Excerpt from The Letter Box

I recently realized that the letter I wrote to Carly in the hospital was only one of many times I would want to preserve memories for her. Mark was inspired by my idea; now he plans to write her letters as well. In our desire to communicate our love to Carly throughout her life, our plans have become more elaborate.We have bought a journal of sorts and made it into what we call the “Letter Box.” Although I couldn’t resist decorating it, the exterior is not the point. It’s simple, but as the years go by we intend to fill it to overflowing with love, memories, and dreams.

I’ve written a letter to explain the gift to Carly. It will remain sealed until the day she receives it, which will likely be her high school graduation day.

All the other letters we will write for the different seasons she will experience in her lifetime will be sealed and mailed to our home. The cancelled postage on the outside will make each envelope a mini–time capsule, with a stamp and date that freezes the letter in a moment of history. We will keep them in the Letter Box. The letters will be for good times and bad, but each and every one will contain the pure essence of our love for her. What a joy it will be to share this with her throughout the experiences in our lives!

Dear Carly,

Today you are so young and curious. I want to remember everything from the first time I heard you cry till the day you leave for college, but I know that I will not remember it all, so I am attempting to preserve some history for you now, while the memories are still fresh in my mind.

This Letter Box is a lifelong gift to you. I wrote you the first letter a few hours after you were born. That one, and all the others, have been written for you to open on a special milestone in your life. Please open each letter on that day.

I am inspired to create this gift because I often wonder where the years will take us. What adventures and hardships will we share? How will you live your life? My hope is that you are filled with confidence and love that you find peace and take joy in the simplest pleasures. I pray that you laugh often and ride with dignity and grace down life’s sometimes bumpy roads.

Maybe when you open some of these letters, I will be sitting by your side so I can tell you stories and laugh with you. Perhaps you will live far away and we will talk on the telephone. But if God has taken me from this earth, let this book be a living legacy of my love and pride for you.

You are the greatest joy I have ever known, and I don’t want to miss a single reason to celebrate your life, even if only in spirit.

I will love you through all the years,

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