Softball Seniors Create A Farewell Gift – And Gratitude Visit
It’s been a busy May. We’ve been overhearing voice message snippets like “I can’t thank you enough”, “I so appreciate the time….”, “I am so grateful to you for….” as many gift givers create VoiceQuilts as farewell, retirement and teacher appreciation gifts.
When I overheard a portion of a VoiceQuilt called “Softball Seniors”, I just had to reach out to the gift giver, who briefly described a farewell gift created by her daughter’s softball team, the Red Dragons at SUNY Cortland. The graduating seniors on the team recorded thank you toasts and tributes for the coach. The team had an impressive season, finishing 41-10 for its fourth straight 40-win season and also qualifying for the NCAA Div. III tournament for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
To me, the athletic record was impressive but the emotion behind the farewell gift was even more inspiring. The graduating seniors thanked the softball coach for creating a family atmosphere, instilling a love for the game and modeling the importance of attitude. One senior shared that she was pursuing a coaching career because of the coach’s example. Rachel, one of the team captains, brought tears to my eyes with her warm tribute. (Listen to the message at the top of this post.)
A few months back, the New York Times profiled various gratitude practices that improve health and increase happiness. One such practice is the “gratitude visit”. It involves writing and delivering a letter thanking someone for the impact they’ve had on your life. Dr. Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania guarantees that this exercise makes you “happier and less depressed”.
My sense is that the “Softball Seniors” were composing a verbal gratitude visit of their own – a farewell gift brimming with appreciative words and thankful anecdotes that will benefit them just as much as their inspiring coach.
We are proud to be part of this gratitude practice.