Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson (Dedicated to my son Bear)


This song reminds me of my amazing firstborn son, Bear. He is kinda eccentric like this song. And very tender-hearted. I love that Bear holds my hand when we go shopping at the Mall. And he still curls up in my lap and asks me about "the gold in his hair" - a story I made up for him as a child. Bear you are a blessing, and I am so proud of you!! xoxo Mommy xoxox

He is the Gift – Christmas Video – #ShareTheGift

The first gift of Christmas was a simple gift given by a father to all his children, to us. He gave us His son, the Christ. He is the gift. This Christmas season, how will you share the gift?

Polish Christmas Tradition: Sharing the Oplatek

One of the clients  (my job is home health care) I work with is Polish, and knowing of my own Polish heritage, she enjoys sharing with me stories of the traditional Polish customs. She also speaks Polish fluently, and shares songs and prayers.

One of the stories she shared with me is the Polish tradition of sharing of the Oplatek (op-wa-tek) or Christmas wafer, which is done on Christmas Eve. The tradition dates back hundreds of years, and was passed from my client's ancestors to own her family, who lived on a farm in the rural Midwest.

Christmas Eve or Wigilia, marks the end of Advent for Polish families, and is usually a day of fasting so the meal would not include meat. Advent is a time to remember the real reason for Christmas, people try not to have an excess of anything and give up their favorite foods and drinks. Typical foods served for Advent in Polish families include dumplings, beetroot soup, gingerbread and fish.

Advent also is a time when families begin to thoroughly clean their home to prepare for Christmas. My Mom also did this--disinfecting the floor with lemon cleaner, scrubbing cupboards, and arranging the Nativity scene to be displayed prominently in the center of our living room were some of her cleaning activities. Cleaning was a festive time because Mom would sing and dance to Christmas music while cleaning--her favorite was Motown Christmas, and "Christmas on Sesame Street" for my brother and I. There was a large, oval woven rug in the middle of the living room floor that I clearly remember Mom dancing on, often she picked up our cat Hooper as her dance partner, swaying to the music. My brother and I were given Advent calendars to remind us of the holiness of the season, and mark the passage to Christmas. Also, in my own family, Christmas Eve was a time for a family reunion and celebration. My Mom comes from a large family and we always gather on Christmas Eve, and later in the evening, attend Mass.

My client says that on Christmas Eve her family would gather at the table for a meal, and before they ate they would say grace then pass the oplatek around the table. The oplatek is a thin, flavorless wafer made of flour and water. The oplatek is rectangular in shape and embossed with images of the Holy Family or the Nativity Scene. The oplatek is shared with one family member to another, who breaks then offers a blessing or asks for forgiveness.  It is a time to tell family members that you love them, or ask for forgiveness and make peace.The oplatek is shared around the table until every member has shared it. When the oplatek is eaten, it is a sign that the blessing or forgiveness has been accepted. My client said that when her children grew older, they would break the oplatek then go in a private room to talk, catching up on recent events or laughing over memories shared.

What a beautiful tradition! I am so thankful my client shared this with me, I am excited to begin this tradition with my own children, and rekindle our connection to our Polish heritage.

~ Daylen Swift, 2014

Read More:

"Polish Christmas Wafer: A Flavorless Tradition That is Oh So Sweet" by Sarah Zielinski:

"Catholic Activity: Oplatek, Old Polish Custom" by Catholic

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Amazing: Mommy Sea Turtles Return to Beach where Born, after 30 years, to Lay Eggs!

Sea turtles live in almost every ocean, all around the world. Loggerhead sea turtles have been on Earth for 250 million years and are related to the dinosaurs. “Loggerhead” sea turtles are known for their big, clunky head and large beak. The Loggerhead shell is golden brown, like honey, and their skin ranges in color from yellow to brown.

After birth, Loggerhead sea turtles head into the sea, where they spend most of their life. Sea turtles spend their day eating and resting. Sea turtles can sleep under water, curled up under rocks or in reefs. Or, they float on top of the water with their fins pulled back, and laying against their shell.

Sea turtles spend most of their lives alone, but there are short periods of time where turtles “date”. A female Loggerhead is usually ready to breed after 30 years (can you imagine if your parents made you wait that long to date! Haha – kidding). Sometimes male turtles fight over a female turtle they really like. Dating for a turtle involves play fighting—a turtle may gently bite another or bump shells (kinda like bumping fists!).
After this, the male stays at sea while the female goes to land to build a nest and lay eggs.

Loggerhead sea turtles are known to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles from its feeding ground to its nesting place, this is called “migration”. Scientists are not sure how sea turtles map their migration but guess that sea turtles may be able to read the Earth’s electromagnetic fields, and use that to find their way. Zzap!

When a Loggerhead is ready to build her nest, there is only one place she will go—back to the very same beach she was born! After 30 years, the Loggerhead will somehow know, over thousands of miles of endless blue sea, how to find the way back home. At night, Loggerhead will leave the water to make a nest on land, which she makes by digging a hole in the sand with her flippers. The female Loggerhead will lay between 50-200 eggs, each the size of a golf ball, and then hide her nest to keep it safe. The sea turtles are very fragile animals so out of the many eggs hatched, few turtles actually survive.

After two months, the eggs hatch and the baby Loggerheads make their way back to the sea (this happens when temperatures are cool, between the time the sun goes down, until it comes up again). The baby Loggerheads wait until the sun goes down then use the light of the stars and moon shining off the water to find their way into the sea. The baby Loggerheads will swim back into the sea and will drift on the currents for many years, eating and resting and growing.

- Daylen Swift

Sea Turtle Conservancy:

(Greek Island Sea Turtles) Zante Carretta Caretta Loggerhead Turtles:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hi Mommy - I love you MOM (Mother and Child Video)

A beautiful video about the incredible bond between Mother and Child, which begins at conception and grows stronger every day...

This video is so true. I feel the same way for my children, I loved them from the start and will love them always! Tu es mi corazon! xoxox Mommy xoxox

Friday, October 17, 2014

3 Queens Video Honors Motherhood

This touching video, "3 Queens" narrated by a child who describes a day in the life of his "Mommy" through imagery, prose and music. "3 Queens" beautifully depicts the Mother-Child bond, and honors the work , sacrifices and efforts put into mothering. 

Proverbs 22:6(King James Version), "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

"3 Queens" a celebration of 3 stay at home moms in three different regions of the country ...
director: matt bieler
music: dane leon & chris newlin
editor: matt bieler & aidan haley
music mix: danny cocke
final mix: tom @ lime
color: david hernandez
Bravo to the team behind "3 Queens"! Love this <3

Monday, October 13, 2014

Love Began when you smiled by Natalie Rungan

Natalie Rungan also known as Natalie R is a South African born singer, songwriter who is well known in the Jazz, RnB & Gospel circuit. Performing with her on this live recording is Mark Royeppen, Bruce Baker & Brent Quinton. The song is part of a collection written for their recent "Up Close and Personal" concert.

Natalie Rungan's YouTube Channel:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

German Prayer for Child

I learned a beautiful German prayer today... 

I work in home healthcare and my client said this prayer, in perfect German, I almost cried... it reminded me of my beautiful Great-Grandma, and of those tender moments tucking my own children into bed. 

My mother's side of the family is from Germany, they settled in a small, town founded by fellow German pioneers, and later owned a butcher shop. The butcher shop specialized in sausages but sold other delicious meats such as braunschweiger, headcheese and pickled pig knuckles. As a small child, I remember how special it was when my Mom would open an antique box that was the faded color of buttercups and decorated with lace. The top of the box had the picture of a woman on it, with a bug bouffant of wavy hair and bow shaped lips. I think she was also holding a glass bottle of cola. The box held all of Mom's treasures...including an old photo of my great-grandmother. My great-grandmother was a dainty woman with dark, flashing eyes. She was known to be a strong woman, who went into business to help her husband at a time women traditionally stayed at home. She adored her two children--Grandma and her brother. And died young, of pneumonia. Grandma named my favorite Aunt after her mother. And my Mom named a doll after her--my daughter and her cousin just love playing house with the doll. So her memory lives in our hearts, and in our love. 


Jesukindlein komm zu mir, 
Mach ein frommes Kind aus mir. Mein Herzerl ist klein, Kann niemand hinein, Als du, mein liebes Jesulein. 

Baby Jesus come to me 
Make a pious child out of me 
My little heart is so small 
No one can get in 
Except for you my lovely little Jesus.

(Image from: Turn Back to God)

To my beautiful children ~ Mommy keeps you in my thoughts and prayers. I love you so much! I love 1,222,222,000,000 + 0= U! Tu es mi corazon. xoxox

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Mother's Prayer - (Hannah's Song) by Rachel Aldous

A beautiful prayer set to piano music for children

Psalms 127:3, Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cooking Up Memories: Mother's Apron Poem

I have fond memories of cooking in the kitchen as a child... I'd wear my mother's apron. My favorite apron was white and had a picture of Little Sprout, the child of the Jolly Green Giant, on it. I befriended the little girl who lived next door, and we took turns baking--in our imaginations, the kitchen turned into the pink Barbie house, where the sun always shone through the windows, and our pink corvette was parked in the driveway. We started baking cookies then became more adventurous with cinnamon sticky buns and German cookies with a name we could not pronounce. My neighbor was such a bubbly, energetic little girl. She mad everything fun, even doing the pile of dishes we dirtied! 

My Mom is an artist, and her Christmas sugar cookies are not only delicious but so beautiful they deserve to be in the Louvre Museum with other art masterpieces. The taste of those cookies was so buttery, and soft, golden on the edge with a rounded middle. She would make homemade frosting in a rainbow of colors then decorate each cookie special-- Bells trimmed with sugary pink lace. Tiny people with candy buttons and colorful hats and scarves. Reindeer with hot cinnamon noses. Golden stars covered in gooey frosting. Mom would not stop with sugar cookies--she made almond bark bars, spritz cookies and wreaths too.

When Mom stopped baking Christmas cookies, she went on to make the most amazing Christmas house with real moving parts, and decorated with miniatures she collected all year long. 

My daughter also seems to have picked up the skill of cooking.. here she is, at age six, making dinner. It's a delicious mix of cocoa crunch cereal, canned corn, parmesan cheese, beef broth and spices! Yum!

-- Daylen Swift, August 2014

To Bear and Nora, I love 1,222,222,222,000 +0= U! Tu eres mi corazon. I thank God for you every day! ~ Mommy. P.S. CJ says hi and he misses you. LOL* And the Winnie-the-Pooh story...pfffph!

The Benefits of a Mother's Love and Nurturing

A recent study reveals the benefits of a mother's love and nurturing on her children...

"Children who are given love and affection from their mothers early in life are smarter with a better ability to learn.

The study by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found school-aged children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress.

The new research is the first to show that changes in this critical region of children’s brain anatomy are linked to a mother’s nurturing, reports." ("A mother's love can boost brain power, study shows" by Daily Mail Reporter, 1-31-2012). 

The way a mother nurtures and loves her child actually begins before birth. Not only does a mother's body biologically support the baby growing inside her, but most mothers facilitate a bond with their baby before birth-- praying for the baby or participating in religious ceremonies, hugging or caressing her growing belly, talking or singing to baby, sharing the pregnancy with family and friends and joining mother's groups or classes are all common ways the mother-child bond begins before birth. At as early as 20 weeks, an unborn baby can recognize his mother's voice and after birth, will prefer her voice (and her smell) to any other

After birth the bonding continues between mother and child, it is recognized that skin-to-skin contact between mother and child is immensely beneficial to newborns. Breastfeeding also increases that bond, mothers who bottle feed also benefit from holding or cuddling their babies. What babies learn about the world, begins first at home. 

Babies prefer the music their mother listened to when pregnant over any other music, they also recognize the smell of the mother's body and the sound of her voice. As young as 6 months old, babies learn to communicate by lip reading--and learn emotion from watching the faces of mother, and other adults important in their lives.

Although a mother has a special role in the lives of her children, researchers say that the effects of nurturing on the children are also beneficial from others providing care including fathers, siblings, grandparents or adoptive parents. Perhaps if we as individuals and members of a larger society, realized what power there is in demonstrating love and care for other people, the world would be a better place? We only need to look to our loving mothers to know this is possible. 

A mother's love can boost a child's brainpower, study shows

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pictures of Jesus and Children

The first Bible verse my daughter learned at age 4, she would say this all the time in her adorable toddler lisp, "Let the little children come to Me!"

Project Inspired has a beautiful page with images of Jesus and children: Jesus and His Children

The pictures remind us of the great love and tenderness of Jesus... Enjoy!

"Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him." (Psalm 127:3)

”The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” ( Jeremiah 31:3)

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 18:10)

Teen Driving Inspires Mom's Memories

My teenage son Bear is dreaming about the day he can get a license and drive a car... I remember the days he drove his walker, his fat 'lil feet slapping against the floor as he took off in search of adventure, or trouble!

Bear was not like other babies, he is very mechanical minded; he could take apart or dismantle anything. He would figure out how to get past obstacles even if it meant climbing, tearing down baby gates or busting barriers meant to protect him. The baby locks used to keep babies out of drawers and cabinets--easily defeated. Bungee cords to hold closets shut, also over come. Bear would run across the house in his walker then ram the baby gate to knock it down, and happily wander through the house or raid the fridge. He would climb dressers, chairs and boxes to get into things. He would climb out of his crib (while the cat slept happily inside). 

Once Bear broke down a baby gate, somehow climbed down the basement stairs, crawled across the floor and scaled up a ladder... when I found Bear, he was climbing through the cat door with his head, chest and arms fully outside and his feet dangling in the air!

My other favorite memory of Bear is when he was about 9 months old. He must have been studying the wood trim nailed to the wall for quite some time, determining its weak spots. I left the room briefly to get a drink from the fridge, Bear was laying on an oriental rug as if, I thought asleep. When I came back into the room, Bear had pried the wooden trim off the wall and was dragging a board at least 5 feet long across the floor!

Now that Bear is a teenager... I know with that kind of determination, it will not be long before he gets his license. All I have to say to those on the road is... watch out! Kidding! LOL. If anything, Bear will be adventurous, exploring hidden dirt roads, and venturing to weird tourist sites. He dreams about strapping a car seat in the back, and taking his little brother CJ for a ride. He will tinker with the mechanics, my friend has promised to show Bear how to do repairs. 

And finally, his freedom will have been won--no baby gates, no obstacles, just a set of keys and an open road.

Bear said he would like to drive so he can come see me... son, you are welcome home anytime. I keep you and your sister in my prayers, and in my heart. Tu eres mi corazon. 

~ Daylen Swift, August '14

Friday, July 4, 2014

I Wish You Enough (Prayer and Poem) - Bob Perks

"I WISH YOU ENOUGH" by Bob Perks
Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:
"I love you and I wish you enough."
The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left.
The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.
I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?"
"I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.
When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?"
She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.
"When we said 'I wish you enough' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them". Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,
"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye."
She then began to cry and walked away.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person. 
An hour to appreciate them.
 A day to love them. 
And an entire life to forget them.

NOTE: I received this on a chain e-mail, during a time I was really missing my kids. The words may have been altered from the original version as passed along. I thought the words and the meaning behind them were not only beautiful but contain alot of truth. That you to Bob Perks for sharing your wisdom with us! 
-- Daylen Swift

And to my kids, I love 1,222,222,000,000 + 0= U! I thank God for you every day. And am so happy to be your Mommy. I wish you enough. LOTS of Love ~ Mommy

Monday, June 30, 2014

Into Your Imagination: Quote by Taylor Swift and Relaxation Exercise

I made this for my kids...and all other kids needing comfort. 

"We were able to escape to that place anytime we had a hard time. Any time you're going through something rough, you can go back into your imagination and you're at Disney World." -- Taylor Swift, as a child she and her brother Austin would imagine they were at Disney World. Source: I'm waiting for my prince! Taylor Swift stuns as Rapunzel in new Disney ad

Using your imagination can be a powerful tool to help cope with stress (cramming for a test, meeting new friends, working through family problems, etc). 

                                           Even Rapunzel needs to take a deeep breath!

Here's one easy exercise to use your imagination to reduce stress and anxiety, and help you feel better:

1) Take 3 deep breaths, breathe slowly through your nose and out through your mouth. 
NOTE: If taking a breath is hard for you, make a sound that is comforting or funny like a snake's hisssss (in deep breath, out hissss) or a train noise (my toddler loves this, in deep breath, out chooo chooo). Be creative with your sounds, and willing to try new things!

2) Listening to music, nature sounds or sitting in silence may also help you relax. A lava lamp, water fountain, or Dream Lite may also be helpful. Maybe lay on a pile of pillows. Or cuddle up under a fleece blanket. 

3) Close your eyes and imagine the scene in full detail... if you are at Disney World, imagine your feet touching the cobbled paths, the sun shining on your shoulders. Smell the buttery popcorn being sold at a street vendor. Imagine yourself walking toward the castle, the excitement to discover what is inside...Cinderella greets you at the door in her glittery blue dress, greeting you like an old friend...the creaky castle door opens...  Imagine!

4) Enjoy the scene for a few minutes then slowly open your eyes. Take a few deep breaths in and out. This time say something positive to yourself like: I am going to be okay. Today is going to be a great day. I am awesome. I will do fine on my test. I am lovable. etc. Take a few minutes to come back--stretch, wiggle your toes, turn on music etc. Then stand and get ready to face the world and it's adventures!

5) If you have done a relaxation exercise or other coping skills and your day is still tough or things are not going the way you wanted, that's okay! You don't have to make things perfect, the point is to get to a place where you feel calm and confident. Being able to cope with challenges in a positive way is a way cool :) And sometimes, you may need to ask a grown up for extra help. 

Other ways to deal with stress:

*Laugh - Watch a funny video/TV show. Hang out with friends. Tell a joke. Etc
*Play with your pets or go for a walk with your dog.
*Listen to upbeat, positive music. Dance. Sing. Listen to Music with friends. Sing in the car. 
*Pray. Read a Bible or devotional. Go to Youth Group or Church Groups. 
*Exercise or play sports. Rollerblade. Go for a walk. Hang out at the park with friends. 
*Journal or draw. Scrapbook. Collect Stickers. 
*Get plenty of sleep at night.
*Ask for help from an adult.

Any more ideas?? Please leave a comment below!

Best Wishes ~ Daylen Swift

                Ariel wasn't always a stunning mermaid... she went to high school too! xoxo

                                  For Bear.. Disney Princess as Marvel Characters... 

Lunch with Love: Chinese Billionaire Invites Homeless to Dine in Central Park

An inspiring story... 

June 25, 2014: Chinese billionaire, Chen Guangbiao, founder and chairman of Jiangsu Huangpu Renewable Resources Limited Company, wants to build a "charity army" of wealthy Chinese who will give their profits back to the needy, and use their money to help better society.

Chen was raised in an impoverished family, farmers living in in Sihong County in east China's Jiangsu Province. Conditions were so dire that a brother and a sister starved to death when Chen was 4 years old. At age 10, Chen began to help support his family by selling water. Chen worker his way through college and also helped pay for the tuition of other children in his village. By the age of 17, Chen started his own "foodstuffs" business., and later went on to college. Chen is known for his patriotism, and for his charity.
For More About Chen: Wikipedia Chen Guangbiao

Chen is making a contribution in New York City where he has invited 250 "poor and destitute" Americans to a meal in Central Park and will also donate money to help local charities. The guests were residents of the New York Rescue Mission Shelter (the oldest shelter in the nation). Guests dined at the exquisite Loeb Boathouse in Central Park where they dined on sesame-seed-encrusted tuna, beef filet and berries with crème fraiche. Volunteers served the food in the charity army uniform-- green Chinese military style uniforms with a badge that said "Serve the People". Chen entertained his guests by performing magic tricks and singing "We Are the World". 

"Our thought was if someone wants to treat them to an amazing event - something they would never experience on their own, maybe even a kernel of hope that life could be different again, we're in for that reason. That's our motive," said Craig Mayes, the  executive director of the Rescue Mission.

This is more than just charity, as those participating will become a positive example for the world to learn from... Chen hopes that donating the meal will show other tycoons that there is more to life than “luxury goods, gambling and prostitution”. Chen also hopes his work will improve relations between the US and China. 

-- Daylen Swift, June 2014

For More Info: "Chinese billionaire invites 1,000 poor Americans for lunch in Central Park" by Tim Phillips, "The Province"

Chen Guangbiao Hosts Lunch for Homeless New Yorkers: NBC News

Memories of NYC... 

I visited New York City a long time ago with my son, Bear. I remember how strange it was that homeless people would sleep on the sidewalks and people would just step over them, like speed bumps. I was fascinated by the street artists--the break dancers, cartoonists, mimes, singers and a musician who played a Chines flute. I also remember visiting Central Park and seeing a little girl who was amazed to see a squirrel and was yelling excitedly as the small creature dashed by. 
On the Long Island ferry, Bear smiled shyly at a small girl with doe-like brown eyes and long braids. I remember thinking about the sea of people we had passed on our vacation, and wondering the children would ever cross paths again. They played briefly, during the boat ride.
I also remember visiting the Statue of Liberty, and that Bear threw his pacifier into the harbor. It was his contribution to history, grin.
I love you kids, and look forward to many more adventures with you!

xoxox Mommy xoxoxox

I love 1,222,222,222,00,000 + 0 = U !!

Friday, June 20, 2014

PMA International "Love Letters to Our Children" - from a Mother's Heart to her Child

I found this really cool online site where Mothers (and Kids too!) can post letters, pictures and inspirational videos for their children as a way to express their love.The project is called "Love Letters to Our Children" and is hosted by Protective Mothers Alliance International. 

About "Love Letters to Our Children"- "PMA International’s Mothers/Advocates are working heart-to-heart and hand-to-hand with PMA INTL’s Network Hear Us Now!! (H.U.N) to educate and communicate the deep love a mother has for her child. Our intention is to help the moms express their deep devoted love for their children, and help strengthen the mother/child bond, moving their relationship forward in a loving and positive way. This page is for protective mothers to express their love for their children."

Our collective mother hearts shout out to the heavens and aim straight towards our children’s hearts with beautiful words filled with tenderness, devotion and deep, powerful love. Create an original letter or poem for your child. If you are not part of this important PMA International event, please join us. Our blog reaches all across the internet and has over 10 thousand hits and is growing every day. Your words of love to your child will pass the test of time and remain on the internet, for all to see..."

What are "Love Letters"? "Love letters are positive affirmations sent to children who have been impacted by family court and/or CPS rulings that have caused disruption in their lives, or estrangement from their mothers. Love Letters are general messages that convey hope, expressions of affection, and validation that these children are not forgotten--but are cherished and loved. Love Letters similarly provide support to the Moms and the family and friends affected. For safety reasons,we strong suggest these messages remain anonymous, but we are confident that the intent and spirit of each letter will relay a powerful, and positive message when viewed."

Posting Guidelines: "Please post pictures, quotes, videos or other general messages that relay a positive message, or offer support.
DO NOT post any information which may identify you (if possible) most important please do not identify your minor child /children including legal name, location, etc Please do not use your child’s name or your name in this process. We suggest ,you use only initials. You may post positive, quotes, poems, songs pictures and message for your child. Please keep your posts general."

Join "Love Letters" on FacebookLove Letters to Our Children Facebook

An inspiring post shared on "Love Letters".... "Mother's Day Video Mighty" by JourneyBox Media

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Broken: A Song for a Grieving Heart (Seether feat. Amy Lee)

For the grieving heart
whether it be a lost love, 
a dream beyond reach 
or a lost child... 

"I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh
I want to hold you high and steal your pain away
I keep your photograph...

'Cause I'm broken when I'm open
And I don't feel like I am strong enough
'Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome

And I don't feel right when you're gone away.."

"Broken" Seether feat Amy Lee (Evanescence) 
Writer(s): Shaun Morgan, Dale Stewart
Released March 2004.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Morning of Memorial Day (Memoir, Prose)

Another holiday without my children… another day of silence where there should be prayer, family coming together to remember our fallen soldiers, and those who have served. Another day of emptiness, when there should be the richness of tradition, and patriotism, taught to the next generation. Another tear to shed as the flags wave, as the other families gather to picnic, my family will be torn apart, as will my heart.


On the morning of Memorial Day, my children are woke by the blaring of horns and the screech of a fire engine whistle. They run to the window, their sleepy faces being rubbed awake by gentle sunshine. Below the window they can see Main Street, where the Memorial Day parade begins, the bright red fire trucks leading the way, followed by rows of veterans waving flags.

The community gathers along the sidewalks, cheering and waving small flags. Tootsie rolls are thrown into the waiting hands of children. The veterans proudly wear their uniforms, and are greeted with handshakes or hugs.

Every lamp post and utility pole along Main Street is decorated with flags., the parade begins beneath a banner of stars. The instruments of the marching band are polished to a golden shine, they proudly play patriotic songs steeped in history and memory, stirring our heart with the clash of cymbals, the pounding of drums, the burst of the horns.

Collector cars pass in jeweled colors—jade, golden topaz, ruby and sapphire adorned with graceful fins, chrome wheels, and elaborate hood ornaments.

The Boy Scouts in their blue uniforms march, the Girl Scouts ride in a wooden wagon pulled by a tractor.

Dogs of all sizes stroll down the street, their tails wagging with excitement.

The parade fills our home with cheer, and when it ends I will turn up the music, my daughter tunes the radio to a dance song. The children play as I fry eggs and bacon, every once in awhile I will pop my head into the living room to remind them of what Memorial Day is about. We will pray for the soldiers before breakfast begins, and pray for this country. I will turn off the radio to put in Gospel, so my children can have a moment of reverence.

I hope now my children will remember what I have taught them, and that they always know how much I love them.

-- Daylen Swift

For My Children: Bear and Nora, you are in my heart always. I pray for you every day. And love you with all of my heart. xoxox Mommy xoxox

Monday, May 26, 2014

Build Me a Son Quote Douglas MacArthur

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak,

and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid,

one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat,

and humble and gentle in victory. ~ Douglas MacArthur

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day Without My Mother: Quotes About Mothers, Tips for Grief & Loss

I want my children to know it is NOT normal to spend Mother's Day without your Mom. I am so sorry I could not be with you. I am so sorry we have to be apart, you did not do anything wrong, our family is just going through a hard time right now. And I pray that one day we will be together again. I love you so much, and thank God for you every day! You are the best Mother's Day present any mother could ask for.


Mother's Day is a special holiday to celebrate the love a mother has for her children, and the special role she has in the lives of her children, and in her family as a whole. Mother's Day is time to spend time with your mother,and celebrate family.

Typical Mother's Day celebrations include: sharing a meal, giving a gift to your Mom/Grandma or other special Mother in your life, spending time together, playing games, visiting relatives, looking at family photos, going on a picnic, going to church etc.

“But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begins.” -- Mitch Albom, "For One More Day" 

"To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power."-- Maya Angelou

"Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face." -- George Eliot

"The mother is everything-she is our consolation in sorrow, our hope in misery, and our strength in weakness. She is the source of love, mercy, sympathy, and forgiveness. He who loses his mother loses a pure soul who blesses and guards him constantly." -- Kahlil Gibran

"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem. When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass..."-- Isaiah 66: 13-14

"My mom and I have always been really close. She's always been the friend that was always there. There were times when, in middle school and junior high, I didn't have a lot of friends. But my mom was always my friend. Always." -- Taylor Swift

Christina Rossetti is a famous poet (1830-1849), the first poem she ever wrote, at age 11, was a poem to her mother:

To My Mother

To-day’s your natal day,
Sweet flowers I bring;
Mother, accept, I pray,
My offering.

And may you happy live,
And long us bless;
Receiving as you give
Great happiness.


* The holidays will bring up reminders of the loss, and what life was like before the loss.

Bonnie Rubenstein, EdD, says the holidays are time for increased sensitivity,"A grief burst—a normal experience after losing a loved one—may be triggered by the sight or sound of the holidays in a retail store, the smell of the holidays at home or in school, the taste of a favorite holiday dish once prepared by a loved one, or by a memory."

It's okay to feel stronger emotions around a holiday or other special occasion. Those emotions may want to make you cry, scream, be alone, avoid reminders of the loss or sleep more; that's normal. It's okay if you need extra help or support.  Or just need a friend to be by your side.

*Crying and laughing are both great way to release emotion. Or you could try: physical exercise (dance, running, biking etc), taking a walk in nature, journaling or writing a story, drawing, praying... what is important is that you take care of yourself, and do things that give you a positive boost of energy.

*It's okay to move on, or have fun or laugh. Part of the grieving process is making peace or coming to acceptance. If you find yourself having fun or laughing that's okay. It DOES NOT mean you have forgotten your loved one or don't care. That special person will always be a part of your heart, and your life.

*Celebrate the loved one, and what they meant to your life in a meaningful way on the holidays- release a balloon, say a prayer, read a special poem/Bible verse, listen to music, visit a place that was important to you, volunteer, spend time with family etc. Expressing your grief in a positive way, that gives you a sense of purpose, can help you heal and make peace with the loss. 

*Reach out for help or support if you need-- friends, church, family, counselor, school counselor are all great people to reach out to. Some churches or community organizations also offer support groups.

-- Daylen Swift, May 2014

For More:

"Grief and Loss: Tips on How we Can Help Those Affected" by John Tsilimiparis:

"School Counseling Expert Offers Tips to Help Kids Cope with Grief and Loss During the Holiday Season" by Bonnie Rubenstein EdD:

Scriptures for Comfort During Grieving: