A gift from the heart

It was during our annual siblings birthday party and the time came to open our presents. We’ve been doing this for more than a decade, saving all our siblings’ birthday gifts for this one day. It was handed to me and I immediately thought it might be a book, however, something was moving inside the harder cover giving me doubts about my first guess.

I gently removed the wrapping and found a hard box protecting a book. I pulled it out and immediately felt a small tug at my heart as I glanced on the cover and noticed the beautiful art; poppies! As many of you know, poppies mean so much to me now, as they were one of my sister’s favorite flowers, and I titled my last Camino as “The way of the poppies” in her honour and her memory.

The next thing I noticed was the title of the book “Life from an optimist’s point of view”. “Ah, a book about optimism” I thought, which fitted me well since I consider myself a true optimist. Then it hit me “Wait, that’s my website’s main title.
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It still hadn’t sunk in until my dear sister Monique said “Read the inside cover”.

“This book was specially created for my sister Sylvie Hanes for our sibling annual birthday party August 2014. It is full of my favorite of her blog entries from August 2010 to May 2014. My favorite is the entry “I leaked” from May 17, 2011″

At that very moment the tears came a’flooding! How ironic her favorite entry is about me crying! I could not believe I held in my hands a compilation of some of my blog entries so beautifully arranged with both original pictures and some of her choice. I felt humbled, incredibly touched and amazed that someone though enough of my writing to put it together this way.

So many people have blogs, and we write for many reasons. My first ever blog states “This medium will allow me to share experiences, thoughts, questions and of course, my pictures.” Little did I know back then that four years later, I would still be leveraging this medium. Writing to me, from an early age, has always been a way for me to express myself. When I would have misunderstandings with my mother, I would revert to writing a follow up (most of the time, an apology) and reasoning behind my actions or behaviors. I’ve always favored my English or French classes for the joy of writing be it fiction or research work.

However, even though I know some folks read my blog, I don’t stop to think anyone really pay much attention to my words, with the exception of when I get comments or feedback; both of which always seem to surprise me. This book gave my words flight and a place to land (other than the web) and a physical reminder of my sometimes wild imagination, deepest thoughts and random chatter. The fact that anyone would take the time and effort to make such an amazing book touched me to the core.

You have encouraged me once again to put words to virtual paper. I seldom go back and read my entries, and I am going through each and every page of this wonderful book and remembering each and every moments that brought me to write those entries.
What an honor and a privilege to receive such a gift. To you, my dear sister, a huge heartfelt and sincere “Thank you”.

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3 thoughts on “A gift from the heart

  1. I really enjoyed the project. I reread all your blogs, had to decide which ones I liked the most (otherwise your book would be huge). I appreciate your writings and read each and everyone one of your entries. Love you dear sister.

  2. I also read every one of your blogs (without comment). I’ve always admired your talent for writing and your ability to share with such candor your deepest thoughts, your plans and goals and your genuine positive attitude towards people and life in general.

    I loved the idea Monique had to produce a compilation of your most memorable blog entries. It’s a beautiful book. Lots of thought and work went into making it and I know how much joy it bought you.

    There’s a lot of love in our family. The closeness that we share allows us to know each other well enough for someone to offer such a gift. I know you will enjoy it for years to come. …you deserve it.

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