Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Special Gift

by Leann

Facebook has been a pleasant surprise for many reasons. I get to keep up with my family, I've reconnected with friends from college and high school, I can see what my writer friends are talking about and what their release are and best of all, I can be friends with folks who read my books.

I'm sure back in the dinosaur age before computers and the Internet, writers got plenty of "fan mail." I do get an occasional hand-written note and that is is very special, but the instant connections on the Internet are what we have in this day and age. It's all good.

But this week, something very very nice happened. A young man, just graduating from college--and definitely not my "reader demographic--contacted me. See, his fiance has all my books. The reason he wrote? They are getting married in October and he wants to send me books so I can autograph them for a wedding gift. Does that not just melt your heart?

As you know, last week was my birthday and I received a special gift from my kids. You may or may not have heard of the "Storycorp" project. Children interview their moms, dads and others, it's put on tape and saved in the Library of Congress. There are special studios across the country, but to provide more access, there are also special "kits." In August, my son and daughter are coming with a kit to interview me for Storycorp. Nice, huh? Two wonderful gifts that I am involved with. I feel very honored.

How many of you have gotten a gift so special, so thoughtful, that you have never forgotten it? Talk about it!

26 comments:

Andrea C. said...

I just read up on the Storycorp project - what a fabulous thing. We always talk in my family that I need to get a recording of my mom and dad telling their stories and singing the songs they sang to us in childhood. These memories need preserved - I am happy to see the Library of Congress in recording these memories from all walks of life! :)

mary in MO said...

Not a gift I recieved, there are a plenty of those. Several years ago, I made a memory book for my father of his Navy career during WWII. I found pictures, contacted surviving shipmates and families who were willing to help with diaries, stories and other memorabilia.
He cried when I gave it to him. A second copy was made, with 9 family members we attended the Destroyer Escort Association reunion, where he presented a copy to the "Captain" for achiving.
He was also honored by the Association with "GMII Robert Goggins day" as we toured
the Patriot's Point Naval Museum.
The memory of rhis is my gift

Heather Webber said...

I *love* that the fiance contacted you! What a memorable, meaningful gift that will be for his future wife. Sigh--I'm such a romantic sap.

You know the things I love most? All those little handmade cards and artwork the kids made when they were little. All the love that goes into the projects because they know the gifts are for me... It makes this mom's heart very full.

signlady217 said...

A Christmas gift from a former student. She had moved during the summer and was going to a different high school, but that Christmas she came by and brought gifts for all her former teachers. Mine was a $50 gift card to Books-a-Million. It was way too much, of course, but so sweet and showed how much we still meant to her, even though she had changed schools.

Leann Sweeney said...

I love that everyone is sharing their special memories! It's brought a smile to my face.

Dru said...

That is truly special gift.

My sister illustrated the poems that I wrote and had it bounded into a book.

Leann Sweeney said...

That is so wonderful Dru. And they will be passed on and treasured by someone else in your family one day.

Rural View said...

Before I retired I used to hear Storycorp on NPR on the way to work. Some of the stories made me cry, others made me laugh. What a great collection of the human experience.

Leann Sweeney said...

My kids gave me the book "Moms" that has a small collection of all these stories. Like you, I think it's a wonderful project and I am so thrilled I'll get to be a part of it!

Mare F said...

Both are amazing and wonderful. You are a special lady so it really doesn't surprise me that you are so sought after.

Anonymous said...

I treasure all of the Christmas ornaments given to me by former students and the homemade ones from my nephews.
I just love the Storycorp idea. How long has it been around?
That new bride is some lucky girl. What a thoughtful and romantic guy she is going to marry.
Annette

Anonymous said...

I treasure all of the Christmas ornaments given to me by former students and the homemade ones from my nephews.
I just love the Storycorp idea. How long has it been around?
That new bride is some lucky girl. What a thoughtful and romantic guy she is going to marry.
Annette

Laineshots said...

What wonderful, heart-touching gifts and memories! Several years ago, my newly-discovered biological brother spent his scarce leisure time gathering my birth mother's recipes. He hand-wrote them all into a book and inscribed it to me in my original birth name, with one of our mother's hand-written recipes included. It is still my most prized possession.

Leann Sweeney said...

Seems like the best gifts are those that cost little or nothing. Though my mother and I had our problems, I, too, treasure two handwritten recipes. She was an awesome cook and I will pass them on. We are all so lucky.

Lover of Books said...

The best gift I have recieved so far is coming soon. We are finally owning our own town home. We found it on Mother's Day and hope to be all moved in by Father's Day. :) We have lived in the same apartment for 5 and a half years. I have loved it here but it'll be nice to have our own place. Other than that, I have a rocking chair from when I was 2 and it's still in great condition. I love having pictures of my oldest in it and cannot wait till I can take pictures of my youngest 7 month old baby in it. :)
Krista

Leann Sweeney said...

How special that will be! You will soon have pictures all over your new place. How exciting!

Babs said...

Oh that is special Leann what a great husband she is going to have.

The best gift I have gotten is a bit different from the others, but still a special gift I have two...First beating cancer when they told me I had a few months to live and didn't think I would make it when I was 19. God saw fit to give me another chance. The 2nd is all my wonderful adopted boys what a special gift they are.

I wouldn't change a thing about my life it has been one big special gift I will never forget.

Leann Sweeney said...

Well, Babs, you got me all teary eyed now. How special your life has been. Yup. That's an awesome gift!

Melissa Eiselein said...

The best gift I've ever received was an artificial Christmas tree. It wasn't actually a gift. I bought it for $10. It's a very, very long story. The short version is:

I was a young, single mother who could not afford a tree. I worked in a hardware store and the store manager came asked me to do him "a favor." Would I mind buying one of the display trees, complete with ornaments for $10, so he didn't have to store if it didn't sell by Christmas?

A favor? yeah, right! He was doing me a favor, giving me a gift AND letting me keep my dignity.

His name is Mr. Brown (I don't know his first name) and he worked at Builder's Emporium in Corona, California in late 1970s/early 1980s. If anyone happens to know him, please tell him that I'll never, ever forget what he did for me 30 years ago.

Ellery Adams said...

What a sweet story! My husband recently offered me a wonderful gift - a getaway with my mom in August. I am taking him up on it!

Anonymous said...

Fo me the best gift is that of freindship. thru Facebook I have been able to renew freindships with those from high school.

As for a physical gift I would have to say it is a figurine of a girl holding flowers tha my best freind gave me last month. My freind is living 4 hours from me now and is dying of cancer. So while I will alwasy treasure the figurine I treasure the time I am able to spend with her in her last days.

Leann Sweeney said...

Nancy, I am so sorry about your friend. But it is very special gift that you can spend time with her. Thanks for sharing.

Babs said...

Leann no teary eyes now :). I enjoyed reading everyones special memories. Nancy I am sorry to hear about your friend. Melissa that was a great story about the x-mas tree :).
Krista good luck with the new house :).

Valerie Consoer said...

I am a very nostalgic person. My mother taught me to always keep a journal, which I've slacked off on. Shame on me. I've asked both of my parents to sit down and record stories that they've told me since I was little so that I had something with their voices on it and simply so that I don't forget the stories. I think the "Storycorp" project is fantastic.
I've gotten numerous gifts that have touched my heart even when they weren't meant to. Does that make sense? But that young man wanting to give his fiance books signed by her favorite author is a fantastic idea. I only wish my husband had thought of it. Then again, he's a man. He's not romantic like that.
I've been wondering if I should contact my favorite authors, such as yourself, Leann, and see if I can get them to autograph my own personal copies of their books. Hmmm...

Leann Sweeney said...

I would be glad to sign your books, Valerie. If you give me your email I will send you my address. And my husband isn't romantic like that young man either--never was--but my son is romantic. He does some wonderful things for his wife.

Valerie Consoer said...

Oh my gosh, that would be the greatest thing ever! You're awesome! Thank you! My email address is: valerie_gayle84@hotmail.com
Thanks again!