I got a book sent to me in the mail about a week ago. It’s called Cards for Brianna. It’s about a mother who was diagnosed with terminal cancer who bravely spent her remaining time writing card after card after card for her daughter. She wrote down every thought, belief, desire, encouragement…every word she wanted to share with her daughter, compiling a wealth of wisdom, love and information that every mother wishes to impart on their children. Knowing she wouldn’t be around to deliver that love in person, she took steps to capture it and craft a powerful way to continue raising her daughter even after she had left our realm.
I’m sure I’m not the only mother who holds the fear of leaving their children behind as their highest and most terrifying nightmare. I’m not even sure what I would do or how I would cope. I’m humbled by this woman’s grace and drive to make the most of every last second she had by selflessly pouring her heart into her daughter instead of curling up and giving up. I can’t imagine the feelings of powerless, anger, confusion, heartbreak…I just can’t imagine. There are no words. She leaves behind an important legacy for her daughter, and also an invaluable lesson for us all. She is the true measure of dignity. She is a hero.
“Whether you are about to die at the age of thirty-six or sixty-six or ninety-six, life will always feel like it’s been too short if you don’t experience it. Find your hope. And don’t ever forget that every day matters.”
As part of the “Cards for Brianna” project, I was given a blank card and asked to write to someone who I hadn’t spoken to in a long while. Someone I loved, valued and cared about…someone who I probably let slip away because life was busy and things just didn’t happen the way they should have. Someone who deserved to hear from me more frequently. Someone who I needed to say “Thank You” to.
I chose to write to one of the kids I mentored in photography several years back.
His name is Nick. He was (is) a challenging boy with a whole host of challenges scraping away at his potential and hope. We were able to connect on a very special level, exploring and discovering a deep artistic talent, creative vision and thoughtful insight that had otherwise gone unnoticed by the world.
Nick moved away several years ago, and I heard “Thank You” from him and his family many, many times. I realized I had never said “Thank You” to him. He taught me to stay open, to be patient and to meet people where they are instead of forcing them to fit into my ill-perceived mold. He inspired and motivated me artistically, giving me hope and purpose during a time where the rest of my life was teetering on the brink of ruin. He was a bright star and reminder that God can move any mountain and our only goal on this Earth is to be open to the possibilities of how He might use us in service for His glory, for our instruction and for other’s well being. He is a living example of why love casts out fear and hate.
I wrote to Nick. Who will you write to?
When was the last time you said thank you?