Monday, September 8, 2008

A note from my oldest daughter

Talk about a mother's dream! Over time each of my kids has pleasantly surprised me with their wisdom and kindness...things I've bonked them over the head throughout their lives over and over again, hoping they remember. Below is a letter I received from my oldest, Melissa Marie, First Born Child of My Loins, aka Mel Gyver, Problem Solver Extraordinaire.

If you have the time and want to contribute to her endeavor, please leave a comment and I will forward it to her.

"I was talking to my mom today about how there are so many things that I wish I knew in my twenties. Simple things, like keep a roll of duck tape on hand at all times. Both in your car and at home. Tell people what you need. Stuff like that. Stuff that seems so simple and obvious but somehow, it takes us all trauma and drama to learn. So I got to thinking. I've been making mental lists lately of stuff to teach the girls (how to change a tire, put on snow chains, jump a car battery...)stuff to always have when camping, stuff to stock in my kitchen, things like that. After talking to my mom and then watching Whoopi show her favorite things on The View...I started typing up my lists.

Then I starting thinking even more. As most of you know, my lovely mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Everyday, multiple times a day, I do or say something that my mother has taught me. Simple stuff like doing laundry and big stuff like dealing with angry teenagers. Now that I know I cannot take for granted that my mother is always just going to be a phone call away, I desperately try to recall what she would have said or done about common tasks or situations more and more on a daily basis. Almost as though I am trying to chronicle what she has taught me in my life to one day pass on to my girls...but I think that it is bigger than that. One thing my mother always did was surround me with strong women in my life...and I learned from all of them. I really want to try to capture that as a testament to my mother, friends, role models and ourselves as women and how we live our lives.

So now I have this crazy idea. I have attached my free form list in a Word document. Will you please read my list and add anything and everything you feel should be added. Right now it is really just simple stuff like what to keep in your kitchen and the multiple uses of plastic bags, but I want it to be more. Any tidbit of wisdom you've learned in life that you wish you would have learned sooner or that you were just glad you learned at all. Don't be shy, anything goes. My only rule is that you don't DELETE ANYTHING. You can add your two cents to any previously posted item but don't change it or delete it. I've formatted the document to track changes so I can see what has been added and eventually begin to organize it into sections. Please save your additions and send it back to me.

Please send it to women that you trust, respect and feel have something to contribute and have them do the same. I want to see what happens with this. I know that you all are busy and that chain mail shit is obnoxious but that's not what I'm trying to do here. I really want to take these lists and see how they evolve. Eventually, I'd like to work this into book form. Sort of a compilation of things that women learn through life that someone should have told us at twenty.

So I thank you my friends and I hope to hear from all of you!


I think I'll go outside and enjoy the sunshine, smile, and give thanks for another great day!


Amy (Gaskell) Crombie said...

Hi Kendra / Melissa -
Amy (Gaskell) Crombie here. Would love Mel's email address and would love to review her word doc & possibly contribute. What a wonderful idea. Love & prayers for you both. My email is:
and we have family blog at:

Gloria said...

I'd love to contribute to your daughter's list(s). It sounds like a great idea.

How proud you must be of her. I admire you and your courage and pray for your days to be blessed.

My email address is: and a blog at

Warm Regards!

Shellie said...

Your daughter and I think a lot alike. I am making a little handbook for life for my daghter too who will graduate from High School this next spring. I have a lot of ideas but not much written down yet. I can give her some baby advice I gave another family member recently for now: