Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Letter to Me

The Lightning and Lightning  Bug Prompt:
Write a letter to yourself at age sixteen. What might you tell your sixteen year-old self? Would you warn yourself not to make a certain mistake? Would you ask yourself to treasure being young? Would you tell yourself how much you've changed? You can write the letter from your present self, or from someone else entirely. Feel free to take this in an unexpected direction. Good luck!

Dear 16 year old Terry,

With a few twists and changes in decisions this year, your life could change...drastically. This is probably the year that could affect your entire life. So....I sit here wondering, do I tell you?

If I help you avoid some of the things that make your life difficult and leave you with some regrets, I could also take away some of the things that have made you strong in faith, conviction. I could take away some of the most precious gifts in your life. What if I were to make you weak? Or cause you to never have children? Direct you away from teaching?

So, I won't. I am going to give you some general advice. Some things that could help you through the tough times. At 16, you find Christ, you enter into a relationship, not a religion as you have known before, but a relationship. Hang on tighter to that, keep that as close as you can. Do not wander from it. He is going to see you through the toughest days ahead. He is going to carry you. He will see it through. Be sure also to share Him with your children. People will let you down, but not Christ. Churches will disappoint you, remember they are human. But don't let that take you away, be forgiving.

Keep a journal or memory books of your days with your children. Write down the stories and experiences of your life. Time is going to rush by, you're going to want to hang on to these precious moments.

Don't pick up cigarettes again. It will be something you may always desire and will pick it up and put it down. Just don't pick it up again. Cancer runs in your family, it steals and destroys.

Spend a lot of time with your mom and dad. Get their stories, write them down. Give them lots of love. Let them know how they are loved. Find out their final wishes. Don't wait on it.

Get to know your grandmother better. Write down her stories. Don't wait. Do it now.

Love life. Enjoy each moment. Dream and can do all those things you want to, and you will.

Love from your happy and fullfilled future!


  1. An important part of what makes us who we are...the stories we hold onto from our families. Good, bad or indifferent, these memories need to be shared for those who follow.

  2. Great advice that I am sure you followed! Best part was your decision to follow Christ!!! Thanks for sharing. Came over via One Mixed Bag via The Lightning and the Lightning Bug!!! Glad I found you!

  3. Terry, this is so poignant. You're right. As much as we'd like to go back and change our mistakes, how would those changes impact our lives?

    "Spend a lot of time with your mom and dad. Get their stories, write them down. Give them lots of love. Let them know how they are loved. Find out their final wishes." - This made me teary. You evoked a bit of regret in those lines. A great reminder of how we take everyone for granted at the age of 16.

  4. P.S. - There truly is nothing that I don't like in this letter to yourself. :)

  5. Beautiful writing and sage advice; especially about capturing the stories of our elders. With all of my grandparents gone, I wish I had done more of that.

  6. "Love life. Enjoy each moment. Dream and can do all those things you want to, and you will. "
    This served as a great conclusion to your letter. Loved it!

  7. Great job! I especially like the spend time with mom and dad and get to know your grandmother better parts...I think I need to do those things myself even now. We let so much of life pass us by thinking "there'll be time for that," and unfortunately, so often there is not.

    Lovely response to the prompt. Thanks for linking up!

  8. Now if our younger selves would only heed our advice! It is sometimes, nice to think about avoiding all the heartache that it took to get us where we are today but like you say, these experiences provide the foundation for who we are today. Great advice!

  9. Great advice! Journals and memory books...writing it all does "rush by". It's nice knowing your future is "happy and fulfilled".

  10. Lovely! The pain we endure at a young age molds us into he people we are now. I like your choice not to reveal too much to your 16 year old self :)

  11. This is a wonderful letter- written with the love of a mother to a child. And I agree- the negative experiences in life only help us in the end. It's just that sometimes our reactions to those experiences causes problems.


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