Funny Faces and Love Notes as Heirlooms

Contributing Writer: Eric Miller, Inheritance of Hope Marketing & Communications Director

As our Co-Founder suggests in the introduction to this library, you don’t need to wait to celebrate milestones or events. Host an early birthday party or celebrate Thanksgiving on a day of your choice. Make fun memories now. They will become priceless memories later.

Take photos. They’re worth 1,000 words, right? Words that communicate a powerful connection to your loved ones. In today’s world, photos are easy to take, just don’t forget to get in the shot with your family as you are making memories! That’s important.

While it’s easy to snap on your cell phone, it’s also easy for them to be lost in the cloud or on your phone. Print occasionally. As technology changes, so will file types. Protect your priceless memories by printing hard copies (and perhaps put in your child’s legacy box).

Record videos. A video might be even more powerful than a photo. Home videos are a great way to visually reflect on past events celebrated as a family. But what if you were more intentional about creating a video crafted for your loved ones?

Families who attend an Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat® have the opportunity to record a professional quality Legacy Video. Arguably, it’s the most precious gift given at a retreat.

A video is an opportunity to communicate your thoughts, share your feelings, and show your love to your family. Like photos, video recording is readily accessible. The quality doesn’t need to be professional grade. Instead, it’s the content that matters. The video will become a priceless gift for your loved ones.

Leave notes. Handwritten notes are sure to become a priceless gift too. Florence Littauer once said, “The beauty of the written word is that it can be held close to the heart and read over and over again.” That’s so true. So let’s do it! Put notes in lunches or backpacks. Write a letter to be read on special days in the future (e.g., Sweet 16 birthday, wedding day, or even the day after you die). Tuck notes away in places where your children and/or spouse will find them after you are gone.

Notes don’t need to be long essays (of course they can, if you want them to be). Start small, but start now. Not sure how to get started? Here are a few ideas (see our workbook or download our “Love Notes” for more):
Favorite family memories
Important lessons
Favorite bible lessons
Hopes for the future
Top 10 lists (e.g., 10 reasons why I love you)
Family History
Greatest successes
 Most embarrassing moment
Be creative – other thoughts. Have heirlooms or keepsakes that are special to you? Why not gift them to your family in an intentional way?

Create an email account for each of your children. Send emails to the account to be read by your children after you are gone. This is an easy way to be intentional while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, school pick-up, or whenever you find time to share. Don’t forget to make the account login information available.

Many Inheritance of Hope families choose to blog about their experience. A blog can be a creative way to communicate with your love ones. Like journaling, a blog can also be a therapeutic platform to share feelings, release emotions, and give supporters an insider’s perspective on what you are experiencing. A blog is also a powerful educational tool for those who have never experienced the uncertainties surrounding a terminal illness diagnosis.
Action Item: Create a personal email account or Download “Love Notes” and
write a note to each of your children and spouse.