The Letter

December 2, 2014

We celebrate life’s milestones in a variety of ways.  We celebrate birthdays and weddings with parties and gifts. We gather together to mourn at the end of a life. We have religious holidays, national holidays and a countless number of celebrations along life’s pathway.

The stories in Contagious Optimism highlight how people overcome adversity, learn from life and move forward to make positive strides in life.  The book is a celebration of the power of the human experience and conveys the power of positive forward thinking.  Sometimes to embrace the future in a positive manner we need to take a moment to reflect on life. Every now and then it is important to stop and celebrate the past and establish a vision for the future.

When my wife I exchanged our marriage vows I didn’t give her an expensive gift to celebrate. There was no surprise jewelry or first class hotels or champagne being chilled at an exotic destination awaiting our arrival.  I did give her a piece of paper mounted in a ten dollar picture frame. Our wedding gifts to each other consisted of a letter, a letter expressing the love and caring in our hearts.

Each year for our anniversary we don’t exchange store bought gifts, we share a gift from the heart. Each year we share a letter that expresses our reflections on the past year, our hopes for the future and an affirmation of our love. Sometimes in life, it is good to pause and celebrate the people and love in our hearts. Even if you know I love you, know I care, know I appreciate you, it is good to stop and say it out loud, celebrate it and write it down because it’s the important stuff of life.

My wife, Billie Joe, and I will celebrate our twelve year anniversary in a few days and I am finishing up this year’s gift. Why not take a few moments and tell someone you love all that stuff you never get around to saying? Make today the right time to say I love you.

If you need a little motivation or a place to start I’ll give you a hand. Here are the words I put down on that piece of paper twelve years ago.

Dear Billie Joe,

I love you because of the caring in your touch, the compassion in your soul and the love that is in your heart.  You have enriched my life in ways that are immeasurable. Your gentle touch has calmed me in times of turmoil. Your belief in the kindness of the soul has helped me find the compassion and faith that for a time I had forgotten.  Your desire for exploration and explanation has awakened in me the curiosity of a child. I love you because you have made me find the best within myself.  I am a better person because of your presence in my life.  I love you because in you I have found a soul mate with whom  I can share my thoughts, my fears and my aspirations.  I can come to you with all of my joys and sorrows and in you I find solace, joy and love.  I love you because with you, I have found the joy of life.  Each day you challenge me to be the best person I can be. Your friendship, love and beauty have made my life complete.  I love you because in you I have found the person with whom I can share an open and honest life of love.


2 Responses to “The Letter”

  1. If there is such a thing as the secret to a long and happy marriage; It’s no longer a secret.
    May all husbands and wives follow your wonderful example.
    Happy Anniversary: Joel and Billy.

  2. That’s a lovely and thoughtful tradition. And it lasts forever even while the red roses die and the other material gifts get worn out or are forgotten.

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