Saturday, January 07, 2006

Birthday Letters to Your Children

On today's new "Real Simple" television show on PBS, a woman spoke about the letters she received from her father at each one of her birthdays. He wrote her the first letter the day his wife delivered his daughter at the hospital. Arriving home alone, he sat down at his desk to write the type of letter that would become an annual tradition. Every year, his letters held more detail as he told his daughter what he believed in, what he valued, how he felt about what she did that year and how much he loved her.

She loved her dad and his letters. She thought things would stay the same forever, but after she reached her 14th birthday, her dad died. The woman couldn't look at the letters for years, it was too painful. But on her 21st birthday, she pulled out the box filled with them and read them one by one. She even tried writing a letter back to her father to tell him how she was doing and what his letters, all she had left of him along with her fond memories of times together, meant to her. However, she left his last letter unopened and plans to reread when her first child is born. Perhaps she will begin the tradition again with her new son or daughter.

We never know how long we may be around. Tell your children how much you love them in letters and they will always treasure them. ◦

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