Many of us were not able to have closure with a loved one before they died. We did leave things unsaid, and they did too. We might have a wide range of unexpressed emotions running the gamut from gratitude, love, regrets, guilt and even anger. So what do we do with all of those emotions? How do we release the things that are still bubbling under the surface and how do we move forward?
Simply put, my mission in life is to "encourage people to encourage people." And when I lead a letter writing workshop, I love to inspire participants with simple examples of ways to be encouraging and affirming in addition to writing letters.
Recently, I was sharing a "Word Cloud" that I had created for my daughter's 21st birthday. I recounted how I had asked friends and family for one word to describe my daughter, and then assembled the collage of words into my own little work of art. The hostess of the event enthusiastically snapped a few photos of my illustration.
No, I don’t mean you should pursue a new career tailing wayward spouses to document infidelity. Sadly, that is a much-too-oft-needed profession, but it’s not one that most of us could stomach for very long.
My encouragement is for you to pursue something much more uplifting. I want you to become a private detective in your own life and begin a daily and diligent search for reasons for gratitude. Not only do I want you to search, I want you to write down what you find. EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Have you ever had the rare and sacred opportunity of stepping onto Holy Ground? Of knowing that what you are seeing or experiencing has a level of purity and beauty that could only be a reflection of God's love?
For me, those awe-inspiring moments have happened most when I’ve had the privilege of helping someone nearing the end of their earthly life write letters to loved ones.
Any fellow Baby Boomers out there remember the "Bozo the Clown Bop Bag?"
When I was a kid, Bozo was quite the rage. He was an inflatable, life-sized boxing toy. (Well, at that point, 4 feet in height was life sized!) Bozo’s base was filled with sand, and both his nose and hair were squeaky. You could punch smiling Bozo with all your might, and down he would go. And voila, within seconds, he would bounce right back up! Still smiling.
Chances are, that because you are reading this as a follower, fan or subscriber of Leave Nothing Unsaid, you are probably NOT a dad. How do I know that? Because for the past seven years, I've had the distinct pleasure of working with Jody Noland behind the scenes with Leave Nothing Unsaid supporting her digital marketing efforts. Based on the insights about the community of email subscribers, Facebook fans, online orders, etc., I can tell you that men only account for 10% of those communities. Based on that startling statistic, I have something to ask of you right now.
If so, it’s the perfect time for letter writing.
The news had filtered quickly throughout the small town of Mobile, AL. Hap Myers’ cancer was back with a vengeance and was terminal. A highly respected pillar of the community, Hap was a long-serving state senator known for his ethics and integrity, a brilliant engineer, and most of all, a deeply loved husband, father and grandfather.
Two years ago, I was joyfully writing blog posts telling Nicholas Sparks to move over; confidently proclaiming that my real-life love story trumped anything Sparks had ever penned.
I planned a wedding fit for a fairytale. Friends traveled hundreds of miles to be there in support. They had walked with me through the challenges of widowhood, prayed with me as I pursued my dreams and launched Leave Nothing Unsaid, and then rejoiced with me as I experienced what I thought was God’s abundant blessing as I met and married “Prince Charming.”
Imagine this. Your cellphone rings. It’s the President of your alma mater. She doesn’t waste any time with small talk. She clears her throat and tells you the reason for her call: Will you come to the aid of your University and be this year’s Graduation speaker? The originally scheduled big-name alum had to cancel at the last minute due to a family emergency. And she’s asking you to step in. Minor detail: Graduation is this coming weekend!