In the current technological life in which we live, handwritten letters, notes are becoming a forgotten language. Thankfully, I was raised by the most phenomenal woman ever, who has taught me so much about how to love and value others. One of the most important things she has instilled in me is the importance of handwritten notes. When I’m visiting Michigan, she leaves me a note every morning and it’s the best part of my day. When she is visiting here, I never know where I’ll find a post-it note, but there is always one I find after she leaves to go back home. And I keep them. I keep them in my heart each and every day and I even keep some of them in my bedside drawer for those particularly hard days.
The other day, I found a book that I made for Alana just before she turned 4. I do not remember where I got the idea, but the idea was to put handwritten notes in it about the things different people know and love about Alana. I eagerly turned the cover page and there it was, a handwritten note to Alana from Daddy about all the things he loved about her…
And I cried. And laughed. And smiled. And wept. For our loss of this beautiful man and the joy of finding something so special. When I shared the book with her, I gave her space as she read each page and smiled. She finished and said, “mommy there are empty pages, lets fill them.” Love. Her. The book will be different because it won’t have a new page from Daddy, but it will have such valuable and important additions. She has told me that she wants an Aunt Michelle and Uncle Mike page, an Uncle Tom and Aunt Kalena page, and the page that makes my heart so happy, a Cameron page.
Here is the whole book
The beauty of raising our children is that, in many ways, they become who we help them become. It is a huge responsibility. We are their models, we are their guides, and through the last 21 months that has become more evident to me than ever. Often our children’s behavior is a reflection of our behavior, both the good and the bad. I have not been healthy for parts of this time, physically or mentally. I’ve snapped at my children more times than I want to acknowledge and seen them start to act like that to each other. And therein lies the beauty in parenting; as soon as I starting learning healthy coping skills and modeling them, they started too. We all have been through so much. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about all their little hearts have felt and experienced. Every once in a while, we all need some reassurances that we are doing something right. On Mother’s Day this year, I received that validation; the handwritten note tradition is being carried on through my daughter and I am so blessed.
You’re my heart
You’re everything I needed
When I see you my eyes glow
Because you’re as beautiful as the snow
And another random note from her
Me. I can make her feel happier than she ever has before. Little old me. I get to do that.
My blessings abound.