Something Wonderful

I got home from my work trip to find a big box resting against the wall next to my dresser. I picked it up to see who it was from and discovered that both the delivery address and the return address were the same—mine. Confounded, I tore off the packing tape, folded back the cardboard flaps and pulled out a bright canvas print decorated with a picture of my mom and a copy of a letter she wrote to my siblings and I on December 11, 2013.

I still hadn't figured out who'd sent the print when Judy and Kevin came over for brunch yesterday morning. When they saw it sitting on the kitchen counter and asked if I'd had it made I explained to them that it was kind of a mystery and I wasn't sure who'd sent it and Kevin said, "Wow, you really have a lot of wonderful people who love you."

"Yeah I do," I said.

I still haven't figured out who sent me the print, and even though I plan to hang it somewhere in the house where I'll pass by it every day, I think that the letter it contains is worth stashing here anyway, for safe-keeping.

Dear Chad, Kelly, Corey and Bryan,

I am so proud of you and thank you for being our amazing children. Please promise me that you will continue to be amazing every day of your life.

Today I write this letter with a smile and not with tears. I want to make sure I have all of my bases covered before I can't type with my fingers anymore so I'm asking our family and friends to help me. I am asking our family and friends to be your guardian angels after I'm gone just in case you need more than one.

When I'm gone you will go through periods of grieving but please don't let it last too long. Life is way too short to let something like this give you an excuse to be sad. Cry as much as you want but don't waste too much time because you all have amazing work to do. Please promise me you will continue to make a difference in the lives of the people around you. You all have such huge hearts with which you can help people, even if it is with a simple smile or a tight hug.

Please use your intelligent minds to do good in our world. The good doesn't have to be newsworthy, but it should feel good in your heart. 

Please try to be generous with your time and money. Even if you don't have an overabundance of either, at least do something. I guarantee it will make you feel good.

Some days you may not feel like smiling, so use every ounce of your inner strength to help you smile. Some days you may have to wear your Chad, Kelly, Corey and Bryan-colored glasses to see the sunshine or a beautiful flower, but if all else fails please feel free to borrow my Rosemary-colored glasses and hopefully you will see beauty in your world just like I do. And if Rosemary-colored glasses don't work, take a nap or go on a run, I guarantee you will feel better.

I know you will continue to take care of Dad, but make sure he gets out often. He is so lucky to have you four to help him celebrate life every day.

I'm not sure if I will be able to help you from the place I am heading, but I can guarantee that my love will always be with you wherever you go, just like it is today.

Thank you for helping Dad and I live amazing lives. I love you all like crazy. You are my favorites.