Let me tell you a story

April 19, 2017

With her first grandchild, before she got sick. My favorite photo of her.

This a story about my beautiful friend who got sick. Well, it’s more than that, really.

She was my very first friend in California. It was 1985 and we clicked right away. I moved away and came back a couple of times, but through it all we were friends. Soon after I returned again in 2010, she got sick.

Really sick.  And was sick for years. Chemo and hospitalizations and, well, you know how that goes.

I spent a lot of time with her in hospitals. I was, after all, retired, and I could.

One particular hospitalization, at Stanford, was tough. Super-tough. And she was depressed.  I wanted to give her something positive to latch onto and decided she needed some affirmations to focus on.

I’m no artist, that’s for sure, so I found some funny but inspiring affirmations online and put them up in her hospital room. And then I had the idea of making her a box of affirmation cards for healing.

Did I say I’m no artist? But I AM a writer and I knew what messages would resonate with her. And so, I made her a box of very crude affirmation cards.  These:

healing-affirmationsDid I say they were crude?  Heartfelt, though.  And then, I found a little box to put them in and then made a little cover design with instructions.


She accepted them politely and lovingly.  The next day I saw them on her tray table at Stanford. She saw me looking and said: “You should market these.”  We talked a little about them and about how she was using them. I also noticed that the tray table was small and the box took up too much space to be convenient.

She went home, life went on and that red box sat on her bedside table. Once in a while we would talk about the cards until finally, I agreed to market them one day. And we talked about what else sick people would want.

And then, finally, she left us. Quickly and without a lot of fuss, just the way she wanted to go. Last year, when we went through her things, the red box was among them. Her daughter gave it to me.

So you probably know where this is going.  Our conversations were the start of what is now A Healing Spirit–a business to support healing of all kinds. And that little red box of crude, heartfelt affirmations? It was the root of my Healing Affirmation Cards and as I promised her, I am marketing them:


From that crude beginning came these: business card sized so they take up less space in purse or on bedside table. To help with any disease.

You can find them HERE.  The hardest thing about this new venture of mine is that she inspired it, but isn’t here to share it. Because her fingerprints are all over every single product. Every single one. How I wish I had done this earlier so I could gift her with them.


I wanted to tell you a story about my beautiful friend who inspired me to become my best self. And to find a way to share that best self with you.

You can see everything she inspired HERE.  Now, only in my Etsy shop.  

And yes, I cried through the writing of this entire post.

78 comments on “Let me tell you a story
  1. Andrea Bates says:

    Oh, so beautiful. What an incredible way to honor her memory. Sending you so much love.

  2. ryderziebarth says:

    What a beautiful story, your friend left you with a tremendous gift, herself. And what a COOL website! I am taking my time to peruse the products, not just for me ( which I definitely can use–love the anxiety audio download) but for friends in need. You have some perfect gift when words fail. Great job, Carol. Thank you for this.

  3. Oh wow. These are beautiful and fit such a need for many of us. I’m so sorry about your friend. (((HUGS)))

  4. Robin rue says:

    What a beautiful story. I love what was created out of this. Best of luck.

  5. Amber Myers says:

    This is lovely. I really like those cards. How beautiful.

  6. That was so much from your heart Carol and what a beautiful legacy she has left with you. The cards are so pretty and you’ve done a fantastic job with them. I hope the business blossoms and I’m sure she is sending you her blessing.

  7. Rena says:

    What a beautiful picture and a beautiful story as well. It makes the products so much more meaningful to know how it all started. I admit I cried reading it! Congrats once again!

  8. Jay Colby says:

    What a beautiful story.The cards are so pretty and you’ve done a wonderful job!

  9. beth grossman says:

    So tough to lose a close BFF….you made something good out of something bad. wonderful!
    she is looking down and so happy about it i am sure.

  10. Diane says:

    Carol, you are one of the angels in my life.
    And now you are the angel in so many lives. Bless you, my friend.
    And bless the memory of your friend who started all of this.
    Her work goes on through you!

  11. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend – it is always such a heartwrenching thing to go through. But I love that she inspired your business, and that her healing can be a legacy left through you.

  12. That is such a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I love those affirmations. So sweet!

  13. Losing someone close to us like that is always so difficult. I’m so glad she had you there to help her with those lovely words while she was sick.

  14. Tammy says:

    What a wonderful friend you are and I know she is smiling knowing you have released your product. A lovely thing came out of something so sad.

  15. Barbara says:

    You gave her a gift from your heart and she returned that gift to you through inspiration from hers. What a beautiful way to start a business, Carol. I’m sure you will be incredibly successful.

  16. Liz Mays says:

    This is really sweet! I’m glad you were able to create these. They look great and they’ll certainly life people’s spirits.

  17. I am so sorry to hear of your friends loss. What a beautiful memory though, the story of how your business came to be!

  18. Deb says:

    Hugs and much Love to you Carol. Wonderful creativity through you your heart.

  19. Pam Wattenbarger says:

    That is a wonderful way to honor your friend. The first ones you gave your friend may not have been polished, but there’s no doubt you made them with love.

  20. Wowowowowow!!! I am in love and am ordering some for a couple of special people in my life. Love these, love your story.

  21. Brian Kessler says:

    Oh, Carol, how I remember visiting Marilyn at her hospital bedside at Stanford and she so beautifully showed me your affirmation cards. She cherished them and each and every word helped her fight on with grace and dignity. I am touched by this deeply. Happy/Sad tears……

  22. Muna Kenny says:

    The cards are beautiful and your story touched my heart! Thanks for sharing something this valuable 🙂

  23. Marcie W. says:

    What a beautiful idea that is sure to brighten anyone’s day! The loving story behind the concept truly touched my heart as well.

  24. This was very touching. I know so many will get joy and healing from those cards. Your friend is probably watching you, proud of what you are doing now.

  25. Erica says:

    Congrats on launching your inspirational cards. And your friend lives on through them since you originally made them from her and she encouraged you to move forward with your project. I’m a health & diet coach and I decided to get my Masters in nutrition while my mother struggled with cancer. And I work with clients to help them avoid as much as possible fighting the battle my mom had to.

  26. Kristina says:

    This is beautiful! Those cards made her day I’m sure and they can make just everyone’s day and touch their hearts. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story!

  27. Christine says:

    What a beautiful gift you gave your friend. I know my uncle who passed from similar issues, would’ve loved to have something like that and vise versa. I’m sure this gift would be treasured.

  28. Elizabeth O. says:

    This is really moving. She’s an awesome inspiration for a business that’s all about healing. I’m sure you miss her so much and I’m also sure that she’s happy to see that you made it all happen because of her.

  29. kelly reci says:

    thats so sweet! very inspiring and im sure the readers will enjoy this article like i do, its so touching story!

  30. That is an emotional story. You did get some great inspiration from it though. Those cards are a wonderful idea and very inspiring themselves.

  31. This is just beautiful. What a special gift you made for her. And sharing it? I love that.

  32. Meagan Ivie says:

    What a touching story. Those cards are such a wonderful idea! I bet they will touch the hearts of many!

  33. That was so kind-hearted of you to make the box full of notes for your friend. And a tribute to her friendship that you did choose to go forward with marketing them now.

  34. what a truly wonderful story. my heart goes out to you two. <3

    XOXO // Check out my latest post if you like 😉
    SINCERELY OPHELIA | HOW TO | Small Bag in a Big City

  35. Victoria says:

    What a beautiful story, so kind-hearted. Love it 🙂

  36. stacey says:

    I think these are beautiful and a wonderful idea. I love how you write and I know that the sentiments you express are warm and sincere. Good luck to you.

  37. Bel says:

    In the end, she gifted you more than you imagined but can we say how sweet you are to write that many cards. The printed version is so beautiful. Sorry for the loss of your friend. At the least, she’s now shared with everyone of us

  38. What a legacy. And what a testament to a beautiful friendship.

  39. This is such a beautiful way to honor her memory. I know she would be so happy and proud of you, wherever she may be. 🙂

  40. What a moving story and an amazing idea. Situations like that can be so hard, and it is hard to find a way to support those struggling with illness. This is such a great way to tell those in need that they are loved and that you are there for them.

  41. I love this story. You created such a gift for your friend and in return she helped you start a biz to help others.

  42. What a beautiful story. I know a lot of people who are sick or going through a rough time would appreciate these beautiful cards. We all need reminders to find the good in life when we are feeling low.

  43. Cindy Gordon says:

    What a beautiful story. Some people are so inspirational that we will never forget them.

  44. This is a great inspiration story.
    I think you the best to help support your friend and compel an idea.

  45. Our Family World says:

    Thank you for sharing you story. It is sad though that your friend passed away. I know this is what she wanted you to do and she’s now happy and illness free. I am checking this Healing Affirmation cards too.

  46. Glenda says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your dear friend.The box you design for her is so beautiful! Also, I totally love all the Healing Affirmation Cards!

  47. Your friend and you have this incredible story which is forever.Nothing can fade those memories.

  48. This story touches my heart at its core. What a sweet memory you shared with your friend.

  49. Wendy Polisi says:

    Wow, what a hard thing to suffer through for so long. She sounded like she had a golden soul and touched many lives.

  50. Kita Bryant says:

    I wish I would have known her myself after this story. You had a very sweet friendship.

  51. Michelle Waller says:

    Thank you for sharing her story. This is beautiful. I lost both of my grandparents to cancer. My grandmother was my best friend.

  52. This is such a beautiful story! Best of luck on launching your inspirational cards!

  53. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Although it is sad that she has already left, She left behind something that will always remind you of her.

  54. Jeanine says:

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and touching story. You are inspiring and this made her day. Such an awesome thing to do for someone in need of love.

  55. Megan says:

    What a beautiful story! I’m so moved by your story and how you have made this into a business. Amazing!

  56. It is beautiful how you turned such a personal and emotional story into a service of helping others. This is wonderful and I acknowledge you for all your strength, and crude but loving notes 😛

  57. This is such an inspiring story! She really had something in tell you that you should market this notes and its awesome that you did! I really love this story!

  58. Rosey says:

    How very lovely. And it’s nice to have someone tell us to market something. I’ve never had that happen (my talents are sadly, def. elsewhere). 😉

  59. Crystal says:

    This is a beautiful story to share.

  60. blair villanueva says:

    You are blessed to have her. Reading your heartfelt post makes me teary eyed. (Sniff).

  61. Holly says:

    What a wonderful idea. I hope you have the best success. Such a great way to honor your friend.

  62. Such a beautiful story.:) You did an amazing job on the cards. 🙂

  63. Nikki says:

    This is such an amazing idea!! I feel like sometimes people don’t know what to say to those who are hurting, or sick. This is a great loving gift.

  64. anvita says:

    Such a lovely story, my heart goes out to you too.I am going to use those affirmations for someone I who needs them.

  65. Such a lovely tribute to her. She would have loved it. Thank you for sharing this beautiful gift.

  66. Heather says:

    These are wonderful. And I love them even more knowing the story behind the product. Great inspiration!

  67. OMGoodness…this is such a beautiful backstory to your affirmation cards. I also love the design of the box you gave her for your first cards.

  68. Karen Jolly says:

    Sorry to hear about the pain your friend had been through.However, Im sure in her life she was thankful knowing you as a genuine friend. You’re both lucky with each other’s company.

  69. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. This is a wonderful and heartfelt way to honor her memory.

  70. Tara Holland says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. I lost a very good friend to cancer a little over a year ago and I can’t help but think that she would have loved these cards when she was in the hospital.

  71. jenjen says:

    Such a heartfelt post

  72. Otilia says:

    So beautiful and sad altogether 🙁

  73. What a lovely story of how your friend inspired you to start your business, Carol. So sad that she is not here to see your success.

  74. Wow…this so reminds me of when my friend was fighting cancer—I would always buy her items that said “believe” on them.
    I really think these can help—what a terrific idea, Carol.

  75. What a touching story. We people get sick we all wish we can help in some way but sometimes there is nothing that is in our power to do…except something like this. Will be sharing these out.

  76. Silly Mummy says:

    A sad but lovely story. I’m sorry about your friend. What you did for her was so lovely and it is amazing that your business has been inspired by it.

  77. Siva Mahesh says:

    This is such an inspiring story! Its a feel good sad love story.There are many heart touching words…

  78. Diane says:

    I love, love, love this story! Wonderful that you took what could have/should have been a tragedy and made it into something priceless beyond description!

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Let me tell you a story"
  1. […] Spirit.  You can read my story about the gift I gave to a beautiful, sick friend a few years ago, HERE.  Or maybe you’d like to consider one of my other products and services. They’re all […]

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Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


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