Re: [MOL] chicken soup.. the annual letter [03405] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] chicken soup.. the annual letter

This sounds like a beautiful tradition to start. I keep a scrapbook for
each of the kids with their yearly report cards, pictures and other special
events that year. A letter would be nice to add to the collection. Thanks
for sharing this with us.

 Carla wrote:      
>      The Annual Letters
> Shortly after my daughter Juli-Ann was born, I started a loving tradition
>that I know others (with whom I have subsequently shared this special plan)
>have also started. I tell you the idea here both to open your heart with
>the warmth of my story and also to encourage you to start this tradition
>within your own family.  Every year, on her birthday, I write an Annual
>Letter to my daughter. I fill it with funny anecdotes that happened to her
>that year, hardships or joys, issues that are important in my life or hers,
>world events, my predictions for the future, miscellaneous thoughts, etc. I
>add to the letter photographs, presents, report cards and many other types
>of mementos that would certainly have otherwise disappeared as the years
>passed.  I keep a folder in my desk drawer in which, all year long, I place
>things that I want to include in the envelope containing her next Annual
>Letter. Every week, I make short notes of what I can think of from the
>week's events that I will want to recall later in the year to write in her
>Annual Letter. When her birthday approaches, I take out that folder and
>find it overflowing with ideas, thoughts, poems, cards, treasures, stories,
>incidents and memories of all sorts - many of which I had already forgotten
>- and which I then eagerly transcribe into that year's Annual Letter.  Once
>the letter is written and all the treasures are inserted into the envelope,
>I seal it. It then becomes that year's Annual Letter. On the envelope I
>always write "Annual Letter to Juli-Ann from her Daddy on the occasion of
>her nth Birthday - to be opened when she is 21 years old."  It is a time
>capsule of love from every different year of her life, to her as an adult.
>It is a gift of loving memories from one generation to the next. It is a
>permanent record of her life written as she was actually living it.  Our
>tradition is that I show her the sealed envelope, with the proclamation
>written on it that she may read it when she is 21. Then I take her to the
>bank, open the safe deposit box and tenderly place that year's Annual
>Letter on top of the growing pile of its predecessors. She sometimes takes
>them all out to look at them and feel them. She sometimes asks me about
>their contents and I always refuse to tell her what is inside.  In recent
>years, Juli-Ann has given me some of her special childhood treasures, which
>she is growing too old for but which she does not want to lose. And she
>asks me to include them in her Annual Letter so that she will always have
>them.  That tradition of writing her Annual Letters is now one of my most
>sacred duties as a dad. And, as Juli-Ann grows older, I can see that it is
>a growing and special part of her life, too.  One day, we were sitting with
>friends musing about what we will be doing in the future. I cannot recall
>the exact words spoken, but it went something like this: I jokingly told
>Juli-Ann that on her 61st birthday, she will be playing with her
>grandchildren. Then I whimsically invented that on her 31st birthday she
>will be driving her own kids to hockey practice. Getting into the groove of
>this funny game and encouraged by Juli-Ann's evident enjoyment of my
>fantasies, I continued. On your 21st birthday, you will be graduating from
>university. "No," she interjected. "I will be too busy reading!"  One of my
>deepest desires is to be alive and present to enjoy that wonderful time in
>the future when the time capsules are opened and the accumulated mountains
>of love come tumbling out of the past, back into my adult daughter's life. 
> By Raymond L. Aaron  from A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul 
>Copyright 1995 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen      
>           Sponsored by: 
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