A Thank You Letter, Plagiarism-Style

The support I’ve received since my last post has been tremendous. You have astounded me with both your caring and–to my great delight–your creativity in expressing it.

Several of you have voiced some skepticism over one of my ideas (writing a card entirely made up of quotes from other writers) so to show my gratitude… I’ve written my thank you letter in this way.

I will admit that it was harder (and significantly more time-consuming) than I had imagined. And, as with everything I write, I am dissatisfied with the result and tempted to spend all night revising and reworking. However, sleep is a priority these days so I’m going to let this go and embrace the sentiment that 80% perfect now is better than 100% perfect never.

Enough stalling.

Here we go…

I must write a special letter and thank you.[1]

When I solicited your help for [my] struggle…I did not expect so creative and fulsome a response. [I am] inspired by your wonderful support… I hope I can convey [my] appreciation to you with the warmth which [I] feel it.[2]

Upon opening the package[s] I received recently…I knew the first thing I had to do was write you all! I have no idea how these few words can offer up any more than scant reward for such a tremendous effort, but please know that I am at my most sincere, when I say that the generosity of spirit from everyone involved…has truly, truly touched me. I am profoundly grateful. How kind, thoughtful and wonderful of you all to produce something so personal and so perfect… Thank you, to you all, from the bottom of my heart. You are diamonds, all of you, and of course, friends.[3]

Everything [I] cannot say with words or show with action you have expressed for [me]. You have done this with so much imagination, fun and beauty. You are the hippest of cats.[4] If only there was enough space on this tiny card to evoke my unfettered joie de vivre for what you have done. The gaiety, the mirth, the heavenly bubbling of every effusive cell that sings inside me for your kind and pithy offering.[5] You were wonderful.[6]

In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.[7] Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.[8]

We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.[9] In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.[10] When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.[11]

Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy, thank you for loving me and receiving my love in return. Thank you for the memories I will cherish forever.[12]

To all of you who made it all that it was, I send [my] thanks.[13]

Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.[14]

Lots of love,[15]


[1] Roald Dahl, author of The BFG, in a letter to a 7 year-old fan.

[2] Martin Luther King, Jr., writing to Sammy Davis for providing financial support to the Civil Rights movement

[3] Johnny Depp, in a letter to fans who had sent him a handmade quilt

[4] Audrey Hepburn, writing to the composer who wrote the score to Breakfast at Tiffany’s

[5] Joshua Braff, The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green

[6] Lauren Oliver, Liesl & Po

[7] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

[8] Marcel Proust

[9] John F. Kennedy

[10] Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

[11] Maya Angelou

[12] Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle

[13] Neil Armstrong, astronaut, in a letter to the techs who worked on his aircraft

[14] Ronald Reagan, in his open letter to America announcing his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s ­

[15] Audrey Hepburn again

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