My dear friends Dibby and Holly lost their mom, Carlotta, to cancer more than a decade ago. Carlotta was one of those people who said little, but what she did say spoke volumes. I considered Carlotta a friend. After she had passed, her daughters found a little piece of paper in her bedside table – one of the many written legacies she left for us. As best we can figure, she wrote it while she was at her worst with the cancer.
I have a copy of this handwritten note, along with a picture of Carlotta in her health. She is turning to look at us from the kitchen sink, smiling in a way that makes you feel like wherever she was in time is where you want to be. I have these two items in a simple, wooden picture frame in my house. The three pieces of advice she left in that note are in the running for my most often quoted and most treasured. Each of these will have a chapter devoted to it in “The Best Advice So Far.” But for now, I simply want to leave you to ponder the three statements without adornment. I’ll be honest: I wrestled with them at first. They seemed so stark, even negative. But as I considered the source – Carlotta – and how she lived, I began to understand that they are actually vibrant and freeing truths.
I’ve written chapters on two of these already. I intend to start (and finish?) the third of them today. Wish me luck!