When I was younger, I wrote love letters. They began simply enough with “check-yes-or-no” messages to one girl or another. Over time they evolved into sappy pieces of sentimentality that won the hearts of some, scared away a few others, and drew the attention of more than one concerned father.
What is it about a written note that speaks so well to a person’s heart? On one of the toughest days of my new job, I sat at my desk to see a PostIt in plain sight. The note simply read:
I’m praying for you friend.
That was March when my best friend dropped by to leave that bit of encouragement. This is December, and that note is still there. People delete emails and phone messages. They keep notes and letters.
Recently, my wife showed me a note from our oldest daughter, a love letter of sorts. We’ve been working with our children to understand the concepts of teamwork and responsibility. Darlene had asked our oldest daughter for example to help clean up the bonus room.
“But I didn’t make this mess. This was RileyGrace’s mess!”
“I understand,” my wife had reassured her. “But RileyGrace is doing something I’ve asked her to do, and I need you to do what I’ve asked you to do.”
“But that’s not fair!”
“No, it’s not. Nor is it fair that I have to wash ALL of your clothes, even if I didn’t wear them.” (Score two for Mom.)
The next morning, Darlene began her morning ritual of bed making. McKenzie protested and insisted that she be allowed to make her own bed.
“It’s not fair for you to have to make my bed. It’s not your responsibility.”
Though admitedly taken with our daughter’s response, my wife (an oldest child herself) was overwhelmed with pride. Later that day, she penned the follow “love letter:”
Wow! What a nice surprise to come in and find your bed made. Thank you. It really helped my morning.
I love you,
Very soon after having left the note, my wife discovered the following correspondence in second-grade-script lying on her bed:
I guess dispaline really does teach people a lesson. Thank you a lot. 1 (one) lesson learned. About 100,000 to go.
Who would have thought one little square slip of paper, one small love letter from a daughter to her mom could be so powerful? A few short words that speak volumes of wisdom, reassurance, acceptance, and most of all . . . love.