November 15, 2004

TIME OUT: Saying 'Thank you'

I forgot the anniversary of my mother’s death.
Attending a student journalism conference in Nashville, I simply forgot the day. A week passed before I remembered it today. I skipped class and resumed my ritual of taking a rose for each year of my life to her grave.
Entering the flower shop, I selected a dozen silky pink roses. Reaching for a second dozen of crisp white roses, I recalled I was 24 when she died. Picking up another dozen of velvety red roses, I realized at 36, I’ve lived a third of my life without my mother.
As student journalists, we constantly push away family and friends. Deadlines, homework and our other jobs make us push. Soon those supporting us no longer register as a priority. For a profession focused on communication, we have terrible personal communications skills.
Write a thank you note to someone you’ve neglected this semester. Thank them for their love and support. Getting the story doesn’t make up for constantly missing birthdays, holidays or anniversaries. Having loved ones celebrate our accomplishments means sharing in theirs.
... and call your mother.