To all of you who bought my book, thank you so much! I’m deeply touched. My heart, like the picture above, is full. Like Celia Thaxter’s saying, I’m having an eternal summer, thanks to your kindness.
Just a small heads-up for others thinking about buying the book. Today, June 4th is the last morning BlessBack: Thank Those Who Shaped Your Life is on sale for $1.99. At 10 a.m. CST, the book will be full price at $3.99.
On the eve of her wedding, Gretchen wanted to give her parents a permanent record of both her childhood memories and to express her gratefulness to her parents for giving her such a beautiful wedding.
Here is how this bride gave a BlessBack to two very special people:
Gretchen’s mother, Rollie Brandt, is an artist. Her specialty is realistic paintings of barns, things found in nature and “kids being kids.” Her work is included in calendars and greeting cards, and has graced more than thirty publication covers. When Gretchen’s wedding day to Wayde approached, Gretchen designed a BlessBack to her parents in a way they would appreciate — through drawings and childhood memories. On the night of her wedding, Gretchen left two spiral-bound books, one for Mom, one for Dad, on their pillows.
After the wedding, as the bride’s parents got ready for bed, they spied the booklets. Here is part of what they opened:
Gretchen’s drawings and words filled the book’s pages.
To her mom:
“I remember when you used to pin notes to my shirt for the teacher.
“I remember the ‘lunch ticket box’ you made out of a Band-Aid container.”
To her dad:
“I remember sitting on your lap on your chair, reading my new ‘letter books’ for kindergarten.”
“I remember going on ‘dates’ with you! That was fun!”
“I remember when you took care of me when I was sick and stayed home from school.”
Gretchen did two things when she gave her parents the books. She thought about how it would feel for her parents to give their daughter over to a new life. She also thought about the past and, using her memories, created the books as a way to express thanks for what her parents had done for her; moreover she showed them that the way they lived their lives had not gone unnoticed.
“It took me three days to read them without tears,” Rollie said. “This is the best gift Gretchen ever gave us. We love them!”
I hope you have been uplifted by the stories shared this week of how people have given BlessBacks. If you have a story to share, I’d love to hear it. From time to time I share readers’ stories of gratitude. You can write me on the contact page on this website.
Julie Saffrin is the author of numerous published articles and essays. Her latest book, BlessBack: Thank Those Who Shaped Your Life, explores the power of gratitude and offers 120 creative ways to journey toward positive, lasting change.