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Expressing Gratitude


Expressing Gratitude – Sister Mary McCaffrey 

NOTE: Sister Mary McCaffrey recently retired from teaching high school in the Peekskill, New York area for the second time. Along with English, Creative Writing and Psychology, she taught Moral Theology. 

To put the question of how I express gratitude in perspective, it’s important to note that we all are products of our heredity, environment, example, and training. I am blessed four times over since at every stage in my young development; I was taught by both word and example to be thankful to God and everyone else who was kind to me since I really didn’t have a RIGHT to anything except to give a good example. Therefore, saying thanks has become second nature to me over the years. Occasionally, I feel compelled to express a little more than verbal thanks. In those instances, I might tell others of a kindness I received, tell a person how much I appreciate them, or give a treat or a small gift to express my gratitude to the giver.  

When I express gratitude, I have a feeling of well-being, knowing I’m doing the right thing. I also project how my recipient feels about being recognized and thanked. This, too, gives me pleasure. 

You bet I talked about gratitude with my students, not only in Theology class but also in English, Creative Writing, and Psychology! It was easy to see that 95% of them were impressed, even enthused. When my students really seemed interested in what I said in class, it was like a shot in the arm, very invigorating. 

Every day something makes me grateful. Let’s start at the very beginning (stolen from THE SOUND OF MUSIC). 

Life, Parents, Faith, Heritage, Family, Catholic Education, growing up in Pelham, New York, Vocation, Franciscan Community, Intelligence, Disposition, Opportunities, Friends, Priests and Sisters who were close to me, getting the best care the few times I have been ill, and having a relatively easy time adjusting to being retired. I keep telling myself that the BEST IS YET TO COME.