Day 12: Dear Bethany

*Today’s post is written by a frequent contributor, former co-worker, and wonderful friend, Debra Dickey. When Debra sent this to me yesterday, it surprised me, it humbled me, and it overwhelmed me with gratitude for HER. That’s the beautiful thing about gratitude–when someone expresses it to me and thanks me for being me, I naturally want to do the same in return, and to others as well.*

Dear Friend,

FriendHow are you?  Fine, I hope.  All’s well here.  Trust the same with you.  You know, the other day I was thinking about how fortunate I have been to know you, and that you should know how grateful I am for the generous opportunities that you have shared, and continue to share, with me that have been integral in the direction and flow of the path that a certain part of my life has taken.  Your unselfishness, exuberance, strength and integrity are beacons that shine clear and bright on any given day!  I enjoy conversations with you, as well as spending time with you – whenever our schedules allow for that.

This pretty much began when I first got to know you — your work ethic and positive personality impressed me right away!  And who wouldn’t notice your laughter and wonderful sense of humor!  All too soon you moved to a different position, and then, as now, I rarely saw you anymore.  Hmm, obviously there was a ‘plan’ already in place (imagine that!) — I just didn’t know it yet.    But I knew you were doing great things.   Although I was new and didn’t quite have my bearings yet, in time, you encouraged and supported me as I wrestled with the ‘loyalty vs. new setting’ decision to make the timely move to your office and begin working with you.  My friend, it was one of the best decisions I ever made!!!  I will always be grateful that you were the reason for that excellent opportunity.

BethanyI LOVED working with you!  You were fun, and made the job fun.  Not only did you teach me the practices and protocols for our essential job functions (while having fun!), but this was also the time frame when I got to know the extraordinary people who are so very important in my everyday work environment, as well as the ins and outs of this particular community to optimize those professional interactions that will always be so critical in creating efficiency and positive outcomes in my job.  Who could ask for better on-the-job training?  Awesome!

I will tell you that I initially wrestled with that decision because I was going through some dreadful mind-numbing stuff in my life and did not want that baggage to leak over and create issues in my work life … only later did I learn that you were struggling with your own heavy burdens and encumbrances that were creating a terrible heartache and sadness in your own life.   Incredibly, you still always gave 110%, and never failed to exemplify professionalism with your positive attitude, your innovative and creative ideas, and your daily acts of kindness.  I’m infinitely grateful for such a great work and mentoring experience.

Never to be the same, this association ended way too soon, as you were off to other places in pursuit of more suitable climates.  I understood, but I missed you!  However, in your graciousness, you continued to stay in touch with me, which almost made up for your absence.   I was very glad that you found time in your busy life to stay connected – so thoughtful!  It meant a lot to me.

My friend Debra with my daughter
My friend Debra with my daughter

After some ramblings combined with a wonderful new life, lo and behold, you are back, almost next door – Yay!  And continuing in your typical style of generosity, you are now allowing me the amazing opportunity to broaden my horizons yet again by accepting my attempts at creative writing to post on your blog. Thank you for this, before now, unrealized opportunity.  Another heartening endeavor for me at this point in my life.

I am grateful for all these things and more – I am grateful for you. I delight in your successes, I cherish how much you have shared with me, I am touched by your experiences, and I am your biggest cheerleader!

I appreciate your friendship through it all.  Thank you, Bethany,

Love, Debra

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