Thursday, November 29, 2018

Day 3326 - Letters to Chelsea

The gift of a heartfelt letter.

For business owners there is a lot of power in a testimonial.  For employees, they rely heavily on references to elevate them and declare them worthy.  When we pass away, people stand up in front of a crowd and honour us via a heartfelt eulogy which combines memories with how we've added value to the world and why we won't be forgotten.

Words written by others declaring our strengths and expressing how we make our mark, can help us realise we are far greater than the person we believed ourselves to be.

Imagine if we were gifted with letters of appreciation "just because".  Not because we were opening a business, not because we were going for a job and not in the shape of a speech at our funeral.

Imagine if we were gifted with heartfelt letters.

Our Chels has been fighting cancer for around five years.  It's been a tough fight and through it all she's shown incredible strength of character.  She could well have gone down the woe-is-me path but she rarely gets angry.  She displays courage, will power, fight, acceptance and grace.

She recently moved to a hospice to be cared for in comfort.

The shock of seeing her enter this final stage of the battle is almost too much to bear.  We are walking around in a fog of despair not quite knowing what to do, what to think and how to be.

She and her husband renewed their wedding vows on the weekend which was followed by a party which she titled her "wake".  It was a beautiful declaration of their re-connection.

When they first decided to do this and follow it with the wake, it occurred to me that there are people all over Australia (and the world) who may have been touched by Chelsea's spirit in some way.  How amazing would it be for her to see just how far her reach on this planet has been.  Just how much she is admired.  How many memories there are out there of her life.  The kind of stuff that people tend to declare at a funeral.

"Letters to Chelsea" is the gift of a heartfelt letter.

As the letters pour in via email and I print them to add to the pile, I'm buoyed by how inspired people are by Chelsea's journey.  There are so many memories and moments that she's been part of that show us a more complete picture of who she is.

"Letters to Chelsea" not only helps her to see she's left her mark on this world, but it allows the writer to express their appreciation. They do not dwell on the disease but celebrate her life.  Some are pages, some are paragraphs and others are just a sentence.  Compiling them into a book may provide her family, friends and her little Lola with some comfort down the track.

We are all far greater than the person we believe ourselves to be.  We  leave our mark everywhere we go and we cannot even fathom just how many lives we have touched.

Each day we interact and connect with others.  There are the constants, there are the ad hocs and there are the randoms.  Have a think about what you'd say about them after they are gone.  Have a think about what they'd say about you.

Have a think about gifting someone with a heartfelt letter.  Whether it be a page, a paragraph or a sentence jotted on a notelet. Don't wait until it's too late.  Let them know how they add value to the world. Today.

Chelsea's profile pic on her Facebook account.
It's also the photo I used in the "Letters to Chelsea" Facebook group.
It was taken in Noosa July last year after her third sarcoma was removed.
See the light in her eyes and the brightness of her smile?
She had just spent 6 months from diagnosis, through radiation, surgery and a bout of septicemia.
She was still in recovery mode. Yet here she is continuing to light up our world. 

When was the last time you praised someone in writing?

Do you leave positive feedback and testimonials for the businesses you frequent?

Is there someone in your world that could do with a text, card or letter telling them what a positive impact they've had in your world?  

It's time to share the love

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It's Lovin' Life Linky time! 

The Lovin' Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin' Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishWrite of the MiddleAnd Anyways  and Lifestyle Fifty  

We say farewell to Lovin' Lifer Kathy from 50 Shades of Age today as she takes a bloggy break and heads off into the world to concentrate on other fabulous things.  Thanks for being part of our team Kathy and we look forward to hearing about your worldly adventures via other social media means.  


  1. I really don't know what to say. I'm glad they renewed their vows and had a party, and I'm glad she's feeling in charge of how she lives her moments. I think your words are beautiful. I can't adequately express it. I'm thinking of you all. And it is indeed a very beautiful photo with a light shining out.

    1. Thanks Lydia. Yes, very tough times for everyone. Not the least of which, Chelsea. She's incredible. The way she handles all this. Just beyond words.

  2. Hi Leanne - I'm so sorry to hear what you and your family are going through. Chelsea looks beautiful in her photo. She's very brave, and you are, too. Sending you warm hugs and positive thoughts.

    1. Thanks Natalie. In many ways we are all drawing our bravery from Chelsea.

  3. This my lovely friend is both a heart-warming and positive tale of one very very determined and bright young woman. There is no rhyme nor reason to cancer but Chelsea has not let "it" take her very essence. I am privileged to have contributed a Letter to Chelsea..and it was so lovely seeing the renewal of the wedding vows. Go gently are an amazing woman and I send you my love. Denyse x

    1. Thanks for contributing to the letters. It's something I'd love to see done more often in this world of ours.

  4. What you are saying is so right. Why do we leave it until someone has passed and can no longer hear our words to say what they mean to us and what influence their life has had on ours? Hugs and love.

    1. I know right. We do we do that? There is nothing good about a terminal diagnosis (definitely hard to find anything to be grateful for), but at least it gives people time to express themselves and be at their own wake I guess. Sigh.

  5. Leanne, I am heartbroken for all of you but at the same time inspired by Chelsea's bravery, strength and inner beauty. To be renewing her vows and then celebrating afterwards is so beautiful and selfless.


    1. Thanks SSG. Yes, she is brave and she is strong and she is every you say she is. An incredible young woman.

  6. That's such a beautiful photo of Chelsea - and a testament to her personality and approach to life. You can see the light shining out of her and that is a truly beautiful thing to have for any human being - let alone one going through the journey she's had to face. You are very blessed indeed to have shared her life and to have been there to support her during the last five years in particular xx

  7. Gosh Leanne...there is so much sadness and yet you present such a positive spirit. My heart is breaking for you.
    It reminds me of the book Tuesdays with Morrie. He had a party to enjoy his friends before he passed...I always remember that.

  8. Sorry to hear of what is going on with Chelsea but this is so positive. Her spirit is something that everyone should have. Thanks for sharing this.

  9. I've been thinking of you since I saw the update on her Go Fund Me page. I think we can all learn a lot from Chelsey - her strength, courage and her positivity - it just shines through in that photograph. Cancer robs us of so much, I'm pleased Chelsey was able to grab some of that power back and celebrate love with her renewal of the marriage vows and celebrate her life at the party. So hard for you guys though - the incredible gene must run strong in your family. Our reluctance to tell people how awesome they are is so funny, I like to work on the premise that if you love someone and/or if you think they're awesome let them know! Thinking of you all and sending big hugs.

  10. She's such a beautiful girl and I'm so so sorry for you all. I definitely believe in the power of the written word. I'm sure each of those letters break the heart of the writer and Chelsea but her daughter will also have those to remember her mother by in years to come - how much she was loved and how much she meant to others. I keep seeing pictures of your family with her (L) and wonder how much she understands. She's so lucky having you all there for her. xx

  11. Wonderful idea to show Chelsea how much she means to so many, right now. Concentrating on her light and her spirit will help you all through the coming weeks. Hugs & love to you all x

  12. Now replying on the date that will be forever etched into your family's life. The day Chelsea left life as we know it here. It has been the best and the worst of times to follow you telling Chelsea's story. No-one can say anything to make anyone feel better nor something that makes some sense. None of it does. But you shone a light on Chelsea and the good works done where they could be to help her. Sending my love...always. Denyse x


I love hearing your thoughts! Keep them rolling in :)

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