One of the things I loved about my friend Sybil who recently passed was her love of bringing people together for food and stimulating conversation. She loved to listen and bask in the warmth of being surrounded by interesting friends.
As she was losing her ability to speak, she loved writing letters to us. I came across a few of them recently and they were full of amusing observations and appreciation for the people around her. I could almost here her chuckling between the lines.
Eventually, she lost her ability to write or type her own letters, and the ones she received from others became a new source of joy. She would have me read them to her over and over again.
As time passed and her disease progressed the letters and visits from friends came less often and she felt more isolated. It was hard to watch her lose those connections to the outside world and I realized how valuable a simple letter could be.
Since then I have been writing letters from the heart. As I write them I am flooded with memories and appreciation for the person I am writing to. Their responses are incredible. They cry. I cry. And, I realized the gifts of those letters were not just for the recipients, but for me as well.
My friend Lynette Smith is a big fan of writing letters from the heart. At her son’s wedding, he and his bride presented their parents with framed letters of appreciation. Lynette cherishes this gift and it has inspired her mission to get people putting pen to paper again. The cornerstone of this mission is her book: How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special.
Who can you write a heartfelt letter of appreciation to? I encourage you to give it a try. You will find it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.