Thank You Notes

Thank you notesA post I read earlier this week about Great Aunts got me thinking about all the thank you notes I used to write each year at Christmas..  I’ve written about it before in a long ago blog; the lost art of note writing and how nice it is to get a hand written note.  That however is not quite where I want to go today.  

Each Christmas my Aunt Myrtle would send me a silver spoon and each year I would write back thanking her for the gift, giving her a short account of what was going on in my life.  She cared deeply for me and I tried to be honest without telling her too much detail.  My brevity was more due to the size of the note paper than having little to say.  

I was wondering what those notes would have looked like over the years if Aunt Myrtle were still with us.  This is a sample of what they might have said.  

At age 21

Dear Aunt Myrtle,   Thank you for the lovely spoon.  It is so nice to have all of the tea spoons now and be part way through getting the coffee spoons.  I am still collecting the Doulton China to go with them but it is getting expensive so I’m not getting quite so many pieces each year.  I’ve finished my Journalism course now and have met a man I very much love.  I know you won’t really approve but we are living together and are happy.  I’m working at the college on the newspaper and he helps his parents run their Dairy Queen’s.  Looking forward to coming home in the summer for a little while.  Maybe we will see you.  Love Peggy

Age 24

Dear Aunt Myrtle,  Thank you for the spoon.  It is wonderful to think that now I know these spoons will be used by another generation.  Our little girl is almost a year old now and she is a delight.  We have moved back to Port Dover now and I am busy looking after Christie.  I love that she carries your maiden name.  Great Grandma and Grandpa Christie were so special to me. Please say hello to Colleen and Anne and the girls for me.  Hoping to see you all soon.  Love Peggy

Age 26

Dear Aunt Myrtle,  I love the coffee spoons and have used them a few times.  As you know my Mom died this past winter and I miss her terribly.  I have her china and silver but will always treasure these gifts of yours too.  Maybe they will be passed on to my Gayle.  She is a sweet little thing and while I am very busy with two small girls and working , I am enjoying it. I’m sure you remember the joy of having two girls.  Love always Peggy

Age 33

Dear Aunt Myrtle, Please don’t bother to send any more spoons.  As Grandma may have told you we had a son just before Christmas and then four days after Christmas we lost our home to a fire.  Thank the Lord we all got out safely but we were not able to save much.  We will be replacing everything we can but the price of silver is high so I think we will just get china to replace Mom’s dishes and some stainless flat wear.  I will miss seeing those spoons though I’m not sure I’ll miss cleaning them.  Love Peggy

Age 39

Dear Aunt Myrtle, Thank you for sending the gift of money.  The children and  I have good use for it.  We are on our own now and it’s not easy but we are managing.  We had to move out of our house and I found a town house which suits our needs.  The children are growing so fast I can hardly keep up.  They are very busy with plays and sports and lessons.  I am working for newspapers as a freelancer.  I love that I am finally doing what I had always wanted to do.  I love to write.  I think Grandma would be proud.  I miss her so and I’m sure you do too.  Love always, Peggy

Age 43

Dear Aunt Myrtle,  Thank you again for the gift of money.  It has been a tough time for us but things are looking up.  Shortly after I bought our house in the country I lost my writing jobs.  The bottom sort of fell out of the news industry and they cut all the freelance jobs.  I went a long time without work but have finally found a job in mental health.  I’m learning a great deal.  Christie has moved away from home now and is living in Vancouver.  Gayle and Bryan are living here in the country with me.  Gayle is learning to drive. Blessings to you.  Love Peggy

Age 48

Dear Aunt Myrtle, Thank you for your prayers and the lovely arrangement for Bryan’s funeral. Our hearts are broken.  I don’t hear from Gayle much.  Christie is living close by with my beautiful grand daughter.  It is no accident her name is Hope.  She is my hope for better things and makes me smile.  Christie and her husband are buying a home close by so they will be even closer.  Thank you again for your kindness.  Love Peggy

Age 55

Dear Aunt Myrtle,  Thank you for the lovely package of tea. It made me think of the spoons.  I will enjoy it as I sit writing in my journal each day.  I’ve adjusted to living alone as much as anyone can.  I had to sell the house which was very hard and I’ve moved back to Port Dover where I have a lovely apartment not too far from the lake.  I can smell the lake air in the morning and it is so kind to my homesick heart.  Blessings and love Peggy

Age 63

Dear Aunt Myrtle,  Thank you for sending the pictures of you and Grandma when you were young women.  They are wonderful.  I wish I had more but since Dad died his wife has not allowed me to have anything from the house.  I’m learning things are not as important as people but it is sweet to have good memories.  My partner and I are doing well.  He’s just come through a tough go with cancer but I think is winning the battle.  I’m building my own business as a coach and learning to be a spiritual director.  After 20 years in mental health it is time to move on.  I miss you.  Blessings and love always Peggy.

I wonder what I will write ten years from now.  

Thanks again to Jackie Dinnis for inspiring not one but two of my blogs this week.


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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11 Responses to Thank You Notes

  1. Interesting journey. Thanks for the well narrated and guided tour.

  2. Sammy D. says:

    This made me tear up, Peggy. Touched by your letters to your Aunt, her generosity, and your loves, losses, joys and struggles. A very moving way to share yourself with us.

  3. I really enjoyed this post. Have you considered sending such an article to something like a women’s magazine, a senior’s magazine, or something similar? Having done the freelance before, you’d certainly know how to go about it. Keep up the good work.

  4. sianob says:

    Hi Peggy, found your wonderful blog through Freshly Pressed. Thank you for sharing your story. Looking forward to reading more of your blog in the coming weeks. Sian.

  5. Martha says:

    God bless you Peggy – what a giving heart you have. I needed to read this tonight, and there you were.

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