Have you ever received a note from a friend at just the right time? Has a letter brightened your day? Or a card given you a little strength?
Well, I have. In 2001, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and after several surgeries and months of treatment, she was not the only one exhausted and disheartened. As her caretaker and the mother of two, I came home from a particularly long day. I didn’t know how to draw the strength to keep going. I sat at the table too tired to even take my coat off. I thumbed through the mail. I began opening as required, piling in garbage and to be reviewed piles. Then out of the blue a small envelope gave way to a small card: a sunflower on the front and a simple note “You are appreciated” inside of it. Suddenly life didn’t seem so overwhelming. I had a friend. Alas, I was still exhausted and my mother still died shortly thereafter, but I never forgot that note. For many months, I kept it hung on my fridge as a reminder of friendship and hope.
Since that time I have periodically passed on the blessing I once received. It is a simple and loving task.
First, keep your ears open to those who may need a boost. Is someone getting a divorce? Does someone have a sick child? A sick parent? Does someone just seem tired or worn out?
Second, keep your eye open for cute note cards or artsy paper. Collect them and save them until the purpose arrives.
Third, when the occasion come take just a minute or two to write a heartfelt thought, sign it, seal it, and put it in the mail. I actually like to sit down every few months and write 5 or 6 at a time.
Since that first sunflower note that showed me the power of human compassion, I have probably sent out 100 notes. I know I haven’t written to everyone I know that has been trouble or hurt, but I know that those that have received the ones I have sent have felt the same power that I did on that difficult day.