Theme: Achievement
Situation – Friend is Graduating as a Doctor

Dave,

You’re a Doc?  Seriously, you?  The Beer Pong Champion at Penn State three year...

s in a row?

Holy intestines, dude! You did it! You made it to the end and now have fancy letters attached to your name forever. How does it feel? (I hope you feel smarter after all those extra years of education!)

All jokes aside, man…I’m really happy for you and I know your family will be extremely proud of your achievement. Just don’t forget how to drink cheap beer and watch football, OK? (And leave those scalpels at home when you come play golf with us.)…

Billy, the Boozer, Taylor

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Situation – My son’s big promotion

My dear sweet Tomster,

Thomas, you leave me in awe everyday. I am so incredibly overjoyed...

to be your Mother. I know how hard you’ve worked the past few years and I am ecstatic that you finally got the promotion you deserve. I’m sitting here in tears while I write this, at the thought that you have become the amazing, well-rounded man I always knew you would be. I remember all of the nights you didn’t sleep in college because you were studying so hard. And the nerves you had before your first day at your new job. But, from the day you were born I felt there was something special about you. So this promotion does not come as a surprise to me.

Do you remember when you were six years old and you went to visit your dad at his office? You walked right into his boss’ office and sat down in the big leather swivel chair behind his desk. You looked so little. But you scooted the chair forward and pretended to write on imaginary paper on the desk. You said “One day I’m going to the big boss.” You were right!

I am just so SO proud of this special achievement. I guess this means you’re all grown up now… but you’ll always be my sweet boy….

Mom

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Theme: Celebration
Situation – My Mother’s Retirement as a Nurse

Mom,

I can’t believe the day has come! You’ve worked hard your whole life, working do...

uble shifts, weekends and holidays whenever you were needed or the hospital was short-staffed. Your hard work is finally paying off and now it’s time to celebrate! After 50 years as a beloved Nurse, you can now take care of yourself… and take those vacations you always wanted, never had time for but so deserved.

For as long as I can remember, you always went to work bright and early and always came home with a smile on your face no matter how busy or hard your day was. I remember all of the stories you would tell me about the patients you had and how you bonded with them. Every once in a while you’d come home with gifts that you had received from them from thanking you for your gentle care. You touched so many lives throughout your career and now it is time for you.

Now that you’re starting this new chapter in your life, have some fun! Start some new hobbies, go shopping, and travel wherever your heart leads. Iceland. Israel. Istanbul. See it all and send me lots of pictures. After all, you earned it.

Love you always and always,

Melly, your sugarplum princess

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Situation – Husband’s 50th Birthday

To my better half, Ray,

It’s here, the big 5 – 0. Happy Birthday baby. I am so blesse...

d to have you in my life. You deserve to have a happy day every day… and every good thing your heart desires.

Thank you for being a wonderful husband and stepdad to our “monsters”. You are the glue that has held our family together for over a decade. I wouldn’t be able to deal with our two wonderful teenage boys without your patient and loving help. Thank you for being the handy-man, gardener, and driver whenever needed. You are incredible and I probably don’t deserve you.

To ease the pain of getting old and prevent you from having a midlife crisis, I have transformed the guest room that no one ever uses into the man cave you’ve always dreamed of. Cheers to never missing another game and always having a beer in hand, because you deserve it!

Your Wifey for Lifey

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Theme: Support
Situation – Supporting Friend with Cancer

Dearest Gail,

Oh, my bestie, what can I say? I know things are hard right now—”h...

ard” probably doesn’t come close to describing what you’re going through. But I want you to know we are all cheering for you and praying for Godly healing. I know you’re a “tough cookie” and you ain’t likely to let any of us actually see you struggle, but we’re here for you! You’re not alone. We love you and we will walk this journey right beside you. We’ll cook and clean and do whatever you need so that you can focus on getting well.

As for me, whatever you need, you know you can count on me. I AM HERE FOR YOU. Got it? I don’t care what time of the day or night, I am here if you need me to get you medicine at the pharmacy, or help you shop for the perfect scarf, or just hold your hand while you have a good cry, count on me. And even though I cannot stand to see people barf, I will even hold your hair back if you need to puke your guts out too. You did it for me when we went to the frat parties in college and I will do it. Here’s your chance to pay me back. LOL

My friend, I cannot do this ‘sucks-most-of-the-time’ life without you. So, dammit, get well. I love you,

Jen

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Situation – Supporting Friend Overcoming Addiction

Hey there James,

Most of the time, life is not fair. Hell, make that all of the time. B...

ut, it’s especially tough to face big changes when there are so many uncertainties around “what’s next.” So we’ve put together messages of support to let you know that we are here for you… even those of us who haven’t gone through what you’re experiencing. We may not know exactly how you feel or how hard it is to overcome addiction, but we do know that we love you and want to help however we can.

When you need some company or just want to chat on the phone, we will be there. If you need someone to go with you a meeting, I’m there. We all know that you will get through this. You are stronger than you may feel right now, and even if you have a moment of weakness, we’re here to help make sure you have the support you need!

Kris

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Theme: Appreciation
Situation – Teacher Appreciation

Dear Mrs. Nesmith,

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how much you’ve im...

pacted my life. From the moment I stepped foot in your Theater class, I knew you weren’t just an ordinary teacher. Your enthusiasm and dedication always lifted the energy in the room. There was never a day when I didn’t look forward to going to your class. It was the highlight of my day.

You inspired me to follow my dreams and encouraged me to do what I love, not what others expect of me. I’ll never forget what you used to say “Happiness is worth more than all the money in the world.” There is no adequate payment for all that you’ve done for me but I hope that, with these words, you see just how much I appreciate you. You’ve made a difference in my life. And isn’t that what teaching is all about? Hopefully one day you’ll get to see me on Broadway.

Thanks for helping me become more of who I am meant to be.

Always,

Gabriella

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Situation – Coach of a Winning Team

Hi Coach,

We did it! State Champions. Yessss.

This win means everything to us and...

it’s all thanks to you! With your guidance we pulled off what others might call a miracle.But I think it boils down to good coaching.

I’ll admit, in the beginning the team was in rough shape. We couldn’t keep control of the ball, we didn’t communicate with each other, and our shots always missed the goal.But you always believed we could do it. You pushed us so hard and sometimes I didn’t like you for it. Man, I hated drills. But you knew what you were doing and the team got better. Somewhere along the way, we got really good.

I know that years from now, when I look back at the season, I won’t remember you yelling at us and making us practice over time (well maybe I will remember that and be able to laugh), but I’ll definitely remember the confidence that I gained on the field because of you. The one thing I’ll remember best is the taste of sweet victory. I hope you do too…

Sam “Speedster” Jessup

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Theme: Encouragement
Situation – Words of Encouragement for Friend launching a new Clothing Line

Wow Taylor!

You’re really doing it. You’re launching your very own clothing line! I r...

emember you talking about this back in high school. I always thought it was just a pipe dream and that you’d eventually do something else to “pay the bills.” But here you are…beginning a new adventure as a fashion guru! You go, girl!

Remember when we were kids and we did a fashion show at your birthday party? Our moms took us to have mani/pedis and we did each other’s makeup and then wore all of our brightest clothes down a makeshift catwalk using milk crates? I, the clumsy one, fell off one and almost cracked my head open on the coffee table. Ha ha. Even then, you were excited by fashion.

I am really happy for you. I know there has been a lot of hard work going into this for a lot of years. And I know this is only the beginning, and you’re probably gonna face a lot of challenges, but keep pushing. Trust your instincts ‘cause a lot of people will want to tell you what to do and how to do it, but you’re the one creating your brand so be true to yourself… to your vision!!! You’ve got a special gift for style. You deserve every success… Just don’t forget your friends when you’re premiering your first collection at Fashion Week in New York. I want a front row seat!

Dana

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Situation – Words of Encouragement for Daughter Going off to College

Soph,

We’re so proud of you! It’s hard to believe you’ve already graduated from hi...

gh school and are on your way to college. You’re not our “baby girl” anymore. We’ve watched you become a bright, determined, hard-working young woman and we’re looking forward to celebrating all of your achievements as you continue your education and development.

You may be feeling a little worried about making new friends and living in a new city, but we have no doubt that the real you will quickly draw the right people into your life. You’re equipped to succeed at anything you set your mind to—college is just one of many boxes you’ll be checking off! So go get that degree and learn tons. We know you’re going to make this world a better place with whatever career you choose.

Love,

Mom and Dad

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Theme: Courage/Valor
Situation – Firefighters that saved a family

Dear Chief Bowers,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you and all of the members of Engin...

e 21 for saving me and my family after the fire that destroyed our home on December 22, 2019. We thought that day would be our last but your quick action got us out of harm’s way and to a hospital where we were able to get treatment for smoke inhalation and minor burns. I shudder to think what might have happened without your fast action. Thank you for being so selfless that you do not even think twice when you run into danger.

You and your entire crew are heroes. We always hear about people who are awarded medals for their valor and courage. You may not feel like you are, but I can promise you that you are as deserving of those awards as anyone. Being a firefighter is not an easy job. There is physical and emotional demands that can take a toll on you. Thank you for constantly running toward what others run from. Thank you for saving so many lives, including mine, my husband and my three children. You have made an incredible difference in our lives.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Sheila Meyers and the entire Meyers family

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Theme: Wisdom
Situation – Advice to Parents of a Newborn

To John & Linda:

Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS! Having your first little one is a big dea...

l and the whole family is so happy for you both. May God bless your growing family now and always.

When I was asked to write a message to share my best parenting tip, I had to think back over 40 years, four kids and eight grandkids, innumerable sleepless nights and a truckload of good times to come up with my “#1 Parenting Tip.”

Are you ready for it? Here goes.

Every night, before you say goodnight to your child, think about something he did that you’re grateful for. When he’s old enough to understand your words (way before he can talk himself), express that appreciation. Something as little as “Thanks for helping Mommy feed the animals today” can build his understanding of the impact his actions have on others. On days when he misbehaves, and there will be a few of those, do this. Let him know “I really appreciated that you made your bed this morning.” This will remind him that even when he is not behaving his best, you still see the good in him. This will help him strive to do better.

Of course, I have lots more tips, if you want to know how we did things in the old days. I’m always here to help with advice, babysitting or whatever you need.

Love you,

Nana

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Situation – Advice to a younger sister graduating college

Jackie,

You’re all grown up now. It seems like it was just yesterday that you would fo...

llow me around the house begging me to come play with dolls with you. Now you’re an adult! Don’t worry, the real world is not as scary as it seems… well with my advice hopefully it won’t be.

The main thing you need to remember is to live every day like it’s your last. Don’t be afraid! Go on adventures, have fun, and let yourself be happy. People will judge and try to influence you but follow your heart. Always remember it is okay not to have everything figured out. Take it one step at a time….

Jennifer

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Theme: Legacy
Situation – Childhood Memories with Grandma

Dear Gran,

Some of my fondest memories are from my early childhood when we used to come s...

tay with you for our summer vacations. It was such a treat to go into your “Purple Wing”—the end of your house with your bedroom and bathroom that were so you…. It looked and felt like your own special space. I remember the luxurious four-poster bed with soft, worn blankets and the fluffy pillows. You took me in there for our “big talks” and to give me special gifts. I loved it. Since then, whenever I see the color purple, I always think of you! I’m so thankful for you…

I would also look forward all year to our summer vacations because I knew I’d have adventures with you. We would go out exploring, picking berries and mushrooms in the wooded areas behind your house. Other kids might have been afraid to go into the forest, but not me. You always made it feel like it was an extension of the house. I think that’s where I get my deep love of nature… directly from you. Thank you for that beautiful legacy.

Your little pee wee,

Nancy

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Situation – My Boss’ 20 year Legacy of Leadership Milestone

Elliot,

To the Best Boss a crew could have! You’ve been such a support and encourageme...

nt to all of us. I am so glad for the chance to share my appreciation as the company celebrates 20 years in business.

Although most of us weren’t part of your crew for the entire time, we do feel pretty attached to the business you’ve built. That reflects on you and your dedication to the company and customers as well as to all of us, the staff. We feel like part of the family! A lot of companies talk a good game about being ‘family’, but I feel like at Harding Homes, we really are. That is absolutely because of you.

Thank you for setting a great example of integrity, respect and courtesy for the community. All the best as you continue to succeed…

James T.

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Theme: Farewell
Situation – Fellow Soldier is retiring

To My Brother In Arms, Nick,

I can’t believe you put in your papers and are retiring fr...

om active duty at the end of this tour. After 20 years of service, you’ve definitely earned the right but man I’m going to miss you. You have been the person I counted on for guidance and wisdom for as long as I can remember. It was you I went to when I felt like throwing in the towel. And you gave me strength and courage when I was having a hard time. You took the time to guide me, and that’s something I’ll never forget and always appreciate.

As you take your final bow on the stage of defending our great nation, please know this: it was the knowledge, character and determination that you demonstrated and modeled that will allow me to carry forward the responsibility of serving and protecting. I am who I am because of you, my brother. Thank you for everything… Semper Fi.

Kyle

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Situation – Son is leaving to college

Scott,

You have made your father proud, son. I know that you are going off to college and...

you’re not a little boy anymore, but remember that I am always here for you. You are going to do great in school as long as you make the right choices. Always go to class, study hard, and cultivate friendships. Pick your friends carefully, as these are the people that will probably be in your life for a long time. You’ll remember them and the next four years for the rest of your life.

Scott, you are a talented young man, who has exceeded my expectations. I don’t normally say much about your accomplishments but I know that this could be one of my only opportunities. There is something important I want to say… and it is something my dad didn’t say to me. He was old school, like gramps. Those generations didn’t express how they felt much. But I want to be different and tell you how I feel… I want to say the words because you should never put off for tomorrow what you can do today (which is also good advice as you head off to school). Here goes…. Sam, I am so darn proud of you. So do great. Learn lots. Figure out what you want to do with your life and then go out there and do it.

I love you, man,

Dad

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Situation – Coworker is leaving the company

Jane,

Sometimes we are called to do something else… called to fill a bigger role or try...

something new. So it is for you. It is time for you to sail on. New professional ports await and we have no right to make you stay. We understand. But while we aren’t happy that the winds are leading you away, we are happy for you. We wish you nothing but blue skies and calm waters as you navigate these new seas. We know you’ll go far.

We just hope you’ll stay in touch and maybe drop an anchor and visit with us when you’re nearby.

Anchors away,

Your Old Shipmates

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Theme: Condolences
Situation – Friend’s Mom passing away

Kara,

There are no words that I can say to make this better or make it hurt less. I would...

do anything to help relieve some of your pain but I know this wound will never be truly healed. Losing one’s mother is hard, and especially because you were so close to her.

I didn’t know your mother very well, but I do know how much she meant to you. These things are hard and although I’ve never gone through it, just imagining what you are experiencing right now is horrible. I just want you to know that I am here for you in any way you need. I am always available, whether you need me to bring you food, a box of tissues, or just hold your hand while you talk or cry, you can count on me.

Times are tough right now but you are strong and you will be able to get through this……

Peter

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Situation – Coworker’s Husband Passing Away

Dear Mara,

I was shocked and saddened to hear of your husband’s sudden passing. I c...

an’t begin to imagine the pain and grief you must feel at this trying time. Although mere words cannot and will not ease your heartache, I want you to know how deeply sorry I am for you. My thoughts are with you.

Mara, you are such a strong and courageous woman. May God grant you the fortitude to withstand this tragedy and come out even stronger than you already are.

With sincere sympathy,

Mr. Green

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Situation – A Group Expressing Condolences for a Friend’s Loss of a Loved One

Our dearest friend,

You have suffered a terrible blow. We are so deeply sorry for your lo...

ss. Our collective hearts beat heavily for you tonight. No platitudes or cliches will comfort you. We are not sending any. We send up only a prayer… as soft as angel wings, as quiet as night, may God’s peace that surpasses all understanding comfort your heart.

Just know that you will be numb for a bit. You will have dark moments. It’s ok to scream into the void if you want. But be gentle with yourself, and remember that while it normal to grieve, you cannot allow yourself to unpack and live there… because we would miss you too much.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do for you.

From all of us who care so much about you.

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