1/18/2012

Just yesterday I was working on the next spot for Life Vest Inside and one of the acts I was incorporating was “Send a thoughtful card to someone“. Then, last night I saw first hand just how powerful that act truly is.

 

One of my cousins recently passed away. She was sick with cancer for quite some time, but because of her strong will and faith she had been fighting it with all her might. I live in NY and my cousin lives in Israel – so naturally we don’t see each other very often. Although that may be the case, our families are very close.

Last April my family had the great pleasure of having my cousin and her wonderful husband stay by us for my sisters wedding. It gave us a chance to catch up and connect again – we had an amazing time and it hurt me to see them leave.

My youngest sister, Michelle, never had the pleasure of meeting my cousin and getting to know her until that very trip. Little did I know the influence my cousin had on Michelle until last night.

A little over a month ago, my family received the news that my cousin was ill again and it wasn’t looking good. Michelle wasn’t told the sad news, yet something within her made her decide to send my cousin a letter. Without saying a word to any of us, she sent her a letter telling her of the great influence she had on her life and how appreciative she was for spending time with her in April. My cousin was such a positive person, but most importantly she always searched for the good in everyone. It was that amazing quality that made my sister connect to her in such a great way.

Hours after the letter arrived to my cousin, she passed away. My family was devastated, but it left an even greater impression on my sister.

Last night was the 30 day period from when she passed away. My family and I happened to be in Israel and so we went to pay our respects. At the very end of the lecture, my cousins husband got up to say his final words. He mentioned the abundance of letters that poured in from people upon hearing the death of his wife and he said that he would like to share three specific letters with those who were present. First he read a beautiful letter from my cousin’s doctor and one from a nurse. Then he picked up the last letter and told all those present that the letter he was about to read was from a 16 yr old girl, his wife’s cousin who sent a letter just moments before she passed away. Yes – it was the letter written by Michelle. My sister was in shock and so touched that out of all the hundreds of letters he chose to read hers.

I was most taken aback and so proud of my sister at that very moment. It was at that moment that I realized how important the act of writing a simple letter of gratitude can be. After the eulogies were over, my cousins came up one after the other requesting to meet my sister, asking: “Is she the one who wrote the letter?” Apparently, her letter was read by the entire family after my cousin passed – most of whom never met Michelle. They were so touched and inspired by her words, as was I.

It made me recognize the great power of a few kind-hearted words. But it also made me question, why we must eulogize a person only after they’ve passed? Let’s celebrate the people we love NOW – by telling them how much they mean to us; by SHOUTING IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! Let’s not wait until a person has passed to sing their praises, but rather let’s applaud them and encourage them while they are still very much alive. Positive words only encourage more positive actions!

I for one can speak from my experience with Life Vest Inside. Being part of the organization on a day to day basis, I have the great pleasure of receiving countless encouraging emails, facebook, twitter, and youtube messages (to name a few) and as I read them I am filled with more love, happiness and appreciation than I can explain. Each letter fuels me with the energy I need to continue. It only stimulates more and more energy. And so – I ask all of you out there to take a moment today, tomorrow, NOW and reach out to someone, anyone, who has made an impact on your life (a friend, a teacher, an acquaintance, a family member – ANYONE) and tell them how much they mean to you! Let’s make today a day of APPRECIATION! We all know how great it is when someone appreciates us, let’s reach out and show our appreciation for others.

I hope to hear back from some of you with your stories of appreciation and your experience as you reach out to that someone! Feel free to send us a guest blog post!

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