CATEGORY: COL Columns (Journal)


HED:Michaela Gibson Morris: Make note: Thankfully, I didn't forget to thank you

Since I chose writing as a profession, it would be a fair assumption that I enjoy it and feel comfortable with the process.

Writing is like a muscle the more it's used, the stronger it gets. Like most things, it just takes practice.

It's not always easy. But typically, I can get around writer's block. Looming deadlines are a great motivator. Sometimes you just have to sit down and write. Like this column, when it has to get done, it gets done.

I do seem to have consistent trouble with one form of writing: Thank you notes.

It's a simple task to write a couple of lines to acknowledge a gift, a kind word or a pleasant visit. It generally doesn't take much effort or preparation to let someone know you appreciated their efforts.

That said, I just can't seem to get them done. Maybe it's because there's not an editor standing over me threatening to chop off my little toes if I don't get cracking on those thank you notes.

This stain on my character is certainly not do to oversight by my mother. She diligently drilled the importance of thank you note writing into our little skulls. Like most mothers she had a sixth sense for what logic would best motivate us: If you want people to keep sending you presents, you better write those thank you notes.

My sister Molly must have absorbed the lesson well, because she's quite meticulous about writing thank you notes. She's always been the task-oriented one.

I just rack up a list of people I need to write thank you notes to.

Last weekend, I even bought a set of pretty, little note cards. The cute little cards with pretty pictures of Tiffany glass should have been just the thing to motivate me.

There's not too much space to fill up. They're just the right size for a quick expression of gratitude. This should not be a daunting task.

All 10 cards are still sitting in the pretty little box on my desk.

But I can take care of one thank you note in this space.

This past month, I made a transition from crime reporting to health and featuring reporting. I'm looking forward to the challenges a new job brings, but it was a hard decision to leave crime reporting.

I've met a lot of good men and women as I've pursued news about homicides, crime rings, fires, child abuse and criminal trials. I'm going to miss running into them on a regular basis.

So this is an open thank you letter to the law enforcement agencies, fire departments, criminal attorneys and court personnel around Northeast Mississippi.

Dear friends,

Thank you for all you have done to help me during my tenure as the Daily Journal crime reporter.

I have appreciated your time, your patience and your willingness to share your expertise over the past four years. Although the circumstances were often tragic and we haven't always seen eye to eye, it was a pleasure to work with you.

I've tried to cover crime and law enforcement fairly, accurately and as completely as one person can. I thank you for sharing the information that made that possible. I am grateful for your understanding when I fell short of the mark.

I'm leaving you in good hands. Sandi Pullen is up to challenges that you'll be throwing her way.

There are too many people to try to mention by name. (Never mind that some of you have an aversion to seeing your names in print.) I would need a whole section to do you justice. But your good will has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

You renew my faith that there are people who are willing to fight for a better, safer community.

I'll still be here if you need me.

Michaela Gibson Morris is a Daily Journal staff writer.

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