Operation Beautiful~One Note At A Time

Operation Beautiful~One Note At A Time

Tomorrow I’m leading Children’s Church – something I seldom volunteer for since Leah died. This morning I was scouring the house for our  Veggietales  DVD collection to use one of them in Children’s Church, when it occurred to me that some of them might be in Leah’s bedroom. As I was searching through Leah’s possessions, I found myself lingering, reminiscing, and grieving.

Sometimes people ask me whether it gets easier as time goes on? I’m not sure if the pain of child loss ever gets any less. What has changed as time goes on is my ability to deal with the pain. I’m gradually learning some coping strategies that enable me to live with the pain of child loss, so that I can, by God’s grace, live a relatively normal life most of the time.

Choose

There are some of Leah’s belongings that I haven’t looked through at all since she died. Today, while going through a few of those, I came across a booklet that she had received at  Girl’s Brigade called ‘Spiritual Sparkles‘.

Spiritual Sparkles.jpg

I know that being a part of Girl’s Brigade was really important to Leah and that she would probably have read this booklet from cover to cover. I found myself glancing through it as I thought about my daughter. My attention was suddenly gripped by this page:

Secret Post-iter.jpg

The ‘secret post-iter‘! That’s where she got the idea from! Leah was well known for writing encouraging notes on post-its and leaving them for others to read. In March 2013 Leah introduced this concept at the LOST outreach weekend for young people in Limavady.

Before we left Sam’s House in Bristol in October 2013, I was dispatched to the shops to buy her a packet of post-it notes. Afterwards one of our friends posted this on Facebook:

Sams House Post It (1)

After Leah died our eldest daughter Rachel showed me this post-it that Leah had stuck on her bedroom mirror:

Rachel's Post It

Leah also had lots of post-its stuck up around her own bedroom to encourage her as she recovered from her bone marrow transplant and battled GvHD (graft vs host disease). She struggled with the very unpleasant side-effects of high dose steroid therapy and chemotherapy hair loss and she needed all the encouragement she could find:

I Peter 3 v 3

I miss Leah’s little notes; every time I do a clear out I find some little card or note of encouragement that I received from her over the years. I cry for what I have lost, I thank God for what I have had and I carefully place each note or card in a Memory Box.

I think the idea behind Operation Beautiful  is really worthwhile. Their website explains their purpose:

The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other people to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough… just the way you are!

I know that Leah was very concerned about the many negative messages that young people are getting and the effect that this is having on their self image and their self esteem. I can see why this simple concept would have really appealed to her. I think that it’s a lovely idea.

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8 thoughts on “Operation Beautiful~One Note At A Time

  1. I love everything about this post Vicky-from the fact that you are honest about things still being hard yet learning ways to cope to the revelation that there are still some things of Leah’s you haven’t been ready to go rhrough. And especially, that the beautiful spirit that was Leah, that IS Leah, continues to bless your heart and the heart of others. Thank you for sharing this lovely idea. Encouragement is always a blessing. I hope others are inspired to follow Leah’s example.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your daughter was an amazing young woman, who had a big impact on many people’s hearts in the short time she was here. She still is!

    I find the grief and pain of loss does get easier with time as you say. In some ways it’s because I can deal with the pain better, and in some ways I find myself going back into memories and “if only” less and less often. More often now I can be grateful for the relationship I have with my daughter as she is in spirit, and not so devastated that she isn’t here in body.

    Sending love…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words Lucia. As you say, it is a process and some days are easier and some are harder. As parents we treasure our memories of all our children, but there is one (or for some parents more than one) with whom no new memories will ever be made, so we hang on to what we have. 💐

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know the feeling of painful surprise upon finding something that Brandon wrote or drew. We cherish all that remains of the lives of our children. Leah is still hugging and loving her mother with each sweet message. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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