Happy Birthday, Roo!

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I know how the holidays can be a mixed bag of emotions, especially when you’ve lost a family member or loved one, or have difficult childhood memories of the holidays.

Since my late husband, Andrew, passed away from cancer four years ago, I find Thanksgiving’s and Christmas’s to be particularly emotional because the void and loss feel magnified on those days. Plus, for me, the fall and winter months are packed with special dates like our wedding anniversary, my birthday, and his birthday, which would have been his 35th today.

What lifts my spirits on days like today is talking about him, sharing memories, and celebrating his life.

On our flight home yesterday, coming back from San Diego, I asked our daughter, Ellie, some questions about her Daddy. I thought this could be an opportunity to bond and create open dialogue about him. She gave me permission to share her answers with you. Here goes…

What is your most favorite memory of your Daddy?

ELLIE: Coming home from daycare, running and jumping into Daddy’s hospital bed with him and drawing together.

In what ways do you feel like you are most like your Daddy?

ELLIE: My brown eyes, brown hair, that he loved art, like me.

Funniest stories about Daddy that I’ve told you?

ELLIE: When he would swing me around. Also, the time y’all went roller skating together when he tried to impress you by skating backwards and kept falling on his bottom.

What are some of your favorite lessons from the book Daddy wrote and illustrated for you, The Ellie Project?

ELLIE: C is for Courage Cat – “Ellie: Courage doesn’t come because you are big, strong, or without fear. Courage comes because you aren’t big, you aren’t strong, you do fear but you don’t give up! Love, Daddy”

K is for Kiss – “Ellie: ‘There is no difference between a wise man and a fool when they fall in love.’ – Unknown. So Ellie, be careful with your kisses, they are more powerful than you think! Love, Daddy”

W is for Wiener Dog – “Ellie: Remember to be loyal because loyalty shows love! Our most faithful dogs we loved the most, so be God’s most loyal and you will feel his love most! Love, Daddy”

What did he teach you about life?

ELLIE: He taught me how to be better about not being scared. He wasn’t scared to die and that gives me courage when I’m scared.

What do you miss most about Daddy?

ELLIE: His bald head. I miss him playing with me and spending time with me.

(Side note: Once Andrew started chemo, his hair began falling out so he decided to go ahead and shave it all off. Ellie was two years old and didn’t understand what was happening, so she thought his bald head was so funny and she used to rub it all the time. It was precious.)

After I finished asking her questions she told me, “Mom, no one ever asks me about my Daddy.”

I responded, “Maybe they don’t ask because they think it will make you sad to talk about him. Does it make you sad to talk about him?”

She replied, “No, not really.”

I know everyone’s different when it comes to being asked about a departed loved one. For Ellie and me, talking about Andrew fills our hearts with joy. So thank you for allowing us to share these special memories with you today.

In honor of Andrew’s birthday today I’m offering 20% off your entire purchase at www.ellieproject.com, where you’ll find Your Best Life Later, A Gray Faith, The Ellie Project, and The Ellie Project stationery. Use the promo code: legacy at checkout. Plus, Ellie and I will sign every copy ☺ We truly hope you enjoy these insightful and inspiring books.

Thank you so much for all of your love and support! You have no idea how you’ve touched our lives with your encouragement and kindness. Love and Blessings.

PS – If you’re looking for a speaker for your next gathering, group meeting, or event, I’d love the opportunity to come encourage through my powerful and inspiring message about transforming life’s challenges into a purposeful life. E-mail me today at [email protected]. Looking forward to hearing from you!