Is there really thing as the “perfect” gift for your spouse? And if there is, how in the world would you duplicate it one year to the next?
It’s almost impossible!
I recently learned of MeaningFull Books by my friend Connor James who is the founder of the idea.
We met over coffee and he shared his idea and how he hoped it would have an impact on those wanting to express their love and appreciation for those they care for the most.
I was immediately hooked!
I gave this to Mandy as a Christmas gift and I never enjoyed preparing a gift and giving one as much as this one.
I asked Connor to share his story and motivation for creating such an awesome idea.
“Our time with loved ones is finite.”
We all acknowledge the phrase above, yet we consistently fail to act upon it. We nod our heads with agreement and before the echo of those words have escaped the room we have moved on to the next task on our to-do list.
On December 28th, 2001 I woke up with a loving father. The next day I woke up trying to figure out why he was gone. I was now a fatherless 13 year-old that lost his Dad to a sudden heart attack. He was 46.
Some of you may have experienced the the heart sinking feeling of losing someone without notice. Having someone physically erased out of your life is hard. Having dozens of things you wish you could have told them makes it even harder.
Years after Dad passed I came across some notes he had taken during one of my junior football games. When I realized I was in possession of physical notes he had written about me I was overcome with emotion.
The tears welled up in my eyes and I lost it.
I think It was because it was the closest I had felt to him in a really long time.
There is a special presence to ink inscribed on a page. Photos and videos of loved ones are great but there is more connection tied to words that were physically etched onto a piece of paper.
Maybe some of you have experienced the closeness of words written by loved ones that have passed on.
And again in 2012 my brother had an old business card with my father’s handwriting on it.
He let me borrow it because my wife Megan had the writing scanned and engraved on a necklace for my mother.
On the back of the card it said “love you Cameron, Love Mike”. As a former collegiate football player I know I’m supposed to be tough, but on that night I sobbed.
I just kept looking at the words “Love Mike” and it felt like I could almost hear my Dad saying them.
This emotional experience changed me forever. Right there in my small apartment in Carbondale, Illinois I was reminded that people can be erased from our lives at any moment but their written words can carry on forever.
I made the decision to start writing more. I made the decision to give more time to my relationships and to encourage others to do the same.
- I started a blog that would eventually fizzle out called project deeds.
- I wrote notes to former Middle School and High School teachers thanking them for encouraging me on my journey.
- I left post-it notes around the house that let my Mom know how much I appreciated her.
- I encouraged people that were dieting with a handwritten note.
- Coach Mike McElroy and I hand wrote 31 cards filled with encouragement and appreciation for every single high school football player we coached at Elverado-Trico.
I spent 7 months filling a journal for my fiance (now wife). I simply wrote about what we did that day and sprinkled in the reasons that I was grateful for her. I get emotional thinking about giving her that gift. She started flipping through the pages and was absolutely blown away.
She started crying happy tears when she read the pages about the time I asked her Dad and Brother if I could take her hand in marriage.
She laughed hysterically when she read the detailed pages about me checking into the ER to have an EKG done.
I was not able to tell the nurses that my stress was related to my upcoming proposal because my future wife would not leave the room.
The journal made her cry, laugh, and everything else in between.
It meant so much more to her than I could have ever imagined.
Megan felt the same connection I did toward my Dad’s words on the page. The only difference is that my words were specifically directed at her and I got to be by her side to experience her reading them.
At the end of 2015, I made it my mission to replicate this experience for others. I started breaking down all the barriers that would prevent or discourage someone from putting pen to paper.
The idea kept evolving and evolving, but eventually I landed on guiding people through some questions that would help them fill a 15 page journal for someone they really care about. We launched MeaningFull Books in September of 2016.
Our first book helps a spouse or significant other fill a book for the one they love. Future books will include other relationships.
The journal itself is beautifully crafted with a walnut cover and rosewood inlay. This really gives the book a timeless feel and it took us 5 months to get the design elements just right. The aesthetics of a MeaningFull Book are appealing to the eye but they only scratch the surface of how this book can help you.
The process of writing this journal pulls you closer to the one you love. As you work through the writing guides you can’t help but become more connected to the person you are writing to. The guides make it easy for you to write down thought filled words that will really matter to your significant other.
A MeaningFull Book lights a fire inside the heart of the author and the recipient. A finished journal is a reminder of everything that is right about your relationship. It’s a testimony of your love told in your words and it will be passed on for generations.
I’m convinced MeaningFull Books is helping bring urgency to the words you feel, but might not always take the time to say. Those words matter more than you’ll ever know and I willing to do whatever it takes to help you ink them on the page. Make the decision to start writing today.
Every word counts.