Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Old feelings stirred

I got a little surprise today.

Back when Calvin was born I started transcribing office notes and letters for a doctor a town or two over. It was a good 30 minute drive and I went there and back two or three times a week, with a baby, and then a toddler, and then with a baby and a toddler, and then eventually with five kids in various stages of development from infancy to high school. I did that for almost 15 years.

Then just before Rosie was born, I got a note from this doctor. It wasn't a formal note or letter and it was written on some paper from one of the pharmaceutical reps, very similar to a post it! It was basically my "I have to let you go" letter and I wrote about it here.

It was a painful breakup, at least for me. I was weeks away from having a scheduled C-section with my sixth child, I was barely making ends meet, and I didn't know how I was going to be able to find another client to fill the gap quickly, especially since it takes me a while to recover from a Cesarean. However, with a stiff upper lip, I wrote a professional letter back, wished her well and enclosed my final bill of around $12.00.

Flash forward almost five years and today I got a call from doctor's secretary! We caught up with each others' lives briefly. She was surprised to hear that I didn't have any more children. She was also surprised to learn that I was now 50! And while we were talking my mind was racing!

I thought to myself, "She's going to ask me back! I can't drive out there again, but maybe we could do an FTP type of thing, or I could put her on my friend's server! Maybe, after all this time she has missed me and my service!"

But it was not anything like that. Turns out, they're moving and wondered if I still had the key to the office! If memory serves, my intention was to send the key back when I got my final $12. Since that never happened and I never pursued it, I just sort of forgot about the key. Turns out it has been lingering on Mr. Pete's key chain since it also works on the door to his office! What a coincidence. He's been using it.

So I shared this all with Mr. Pete this evening. He wondered how they planned to have me return it? Buy an envelope and pay for postage? Uh.. nope. And I wasn't going to drive out there either. I think we should just call it even. After all, it only costs about $4 or $5 to re-cut a key.

Five years later and we're doing well, but it was surprising how much this little thing stung, even after all of this time.