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One of the fun perks of my new job is that I get to sneak in on the motivational speakers that come to talk to our students and OH MY have we had some good ones.

First up, Chad Varga. Dude has an AMAZING story. Horrific childhood, pro-basketball career, gave it all up to make a difference in kids' lives. Of all the speakers my biggest boy has listened to, Chad is the ONLY one that Pal came home and spontaneously brought up on his own.

Chad's talk had me all absolutely TORE at my mama heartstrings. He spoke of how his 8 year old sister became the caretaker, reaching across their mattress at night and rubbing his forehead to help him fall asleep. Gracious. Pass the tissues.

He message was great: You make your own success. By all accounts, this young man should have been a "statistic", instead, he set his mind on being successful. Awesome story.

Then, just Monday, I had the privilege of hearing VJ Smith talk. VJ told us about the "Richest Man in Town"...a Walmart cashier set upon making sure everyone in his line knew he cared. Sincerely.

Whereas Chad's story had me teary and broken hearted for that sweet little boy laying on a mattress in an unfinished basement, VJ's talk had me swiping at tears that were falling too fast for me to keep up with.

VJ made me wish I had the opportunity to have known "Marty"...and also made me realize how much a sincere, handwritten "Thank You" means. Confession: the Mr. and I didn't finish all of our Thank Yous from our wedding. I have no excuses. We simply didn't finish them all...and now I want to dig through our wedding stuff to see if I still have the thank you list and write thank you cards to those we didn't get to.

Can you imagine, 13 years later, "Dear Aunt Martha, I can't remember what you gave us, but thank you. Thank you for caring enough to come to our wedding and for gifting us with what I'm sure was a very thoughtful gift." Unfortunately, I think some of those "neglected" thank yous were to people that invested more and gave more than was ever truly realized in our young eyes. Like, our parents.

Ugh. We truly didn't mean to be so selfish...and now I feel like a total schlep after hearing that VJ still remembers, 10 years later, the young couple he and his wife gave some towels to for their wedding and how they didn't receive a thank you.

Well, VJ, being the motivational speaker he is, has motivated me to never EVER forget another thank you, ever again!

Excuse me now, I have to go dig out our wedding tote...


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