Mom Gail Anderson of Tennessee received a letter in the mail addressed to her deceased son Cameron, but it was written in Cameron's handwriting. Cameron tragically passed away seven years ago in a car accident when he was just 17 years old. On the day Gail received the letter, Mother's Day was approaching, and as you can imagine, that day is a difficult one for her.
When she opened the letter, however, everything changed.
It was a simple note written when Cameron was in middle school in 2007. The letter was part of an assignment from his history teacher to write down what was going on in each student's life at the moment. The teacher, Dale Caldwell, held onto the letters until the students' graduation day, at which time he would mail them out so the students could see what they had been thinking and dreaming of all those years earlier. It's a fantastic assignment and look back for all the kids getting their own letter, and for Cameron's mother, it took on a whole other meaning.
On this day my brother will graduate from middle school. On the same day I watched the movie Night at the Museum. My favorite teacher is Mr. Cawood.
I think we can all agree that the meaning behind the letter is more than what the words say. This mom gets to see her child's handwriting, hold a note he once held, see what he was thinking at that moment in time all those years ago. It should serve as a reminder to us as parents to cherish and hold onto all their artwork, their little notes of love, even their doodles on tiny scraps of paper. To see these words from our children years later takes us back to that time when they were young, a moment in their lives that we can never get back, but slightly re-live with the help of these memories. Of course, this letter carries such different weight for Gail who lost her son way too young.
She says how much it meant to her that the teacher mailed out Cameron's. She laughed when recalling that she used to think Cameron had the most "atrocious" handwriting. It made her Mother's Day happier.
Maybe it can be a lesson to us all to look back on our child's writings and pictures when we are struggling through a tough time. It's little things like these that can help us heal.
What do you think of this story? Do you save your child's art and writings?