the effort alone


A little while ago, I got a letter in my inbox that left me in a puddle of tears: sad ones, happy ones, beautiful, heart-wrenching hopeful ones. The letter wasn’t addressed to me. It was from my friend, Conner, and he was asking if I could pass it on to my dad.

It began ..

Dear Ms. Diary’s Dad,

My name is Conner Cummings. I am a friend of Ms. Diary, Brooke, Katie and Mr. Diary. I am 23 years old. I read Ms. Diary’s written words every day. Ms. Diary writes so I understand and feel the words she types. One of my favorite words she writes is about you.

He went on to offer comfort, friendship, and love to my father. It was, as is everything Conner writes, beautifully rendered, searingly insightful, and powerfully true.

Last week, another letter showed up in my inbox and again, I was left in tears. This one was from my dad back to Conner. I asked him for permission to share it here for so many reasons – all of which I imagine will be self-evident – and he generously agreed.

So with that, I give you my dad, in his own words.

Dear Conner,

I am greatly moved in a very good way by your wonderful letter to me. You say such nice things about me and the people I love and it makes me so very happy to read it.

You are like Ms. Diary when you write like that because you too make people feel the love they have in their lives as she does. Ms. Diary (my lovely daughter) makes the world a much better place for me every minute of every day. I am very proud of her as I feel your mom is of you and all you are giving to the world, by being kind and sharing your very wonderful story with everyone.

I’m sorry you don’t have your grandpa here with you now but he is always with you in your heart and in your memories about him. I’m sure he loved you more than anything he loved. It sounds like he was a very important part of your life which is a very special thing to have in your memory.

I have found that if you live your life in a way that tries to do good for people and all living creatures everyday, it will make your life much better just because of the effort alone. It is sort of selfish because when I do good things for people it makes me feel even better, but I guess it means we both win and have something good.

I appreciate your kind words and will continue to try to help the people in my world as I hope you will continue to do the same in yours. You sound like a very bright and special person with a great deal of love to share. Your mom must also be a special parent who loves you more than anything in her world.

I hope you will keep growing, and learning, and loving just the way you have been doing. You too make the people who love you very proud of who you are. Thank you for your kind letter to me.

Best wishes,

Ms. Diary’s proud dad (Papa)

Thank you, Conner. For your friendship, your heart, and your beautiful words. They mean so much to my entire family. 

6 thoughts on “the effort alone

  1. Tripping over tears…Thanks to all of you for sharing your letters. On what has been a bit of a tough week for our little world it was so helpful to read all that was written.

  2. I can see that your Apple (meaning YOU), didn’t fall very far from that tree (meaning your very special Dad).
    Thank you for introducing Connor to me. I love his words and I am fortunate to call him my special friend. I just wanted you to know how far-reaching your insightful writings travel. They have made it to a tiny town in the foothills of Appalachia…. In a small way, I try to bring awareness to my small community…. Because of you. Thank you…. Faye

  3. If you happen to be visiting your dad on May 21 & 22, Soma will be here on Long Island working with students using RPM. I know you have written before about your friend taking her daughter to Texas for sessions. If you want to observe, let me know and I’ll send you the information.

      • She will be doing individual sessions on Saturday, May 21, from ~1 to 5:30 and again on Sunday, May 22, from ~9:30 to 3:30 in Bethpage. We will have an observation room set up so people can come and go. She was here this past weekend and worked with people from age 7 to age 60…many for the first time. It is amazing to see her her work.

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