service was incredibly thoughtful. Thank you for being such a wonderful support system for all of us. It’s at difficult times like these that we stop to realize how fragile and beautiful the gift of life truly is. We are so grateful that you are an important part of our lives.

19. Dear ________,

Your love and prayers mean the world to me and my family. Thank you so much for attending my aunt’s funeral. We also enjoyed the time you spent reminiscing with us about years of wonderful memories. The gorgeous flower arrangement you sent to the church was incredibly thoughtful. It’s good friends like you that have kept our spirits up and our hearts filled with love. We deeply appreciate your sweet generosity.


20. Dear ________,

I feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many friends and family during this very sad and stressful time. Your love and prayers have helped soothe my sorrow. My grandfather was such a sweet, gentle soul. In my heart I know that he is now in a much better place, and that his love continues to surround me every day. Thank you for all the love and support you have given me. I truly appreciate it.

With love and warmth…

21. Dear Matthew,

Thank you for the beautiful flower arrangement after Peter’s passing. I know you are grieving too, but know that he always thought of you as one of his closest friends.

Many thanks,

22. Dear Sally and John,

The wreath you sent to the funeral home was stunning.My family and I appreciate your thoughtfulness and consideration during this difficult time.


23. Dear Anthony,

Thank you so much for the generous donation to the American Heart Association in Zeke’s name. As you know, he suffered from heart disease for years before his passing, and this was the perfect gift in his memory.


24. Dear Betty and Sam,

My family appreciates your donation to the SPCA in memory of our beloved Oscar. As you know, he was always an animal lover and fostered many dogs and cats through the years. I’m hoping to continue bringing in animals temporarily until we can find them “forever” homes.

Your friend and neighbor,

25. Dear Alan,

Thank you so much for bringing the family-sized platters of cold cuts, vegetables, and fruit after Kevin’s funeral Your generosity and thoughtfulness in bringing finger foods for guests really helped my family get through the most difficult time. It was nice to not have to worry about feeding all of those people when they stopped by the house over the next several days.

Sad but grateful,

26. Dear Reverend Jones,

Thank you for your spiritual counsel and services at the funeral of my mother. Especially at times like these, your guidance is so appreciated.

Mary Peters

27. Dear Frank,

Thank you for serving as a pallbearer. You are a true friend. Your contributions to the service were a tremendous help. I appreciate your kindness.


28. Dear Mr and Mrs Chan,

Itwas really nice to see you at my mother’s funeral. I really appreciate the effort you made to travel such a distance. I was grateful to hear your memories, and your support made a difference to me and my family.


29. Dear Mrs Lopez,

Thank you for the beautiful pink arrangement of flowers. Roses were Mom’s favorite and they served as a reminder of the special friend you were to her/ how much you and the others meant to her.

Sincerely, Mary

30. Dear Penny and Joe,

1want to thank you for the wonderful meal you delivered to our home after the funeral. It was delicious and such a thoughtful gesture. My mother really valued your friendship. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.


31. Dear Richard,

I appreciate your stepping in and covering my work during this difficult time. Thank you for your support. It will make it easier when I return to the office next week.


32. Dear Jason,

It was so thoughtful of you to remember us at this time. Thank you for taking the time to share your memories of Mom with us. Your words were such a comfort. Friends like you have helped us get through this difficult time.


33. Dear George,

Thank you for sending your words of sympathy. It was kind of you to show you care.


34. Our family wishes to convey our sincerest appreciation for your prayers and support during (name) passing. We are blessed to have friends like you and are thankful for all you have done.

35. Sending you our sincere gratitude for the flowers you sent. It truly served as a special reminder of your friendship with (name).

Read Also: 76+ Wedding Thank You Wording That Are Immensely Appreciative

Funeral Thank You Notes For Flowers

36. Thank you for extending so much love and support to our family. We greatly appreciated the warm thoughts expressed in your sympathy card, as well as the lovely plant. Your kindness meant a great deal to us.

37. Thank you for your heartfelt condolence. Your words are not only a comfort but a source of strength for my family and me in this difficult time.

38. Thank you for your thoughtful and kind card of condolence. It was a comfort to the entire family.

39. Thank you for your thoughtfulness in helping me with the food and guests at the services. I am so grateful for your helping hand in my time of need. Thanks again.

40. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Your generosity and support during this difficult time are greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your touching letter. I really enjoyed hearing from you. The story you shared about (name) made me smile.

41. Thank you so much for all the support you have offered to my family and me during this difficult time. I know it couldn’t have been easy and I really appreciate your friendship.

42. Thank you so much for attending my (name) funeral and for the beautiful arrangement you sent. Our family really appreciates your support.

43. Thank you very much for attending (name) funeral service. Being his friend meant a lot to him, we know this because he often spoke of you. During this difficult time, your kindness has meant a lot to our family.

44. The family would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest appreciation for the thoughtfulness presented to us and love we have been given during our time of bereavement.

45. The service you performed offered inspiration and comfort to all who were present. We thank you greatly for your help and support during this difficult time.

46. There comes a time in life that your friends support is extremely necessary. This was one of those times and you were there for me every second. Thank you, my friend.

47. This is a very difficult time for all of us. We are saddened by the passing of (name). Your presence helped to lighten our burden. I was grateful to enjoy your company and hear your lovely memories.

48. We greatly appreciate your very generous donation in (name) honor. We thank you so much for your kindness.

49. We really appreciate your acts of kindness and helping hands for our family during (name) funeral service. It was a comfort to us to know these details were in your hands.

50. We wish to express our sincere appreciation for all your love and support during our time of loss. Thank you all for the acts of kindness shown to our family.

51. We wish to express our sincere appreciation for your words of comfort during (name)’s memorial service. We are encouraged and blessed to know that he/she will be in the company of our Lord.

52. We would like to thank you for speaking at (name)’s memorial service. Thank you for spending the time to share your wonderful memories with his friends and family. The words you spoke were very comforting to all who attended.

53. We would like to give our thanks for the beautiful photos and flowers. We greatly appreciate your kindness, support, and generosity in this difficult time.

54. We would like to offer our thanks for the wonderful service you performed for us. Your sympathetic words were very soothing and comforting and brought hope to all who were present. We truly appreciate your services.

55. You said you would always be there for our family and you were. Thank you for that. I love you.

56. Your card was beautiful. Thank you for being there for me.

57. Your sympathy card was so sweet and very much appreciated.

58. You are such a thoughtful friend. Thank you for being there for me at a time when I needed it most. I will always remember your kindness.

59. Allow me to express my most heartfelt appreciation for the fantastic food you’ve prepared for us. When in need, you were there to help and are truly a great friend and neighbor.

60. How truly grateful we are to have wonderful friends like you. Your love and support for our family have been very much appreciated during this time of loss.

61. I can hardly express how grateful I am for your attendance at (name)’s funeral. It was so good of you to take the time to be with me and my family.

62. It is difficult to find words to express how thankful we are for your expression of love to our family during this truly difficult time. We are grateful for the friendship that we share. Warm regards.

63. It is hard to put into words the thanks we would like to give for all the help, thoughtfulness and sympathy you have given us during this difficult time. We are very grateful for your support and friendship.

64. It was very nice of you to think of me in this time of sadness. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

65. Just a quick note to show our appreciation for the beautiful flowers you’ve sent. We are grateful for your thoughtfulness while we are going through this difficult time.

66. My family and I would like to thank you for your support and generous donation to (name) fund. You were a great friend to her over the years and I know she loved you very much.

67. Thank you for your kindness in remembering _________ with your donation. Your thoughtfulness and generosity are much appreciated by the entire family.

68. We are so appreciative of your generosity. Your donation in honor of ___________ will help fund the grave marker. Thank you so very much.

69. It was so kind of you to make a donation to the family in honor of _____________. We are pleased to pay it forward by sending a gift to the ______ charity, which was dear to _________’s heart. Thank you for your generosity and kindness.

70. Your donation in honor of __________’s memory touched us deeply. Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness, and may God bless you.

71. Your presence at the funeral was greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your wishes and kind gestures.

There you have it. Now sending that funeral thank you notes won’t be so difficult. Just take your pick and mourn in peace.

More Messages, Notes and Things to Write to the People You Care About

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Perfect Thank You Notes: Heartfelt And Handwritten

thank you note wording after illness

Sample Thank You For Flowers
Birthday, Sympathy, Funeral, Romantic

Send thank you for flowers notes if you have been sent a beautiful bouquet of your favourite blooms. Us girlies all love to receive flowers, all the more reason to say thank you!

Below you will find sample flowers thank you notes for you to copy or use as inspiration to write your own. If you are specifically looking for funeral thank you notes and wording for funeral flowers go straight here to say thank you for funeral flowers.

Thank You For Flowers

Romantic Valentine Flowers Thank You Notes


Thank you for the gorgeous bouquet of roses. I miss you terribly but the roses certainly make up for your absence.

Can't wait until Saturday.



Dearest John,

Wow, your stunning arrangement arrived today, on valentines day. Thank you darling.  Even though you are so far away, every time I look at my flowers, I am reminded of you!  They have received many compliments and have pride of place on the dining table.

I hope your trip is going as expected and thankfully, it is not too long before we see each other. Joan and Dave came over this morning for a coffee and they send their warmest wishes.

See you soon darling.



Oh honey,

The roses just wowed me!  I am so lucky. Thank you darling!

Can't wait until the weekend.



Christmas Flowers Thank You Wording

Dear Margaret,

My beautiful amaryllis arrived today.  It's just gorgeous. I love it.  Thank you so much for sending my favourite christmas flower.  I have received so many compliments already as it really is a stunning welcome to the house.

I am a lucky lady.

See you next week, as usual, for our coffee.



Birthday Flowers Thank You Notes

Dear Mum,

Thank you for the beautiful flowers you sent for my birthday. What a lovely surprise it was when I arrived home from work to find them on my doorstep. The roses are stunning and fit perfectly in my new crystal vase.

Thanks again.

Lots of love,


Dear Tina,

Thank you for the rose tree you sent me for my birthday. I have already found a spot in the garden for it and look forward to enjoying heavenly roses for many years to come.

Thanks again.



Illness And Thank You Get Well

Dear Joan,

Thank you for the flowers you sent me while I was in hospital. They cheered me up no end and really brightened up my dull room. I am on the road to recovery now and look forward to our next coffee morning.

Kind regards,


Dear Tim,

Thank you so much for the lovely bouquet you sent me upon hearing of my illness. It really is a drag to be in bed all day but your flowers are in my bedroom and are a cheerful reminder of you and your friendship.

Thank you again.

Warmest regards,


If you haven't found specific thank you for flowers notes that you were looking for you will find more example thank you notes on Sympathy Flowers Thank You Notes

Return from Thank You For Flowers Notes to Sample Thank You Notes Wording

This section has some thank you note wording samples for get well wishes and to illness or other health issues, there are several situations where thank you.

70 Funeral Thank You Notes To Appreciate Friends And Family

thank you note wording after illness

365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life
By John Kralik
Hardcover, 240 pages
List Price: $22.99

2. A Walk in the Mountains

Before she broke up with me, Grace and I had planned to spend New Year's Day walking on the Echo Mountain trail that leads into Angeles National Forest above Pasadena. When the day came, I called her to see if she might still want to come. She had other plans. I would be starting the new year alone.

I decided to walk into the mountains anyway.

I took the three-mile hike above Pasadena on the Echo Mountain trail, which ends at the crumbled remains of an old hotel. Hot winds and constant mountain fires had burned down that hotel, again and again, and eventually, about seventy years ago, the owners had stopped rebuilding. Guests had reached the hotel by train on the Mount Lowe Railway, which was now defunct and had also since succumbed to the elements. Only corrupt and scattered remains of the track can be found. But spectacular views of the Los Angeles Basin stretch out below the crumbled stone bricks of the hotel's remains. On a clear day you can see all the way to the ocean.

On this semi-clear day, when I got to the old hotel site, I joined a host of New Year's early risers. (The AA crowd, I thought.) They were looking through binoculars, hoping to spy the Tournament of Roses Parade winding through the foggy streets of Pasadena below.

I could feel the distant rumblings of the parade, but I was in no mood for it, so I turned to walk deeper into the mountains. Eventually, the sounds of trombones and French horns faded. Longing to be completely alone, I meandered the back paths, pushing on until I was all by myself. Then I took a wrong turn, lost the path, and became completely lost.

I had no company that day but the inner voice that kept saying "loser." There was no one I wanted to ask on that walk who wanted to come with me. My desires and faults had left me solitary at middle age.

It was New Year's. There was new growth all around. It was time to make new resolutions. It was time to change. I had felt this way before, of course; at fifty-two, I had a lot of unfulfilled New Year's resolutions.

But this year not only was I a loser at what I was doing, I also didn't want to do it anymore. I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life. I wanted to be more than just another lawyer slinging hatred for a living.

I had always wanted to write, I remembered. But thirty years ago, I had become a lawyer. Soon, I'd had a family to support; eventually, I had two families and a firm to support. There had never been time to write. A few months before my first child was born, I had packed up my writing neatly in files and put it away in a box. The box had fallen apart many times, but I had always replaced it. I had carried it from divorce to remarriage to divorce, from house to apartment to cheaper and cheaper apartments.

Now time was running out. I was older than the idol of my college years, Jack Kerouac, had been when he drank himself to death. I was just a bit younger than Hemingway had been when his muse so dimmed that he saw no point in living. As I struggled through the brush in search of a new path, I ran through ideas I'd had for writing projects over the years. This year, I thought, I should try to write something, and I should actually finish it. Yet even as this thought made its way through my mind, I knew how futile a thought it was. I had no time, no energy.

Still not finding the path, I began to slip and stumble in the rough. As I became more lost and tired, I began to despair of getting home before dark, much less finishing something I started in the new year. I imagined falling down into one of the ravines. If that happened, how would I survive the night?

Then I heard a voice: "Until you learn to be grateful for the things you have," it said, "you will not receive the things you want." I do not know who spoke to me. I could not explain this voice, or the words it said, which seemed to have no logical relation to the other thoughts in my head.

I was tired and frustrated. I sat down for a minute. The voice was loud. For me, the voice was loud enough that I thought it might be important, and that it might have an important message. I should not throw it away.

I sat there listening to my breath. The wheezing from my asthma subsided. As things grew quiet around me, I realized I had no choice but to get up, or I would still be sitting there at the end of the day. While I was not sure I wanted to go back, there was no point in staying. Feeling less exhausted, I pushed on.

The mountains in this area are not so complicated, and despite the drama in my head, a return to civilization was still available to an inexperienced hiker. Heading generally downward, I eventually found another trail, and made my way, slipping and sliding, to the old hotel. Sitting on the remnants of its concrete slab, I stared out at the vast, quiet expanse of Los Angeles. This is a perspective from which the most sordid distress of humanity can seem peaceful.

For some reason, at that moment I thought of my grandfather John Kralik Jr., a veteran of the First World War and a successful dealer in insurance, real estate, and the stock market. Perhaps he came to mind because when he was my age, my grandfather had already retired. When I knew him, he played golf and watched it on television. In the morning, he sat at his desk and checked stock prices. Perhaps I was dwelling on my own bitterness at the certainty that I would not be playing golf or checking stock prices anytime soon. I would be working for a long time, I thought, perhaps till the moment of death.

When I was about five, my grandfather gave me a silver dollar. My grandfather had twelve grandchildren at the time. Eventually he would have twenty-four, and he would often try to impress us. It was about 1960, and if you really wanted to wow a child in those days, you gave him or her a silver dollar. It seemed an impossibly large sum of money in a shiny, mysterious package. I didn't know how to spend it, and don't believe I ever did. Silver dollars doled out by my grandfather and other relatives in those days were confiscated by my parents, who did not trust us with them. Eventually, my mother put them in a bank account, and I believe they are still there today. Though the money would have made no difference to me, I should have paid more attention to the message that my grandfather delivered with it. He promised that if I wrote him a letter thanking him for this silver dollar, he would send me another one. That was the way thank-you letters worked, he told me.

I have only a few memories of my grandfather from this period of my childhood, but I remember well that on this occasion he was true to his word, and soon I had two silver dollars. Having experienced the truth of this principle, however, I failed to learn it. I never sent a second thank-you note for the second silver dollar. For some reason, I left it at that. It may be that I didn't need or want another silver dollar. After all, my mother would put it in the bank, and I would never see it. But I was blind to the real lesson he was trying to teach me. So I did not receive a third silver dollar.

A couple years before that walk in the mountains, as part of my pipe dream of a gentle, gallant law practice, I had fancied that I would be handwriting a lot of personal notes. My office manager had dutifully ordered some very nice personal stationery, several hundred notes and envelopes in a gentlemanly off-white. Soon we would be kicked out of our offices, and the return address on hundreds of unused envelopes would become obsolete.

Sitting on the concrete slab that is all that remains of the hotel at Echo Mountain, I listened to the voice, and then the following thoughts, first of my grandfather and his silver dollars, and then of the nearly useless envelopes. And I came up with an idea.

I would try to find one person to thank each day. One person to whom I would write a thank-you note. By the end of the year, I would have used up the stationery. I would have written 365 thank yous.

If my grandfather was right, I would have a lot more of what I was thankful for by the end of the year. If the voice was right, I would begin to get the things that I wanted. And if not, well, I had little more to lose.

I stood and began to walk down the mountain trail toward home. I had been in the mountains the entire day; I had walked nearly fifteen miles. I was exhausted and still had little hope, but I had figured out how I might go on. My only problem: Did I have anything to be grateful for? The way my life was going, I hardly thought so.

From 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik. Copyright 2010 John Kralik. Excerpted by permission of Hyperion.

Dear ______, Thank you so much for offering your emotional support and understanding after the accident as I struggled my way back to health.

thank you note wording after illness
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