This article originally appeared on the Support4Change website, and is reposted here.
Several years ago I got a Christmas card with a poem that was almost identical to the following and the next year we sent it with our greetings. I believe it expresses what each of is thinking when we send greetings to a list of people with whom we don’t communicate more than once every year.
I recently discovered that a variation of this was originally written by Helen Steiner Rice. No matter how it is said, the message is wonderfully true.
My Special List
I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book
and every now and then I go and take a look.
That is when I realize these names . . . they are a part
Not of the book they’re written in . . . But taken from the heart.
For each name stands for someone
who has crossed my path sometime
And in that meeting they’ve become
The reason and the rhyme.
Although it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,
I really am composed of each remembered name.
Although you’re not aware of any special link,
just meeting you has shaped my life
. . . More than you could think
So please don’t think my greeting as just a mere routine.
Your name was NOT forgotten in between.
For when I send a greeting that is addressed to you,
Its because you’re on that list of folks I am indebted to.
Whether I have known you for many days or few,
in some ways you have a part in shaping things I do.
I am but a total of many folks I’ve met.
You are one I would prefer never to forget.
Thank you for being my friend.
—Helen Steiner Rice