So, you’d like to host a BlessBack Dinner.
While some of you have shared your BlessBack stories with me, others have expressed an interest in wanting to thank your life influencers over a meal. This is a wonderful idea and your life influencer will be forever grateful.
Here are three possible options for you to consider:
1. Take your honoree out to a restaurant for dinner.
2. Invite your honoree to your home for dinner.
3. Find two or three of your friends and plan a BlessBack meal with each of you inviting your BlessBack honorees to the meal.
For the purposes of today’s blog, let’s talk about your first option.
Take your life influencer out to a restaurant for dinner, and then share your BlessBack letter.
In February 2007, in the midst of taking four university classes at St. Thomas and raising a family, I became overwhelmed with the need to thank Pat Fatchett, my seventh-grade English teacher for her influence in my life. Because I did not want to delay giving my gratitude to her, I choose to take her out to dinner.
I am glad I did. I needed to use the time beforehand to copy and create a bound notebook to give her of stories and diary entries from my time spent in her class. I also had to write my thank-you letter and wanted to give myself time to remember my childhood and the important part she played in it.
Here is your to-do list for you to take your life influencers out to dinner:
1. Call your honorees and let them know of your fond memories and that you would like to take them out to dinner as a way to express your thanks for their influence. If your life influencers have a spouse, you might want to invite them too, to increase comfortableness for all.
2. Ask what food allergies they have. Be sensitive to their needs as you pick your restaurant choice.
If I lived in California, I would take my life influencer to Cafe Gratitude. Not only does this restaurant serve organic food from their local farm, but I love that they practice gratitude as a business model and live it out with each guest they serve. Their motto is lovely. “We practice business through a view of love we call Sacred Commerce, where we celebrate mistakes, commit to strong communication, and give gratitude for our lives. . . Our food is prepared with love. We invite you to step inside and enjoy being someone that chooses: loving your life, adoring yourself, accepting the world, being generous and grateful every day, and experiencing being provided for. Have fun and enjoy being nourished.”
Being nourished. It’s the point of your giving a BlessBack to your life influencer. To nourish them with words of your thanks.
3. Make reservations and confirm time and location with your honoree(s). Give yourself at least a week to write your letter and gather any memorabilia you want present at the dinner.
4. Gather any mementos or souvenirs you want to show your honoree. This might include bringing an actual gift he or she gave or made you a long time ago. You might drive to your old stomping grounds to snap photos of an old homestead, ball field, high school, Main Street, the place where you and your honoree used to work, your alma mater, etc.
5. Write your letter. Read aloud after you have finished your meal.
6. Have your waiter snap a picture of the two of you.
7. Share your BlessBack story on here on BlessBack’s Facebook Fan Page.
8. Lastly, send your influencer a picture of the night.
When Pat Fatchett and I met that February evening at Macaroni Grill, time seemed to stop. We shared memories and talked about teachers and the romance that developed between the Social Studies teacher and the French teacher. (They eventually married). We talked about the principal, whom I had always thought was nice but feared. I liked hearing that she had a gentle but firm control of the school and had gone to bat for Pat in some difficult situations.
We also talked about her class. I was embarrassed to tell her I didn’t remember what she taught; my only proof that I had learned something were in the stories and my diary entries from her class―a copy of which I handed to her to keep.
Mostly I told her how her encouragement had kept me going when I wanted to quit school. When a difficult class came, I would take out my old notebook and let her voice and blue-tipped Flair markers denoting a good grade keep me pursuing classes, one by one.
As the lights dimmed in the restaurant and the hurricane candle at our table flickered, Pat shared that she had saved her attendance books for more than thirty years, hoping a student would come back to thank her. She’d saved them to aid her memory of where the student had sat.
When no one came back to thank her, at her retirement just after the turn of the century, she threw the attendance books out.
BlessBacks seem so simple to give – and they are. All it takes for you is to pick up the phone and call. Do it. Right now.
Afterward, share your story here on the BlessBack’s Facebook Fan Page. There are fans who would love for you to share your BlessBack Dinner story.
Until next time.
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