Once Gracie had received her diploma it was time to present her with her graduation gift.
I knew I wanted to do something special and personal for Gracie’s graduation gift. She isn’t a girl who puts a lot of value in material possessions. Gifts are not her love language. The love languages that speak to her heart are quality time and words of affirmation. She is much more affected and moved by gifts that are homemade, personal, and sentimental. She would much rather receive a heartfelt letter or framed photo than a new outfit or gadget.
Knowing that her primary love language is quality time, and knowing that because many of the people who mean the most to her wouldn’t be able to actually be with her on her graduation day, I thought a scrapbook of letters would be the next best thing.
The words penned by loved ones would serve as a meaningful testament of their love for her.
The last time I created a gift like this was for my grandfather’s 90th birthday when we presented him with a collection of love letters from friends and family. In those letters we all shared with him the great impact he had on all of our lives, how he had touched us and molded us into who we are today, and shared stories of our favorite memories.
He was moved to tears.
When I became young women’s president at church I stepped into a long standing tradition of the presidency gathering letters written to our graduating seniors (by their friends, teachers and family) that were compiled into a book that they could take with them to college.
Since that time that tradition has died away, but I knew that I wanted Grace to receive her “senior book,” so I decided to resurrect the tradition personally for each of my kids when they graduate high school. Grace was my first recipient.
A few months ago I sent out form letters with self-addressed return envelopes to all our family, family friends, previous school/co-op/church teachers, tutors, coaches and church leaders, asking them to write Grace a letter sharing their memories of her and words of advice that she could take with her as she ventures into her future.
The response was amazing and full of love. Dozens of special people from her life took the time to sit and write Grace a personal letter.
As the envelopes began trickling into my mailbox I was able to sit and read your words of love. I secured each note into a scrapbook to preserve these special words for Grace to treasure into the future.
Each letter was placed with love and adorned with papers, stickers and photos, reflective of the letter and the author of the letter.
Each note was so different and so perfect.
On Saturday night, following graduation, we took Grace out for dinner and presented her with her graduation gift from us…and from all of you.
And she too was touched by the great outpouring of love and care.
This humble book is worth more than the greatest of treasures, containing priceless words of advice, sweet memories to reflect back on, and words of love from the people who have helped mold her into the young lady she is today.
Thank you for your gift to Grace…
Thank you for loving my baby girl.