Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gift Ideas: Love Notes

Remember yesterday, how I was all like, "Worst day of my entire life" this and "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" that? About two hours after I posted it, I received a phone call from a friend whose husband had an aneurysm. I rushed down to Provo to be by her side and I joked my way into an acceptable distraction from all of the sadness rolling around. My friend is holding it together so well, and her husband is in the ICU, but alive.

My worst day ever? Remember that?

I think I have been lucky.

On the drive home from the hospital last night, I pondered the Big Questions, as one does. I thought about what I want to leave as my mark in this world when I am gone. My children were an obvious answer, but I remembered something that I had tucked away from years ago.

My 18th birthday came at one of the happiest times of my life, and I wanted to remember it so badly. Instead of gifts, I asked for letters. My kindred spirit grandpa did this a few years before he died, and he adored what was written. My friends and family came together and created a notebook full of love notes from people I cared about. Each letter is hand-crafted on stationary, then tucked into a page protector.

Some of the letters were actually poetry or drawings; many included quotations or scripture. All of them included kind and flattering words. My favorite things to read, however, are the memories that people wrote about me being friendly, charitable, and intelligent. I don't feel like I am those things most of the time, but I especially feel badly when I look back on my high school days.

That is what I want to leave behind. I want to be a benefit to those who know me, and even be one to those who don't. I want to act in such a way that people will be sorry to see me gone, but happy to think back on me. My friend's husband is a firefighter, and the brotherhood of those men astounded me as I watched a slew of them waiting to hear news of his condition. Paramedics, life flight pilots, and people he has worked with at the hospital filed in, anxious to get word about him. He is a good guy, and he deserves all of that love. I want that, too. My funeral will potentially be full of stories like I have in my birthday love notes. I know that I have to earn it, though; I intend to earn it.

And then I will drive into Heaven in my Holly-mobile. Pretty sweet, right?

Could you forgo gifts to receive some simple, but meaningful letters?
This would be even easier for someone to arrange for a friend, now that social media exists. 
Who would you want to give some Love Notes to?


  1. Love to see this! What a great memory... and who's awesome handwriting is that? This reminds me of how your mom wants her funeral to be a big party with us singing happy songs. I can't remember the one we laughed about, something about Sunshine, though. :) Praying for your friend!

  2. wow. how scary for your friend. :-/ i hope her husband continues to recover.