In the best of circumstances, life is not easy. And we all experience rough patches, some harder to navigate than others. When life feels overwhelmingly difficult, a kind gesture can feel like a lifeline.

I have two friends who were feeling overwhelmed, as caregivers for their elderly mothers. I interviewed them both while researching a blog post on how to help caregivers. My friends reported they needed lots of support, but their moms needed attention too.

As a thank you for sharing their insights I chose to write a note to each of my friends’ moms. This was a challenge as their moms lived in other states and I had never met them. I knew their daughters well and chose to focus my note on what I did know.

The notes began with an introduction; “I have been friends with your daughter Sara for twenty years.” I then followed with the purpose of my note; “While we have never met, I do know Sara well. She is a wonderful friend and a great listener.” I followed with; “You must be a very special mother to have raised such a caring daughter. I wanted to let you know how grateful I am to have Sara in my life.”

While both of my friends and their moms were deeply touched with the notes, years would pass before I learned the full impact.

I recently attended an out of town wedding for Sara’s son. Sara had told me years ago that my note had raised her esteem in the family. When I met her brother I introduced myself. He said: “Robbie, you really do exist” as he kissed my hand. He shared that he was so happy to finally meet me and he had heard so much about me. When I met Sara’s sister I extended my hand and said, “I’m Robbie.” She said, “You’re Robbie? I am so glad to finally meet you.”

It was such a warm feeling to know that my one note had such an impact on not only my friend’s mom, but her and her siblings as well. And it really did not take that much effort on my part. I just had to set aside the time and do the task.

Life is challenging and there are many folks we know that are struggling. If you take the time to jot a quick note to let someone know you are thinking of them, you will brighten their day and you may even ease their load. Everyone wants to know they are thought of and it really takes just a few minutes of your time to do just that.  So what’s stopping you?


Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now at a reduced price for e-books for "Illness & Death," "Suicide," "Miscarriage," "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store.

Image via Getty Images

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