"I stood beside my friend and mentor Dr. Wayne Dyer on stages across the country as he said the words that now echo through my days: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. From Heart to Hand delivers this, one of our most needed and too often unsaid messages: gratitude." - Alex Woodard, critically-acclaimed musician, producer, and author of For the Sender: Love Letters from Vietnam, For the Sender: Love Is (Not a Feeling) and For the Sender: Four Letters. Twelve Songs. One Story.
"Here is a book filled with the life songs of a full heart, personally scripted with passion and deeper meaning. It is challenging to expose one's inner workings in a way that reveals pure love, and Kristin distributes her letters with great care and flourish, each brimming with absolute appreciation. This book makes me want to send mail to my own web of supporting casts, in turn making the cathartic and cleansing diary that Kristin brings to us." - Gary Gerson author of I'm Light: A Driver's Search for Meaning on the Mean Streets Uber Detroit, The Worst Season: Triumph and Treason at a Midwestern Prep School and Scoring Points: Love and Football in the Age of AIDS.
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Read an Excerpt
From Heart to Hand
The Lost Art of a Written Letter
By Kristin Horvath
Balboa PressCopyright © 2016 Kristin Horvath
All rights reserved.
A Mother-Son Bond: I Love This Kid
I have held on to the thoughts of this letter in my heart for quite some time, waiting for that right moment to share those feelings with you, and there is no better time than on your graduation from film school. Sometimes I don't even know where to begin, as my eyes well up with tears with all the thoughts I have about you as my son.
To be a parent — to be your parent — has filled me with a love that even I have a hard time finding the words to describe, but one thing I do know is how much I love being your mother. Having held your hand along the way — as you were growing up and then letting go so you could find your own path — has been an incredible experience to be a part of. You were such a good kid, an easygoing child, and a philosophical young man who, in my eyes, even though you might not have always seen it, has understood his life. And because of this, deep down you understand others so well, and the benefits you will have in life because of this will be endless. My life has been blessed since the moment you entered this world. You are a blessing for whom I will give thanks every day for the rest of my life.
It is truly inspirational to watch you find yourself over the past many years of your young adulthood, to watch you find what you love to do, and to watch you go through the whole process of learning how to do it. It has moved me every day. I know at times it might have felt like a long road to get where you are today, but the most important thing for you to know and remember about the path you have gone down is how many people love you and support you. We would do whatever we could to help you fulfill your passions in life. I knew if there were nothing else I could give you, I could always provide you with an overabundant amount of love. I knew I could surround you with people who love you just as much as I do. And as a result, you have truly been blessed with lots of love. Nanny and Pappy, your aunts and uncles, great-aunts and great-uncles who just adore you, your cousins, and your friends and mine all love you because their love comes from the deepest, truest parts of their hearts, not because of their relationship to me. It's all for you.
As a parent, you question decisions you make at times. You always want to give your child (or your children) moments and things they can take away from. Despite what others might have said about my decision to live at home and raise you with Nanny and Pappy, I wouldn't change that for the world. Because of everything it gave you, it also gave back to me tenfold! The list of monetary things you had because of that decision is endless; however, it was so much more than that as to why I made that choice. It was because of the relationship it gave you with your nanny and pappy. Those memories and that bond can never be broken, not even in death.
You know, I do believe Pappy is here in spirit. He's been guiding and reminding you of all the important things he taught you, especially about having a great work ethic. I see so many qualities of him in you, and I absolutely love it. I will say he did spoil you a bit too much, but you continue to learn from the life he gave you. He loved you more than anything. I know I wouldn't change the decision I made or the incredible relationship you had with your pappy and still have with your nanny, not for anything in the world.
You've had a different life from most. You've had to learn some tough lessons at a young age, but learn you did. You have learned from the life that has been given to you, and you have grown because of those lessons. You have been understanding toward it, and this has created your strengths. It's given you tremendous character, and I am so proud of you.
These twenty-three years have all gone by so quickly. Because of the great memories we have created together, there is so much I miss about having you here. Having you has been the best journey I have ever been on, and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
I love you. I am so proud of you. I will always support you as best I can and in any way!
With a love and bond from my whole heart and soul, Mom
* * *
Sometimes the best thank-you that one can ever receive is the least-expected one. I was lucky enough to spend New Year's Eve with my son that year. After we returned home, we walked into the kitchen.
He stopped, looked at me, and said, "You know, Mom, I really just wanted to thank you for all you have ever done for me."
I looked at him, nodded, and said, "I know." My eyes welled up with tears.
He put his arms around me and said, "No, really. Thank you, Mom."
We just stood there and hugged each other tightly. My eyes still well up with tears thinking about that beautiful moment we shared that day. It was even more special, as he was moving to Los Angeles the very next day to pursue his dreams and passions.
* * *
Dear Uncle Craig and Aunt Gloria,
I wanted to take the time to thank you for all the books you have sent to me and, more importantly, for opening my eyes, heart, and mind to such wonderful ways of looking at life and the world we live in. I can't express enough what a great impact each and every book has had on me in its own way. Whether it's learning to be more positive with our energy and thoughts, learning how to cleanse situations (my own or others), realizing I am my own soul mate (something I think I have always known), or just gaining knowledge about others' lives, many of whom I never knew anything about. I always say that knowledge is power. And for all of this, I thank you.
But more importantly than the books and DVDs you have sent me, I am thankful for the interest you have always taken in me and the guidance you have shown me along the way. For this and more I am very grateful. I am enjoying this recent journey that you have opened me up to, and I can't wait to see where it takes me so I can share it with you along the way. Somehow I have the feeling you already know where I am going and where this journey is leading me, and that thought alone gives me great comfort. I know you would never lead me down a path I wasn't meant to be on. What I love even more is sharing this journey with both of you, as well as the honest, heartfelt joy you impart with me when you see me have one of those aha moments about my life.
So again — and I can't say it enough — thank you! I am truly grateful to have the both of you in my life.
Peace, love, and happiness, 'Kristin
* * *
This letter was the first I wrote in my efforts to revitalize the lost art of a personalized handwritten letter. I intentionally chose my Aunt Gloria and Uncle Craig as recipients. They are such huge supporters of my efforts to follow my passions and find my life purpose. It was very important for me to set my intention and give thanks and thoughts of gratitude to the two people I consider to be my own personal spiritual gurus. They are both such a big part of my life, and I knew I had to include them in the initial part of this journey.
Just a few months ago, my aunt suggested a new box set for me, Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life.
I said, "Okay, I will go order it right now."
I always knew that random books that showed up unexpectedly on my doorstep were from either Craig or Gloria. So when they would recommend a book to me, I didn't ask any questions. I always just ordered it and read it. It was always what I needed to read right at that moment in my life. This book and DVD by Louise Hay was no exception. To date, You Can Heal Your Life has, by far, had the biggest impact in my life. I could probably write a whole book about how learning to love myself, forgiving myself and others, doing affirmations, and more has made me feel. This book opened me up to look at life in a more beautiful, positive way than I ever had before. It is wonderful when family members get you and you know that they will never lead you astray and always support you. Once you fully understand that, you also know that they want nothing but good things for you.
Their support gives me the confidence to know that I can create anything I want. It is an amazing relationship I have with Craig and Gloria. I am a better person because they are in my life. I could have written a hundred letters to my aunt Gloria and uncle Craig over the past several years, telling them how grateful I am for them, and a hundred letters wouldn't have been enough thanks for all the support they continue to show me.
I do want to say the first book Craig sent to me will, by far, always be my favorite. It was shortly after I had walked away from my human resources career to follow my passion for cooking and had enrolled in culinary school. Lo and behold in my mailbox one day, the best of all the best culinary books that was ever written, Larousse's Gastronomique, arrived. This was an absolute culinary masterpiece. Craig knew I had to have it, and so it was.
* * *
A Cousin's Love
Happy New Year to you, Eric, Benjamin, and Morgan! I hope your Christmas holiday was wonderful and Eric's dad is recovering well, but more importantly, I trust that you guys got some time away to share together as a family. I have been thinking of you since your last e-mail to me, updating me of your new adventure for 2011, and I wanted to say how excited I am for you. I think you will do great as a life coach, and I can speak from experience on that. To this day I am very thankful for some of those little changes you suggested I make in my life. I literally sleep better because of it.
I think that following your passions is so important, and I am so glad to hear that this is part of your training with teenage girls. As a woman now in my forties, I am a firm believer that it is never too late to follow those passions you may have had as a child or young adult, and that is why I am taking those horseback riding lessons, buying a new camera, and writing more. I've had a passion for these things over so many years, and I never did anything about until now, so I think it's great that you're helping young women learn earlier than I did about how to follow your passions.
I can't wait to hear how your women's forum goes this month and some of the exciting things you will be discussing. I wish you the best of luck with all of this. It is so exciting, and I can't wait to hear about your journey along the way.
I also wanted to take a second to thank you for being such a loving cousin. I am extremely grateful for these few close relationships I have with family, and I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you as a part of my life. Here is to a very blessed 2011 for us all.
Love you dearly, 'Kiistin
* * *
Jody and I are only three weeks apart in age and have been very close our whole lives. Every summer growing up, we would take turns spending a week at a time going to each other's homes. This was like camp to us. It became our family tradition, something we looked forward to every year.
Now we laugh, remembering all the different things that would happen during those magical weeks we would spend growing up with each other. I have been blessed with a big family, and I am even more fortunate to have such lovely relationships with so many of my cousins, aunts, and uncles that I am truly grateful for. Even though we have aged, our own families have grown, our paths have gone in different directions, and we have experienced losses of loved ones, I love that we make a point to get together a couple times a year to still enjoy each other's company. We make the effort to stay connected because of the love we have for each other, and there is nothing better than just that, love between families.
* * *
A Diamond Is Forever: Welcome to the Family
Let me start off by saying congratulations and welcome to the family. I couldn't be more excited for you and Erin during this time of your lives, and I am thrilled you will soon be my cousin- in-law. I wish I had some great words of wisdom for you, but in all honesty, after watching your relationship over the past five years, I think you guys will be more than fine. I see you two are compatible, you have respect for each other, you support each other, you have love and friendship between you, and you have a ton of fun with each other. And because of all this, I know you are the perfect person for my cousin, who is very dear to me.
As I said to Erin last night, I can't wait to watch you guys go on this journey together. I am truly happy for the both of you! Congratulations again, Jimmy.
Love you, buddy, Kristin
* * *
My cousin Erin and I have been close since the day she was born, and to this day, we continue to talk and check in with each other about once a month. Wherever we go together, people always ask if we are sisters, which I love because she is more like the little sister I never had. I have always been protective of her, supportive of her wherever she has been in her life with what she is doing, and proud of her. I love so much the memories of all the trips that Erin and I have taken together, including visiting her wherever she has lived — from Marquette, Michigan (where she went to college) to all my visits out to Colorado — to getting together when she comes to town, eating her mom's famous lasagna, drinking her dad's homemade wine, and always having incredible conversations about life. I am truly excited for her and Jimmy, and I am full of love for the both of them.
* * *
Friends Are Family Too
Dear Aunt Rose,
I wanted to take a minute to send you this letter to let you know I have been thinking of you for the past several months. I was so sad to hear that Uncle John had passed away, and my prayers and thoughts have been with you. I also want to share a little story with you that I hope helps you find some comfort with all the emotions I can only imagine you have been going through.
Eight and a half years ago, when my dad was in the hospital, having just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you and Uncle John sent him some books to read with a beautiful card. It simply read, "Dear Bob, Thinking of you. Thought you might enjoy the enclosed. We hope you are home soon. Love and God bless, John and Rose."
Excerpted from From Heart to Hand by Kristin Horvath. Copyright © 2016 Kristin Horvath. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Family Ties, 1,
Chapter 2 - Friends, 13,
Chapter 3 - Unexpected Inspiration from Complete Strangers, 45,
Chapter 4 - A Onetime Meeting Is Sometimes All It Takes, 76,
Chapter 5 - Letters That Deserve Their Own Chapter, 88,
Chapter 6 - Letters from Others, 100,
One Last Thing, 111,
About the Author, 115,