You should know by now handwritten notes/letters are one of my very favorite things...
not only to receive...but especially to give.
A handwritten sentiment...
in any form...is powerful and touching.
It shows thoughtfulness...
it carries a sense of warmth...
and it even conveys a bit of nostalgia since a handwritten ANYTHiNG is quite rare these days.
I shared the 52 Weeks of Gratitude Kit (and challenge) from Live-Inspired the other day.
The year-long challenge to write a handwritten Thank You Note every week is something I absolutely adore.
I've been enjoying the last few weeks...
using the little journal that came with the Gratitude Kit...
to jot down the names of people I want to send notes to over the course of this year.
I've been able to check off a few of those names, record the dates the notes were sent...
and write down a little bit about why I sent the notes.
I wanted to share the story behind one of those notes...
There's an older gentleman named Herb who lives just down the street with his wife and dog.
He is retired and spends a good portion of his day working in his yard - with his obedient dog right there beside him.
His day starts off with a walk every morning.
I'll see him walk by my house WITH the dog...
and then awhile later, he'll be cruising by again WITHOUT the dog.
It's the same routine every morning.
I mean EVERY morning.
It's something I count on seeing now.
Although I don't know Herb all that well...
I've developed a real soft-spot for him.
I think because he reminds me of my grandfather in a lot of ways.
He's happy. He's friendly. He's regimented. He's a hard worker.
And he's from an era I truly respect and admire - The Greatest Generation.
Herb's daily routine...
Just after Thanksgiving, I noticed I hadn't seen Herb for a few days.
I assumed he was on vacation with his wife - who loves to travel.
It then turned into a couple of weeks and I remember thinking,
"Wow! I bet Herb can't wait to get back to his normal routine when he returns from this long vacation."
After a few weeks went by...concern set in:
"There's no way Herb would've agreed to be gone this long. He doesn't like to travel. His wife is the one who likes to go
on trips and Herb is content with staying at home. Something isn't right."
Of course I'm thinking all of these things as if I actually KNOW Herb personally but I don't.
It's only information I've obtained in passing and from a few conversations with he and his wife.
Uh oh. Now I know something isn't right.
I stop to inquire.
Turns out, Herb had been in the hospital recovering from triple bypass surgery. *gasp*
He'd had a heart attack one morning after he'd come in from a little yard work.
I was so happy to hear Herb was home now and recovering quite well. *phew*
In this same conversation with his wife, I found out a little more about Herb.
This "older gentleman" who I guessed might be around 65 years old is actually 80!!
This super-young 80 year old is very much routine-oriented.
Wakes up at the same time every day.
Eats breakfast at the same time every day.
Exercises at the same time every day.
When he was a younger man, he ran 6 miles a day.
For the past 20 years, he has faithfully walked 3 miles every day.
And guess what?
Herb has never been sick a day in his life!
I'm happy to say that within 2 weeks of Herb returning home...
he was back at it...working up to his 3 mile routine.
Can you believe that?!
It took him a few weeks...
probably much longer than he wanted...
but my mornings are whole again.
I see Herb out there, with his dog, walking his 3 miles.
I even saw him on a bike the other day!!
According to his wife, the doctors said they expected to see a lot of damage when they went to do surgery on Herb.
They were quite surprised to see how healthy he was and attributed it to his daily exercise routine for the past 45+ years.
My fondness for Herb has been doubled!
He's totally my hero. (and I've only given that title...that honor...to one other person in my life - my grandfather).
I decided Herb needs to know how much I appreciate the quiet example he sets for me!
For Herb - it's just how he rolls.
For me...he's a beacon of strength!
I wasn't about to squander the opportunity to tell him how very much I appreciate him...
how grateful I am for his example.
This 52 Weeks of Gratitude challenge is something I feel SO incredibly blessed to be part of.
I realize not every Thank You Note will have a heart-felt story behind it.
And that's the beauty behind this challenge.
It will continue to PUSH me (my action word for 2013)...
to reach out...
to take the time...
and to recognize my gratitude for others...
and most importantly, express it...
through the gift of a handwritten note.
If you want to be a part of Live-Inspired's challenge of collectively sending ONE MiLLiON handwritten Thank You Notes this year...
I have WONDERFUL news!!
I'm giving away THREE of the Gratitude Kits...thanks to the generosity of Live-Inspired!
This really is a well-crafted, beautiful gift for yourself...
and perhaps for someone else you know who loves the expression of a handwritten note.
Contest starts: Friday, January 25th
Contest ends: Thursday, February 1st
Winners announced: Friday, February 2nd
Good Luck Everyone!
Have a beautiful weekend!!
I'll be strawberry picking on Saturday with my three girls. *wink*
I wanted to share a photo of Herb I took the other day - prior to me giving him the note.
I took this photo when I unexpectedly found myself walking behind him one morning. I felt like SUCH a creeper taking his photo without him knowing but he's just SO darn adorable - and so is his dog.
I knew there would be so many of you who would be appreciative of having a visual of this darling man.
This photo is a treasure!
Now I have to go down there and give it to him. *wink*