Dear Grama

My Life’s Letter


Dear Grama,

I had a completely different letter written when I came to sit down at the computer, but something’s happening with me over here in my little flat, just a quick 6 minute tube ride away from where you wrote these very letters.  The letters that I sit & read every day that shape my week and represent so much.  These letters that have brought me over here on this quest that I made up from a simple, tiny idea.

I wish I could really talk to you.  I wish it more than anything.  The things I would ask you and tell you, starting with the simple fact of what it is I’m doing here…I mean the real nitty-gritty of what this is all about.  There are way too many signs that have told me that you are okay with all of this…making your letters public on this BIG OLD interweb craziness, that I’m sure you would find amazing and nonsensical, all at the same time.  I would like to just tell you though and see what you really have to say about it all.  I would imagine that you would dig it.  We all know you would be especially smitten about all the media attention you & I both have received.  Growing up I remember seeing British newspapers sprawled amoungst the Leamington Post & Windsor Star in your living room.  I made it into the Daily Mirror and that one I always remember at the top of the pile.

I guess it’s that I am at a point where I’m coming to realize the letters are going to end.  I have only 67 days left before my departure on the RMS Queen Mary II, and the truth is…your letters stop way before that actual day.  I’m not sure why… if some went missing, if there’s an explanation in those last letters that I still haven’t read, or if I’ll ever figure out what happened in the days between the last letter and your sailing date.   Does it even really matter?

I guess what the knowledge of that gap is bringing up for me, is that all of this is made up.  This journey that I’m on is completely something that I have come up with in my head, that started from a simple idea and a photograph.  And what is the point? What am I hoping to gain from it? What am I being a voice for? What impact am I trying to have?  Will people still come to my blog once the letters are done?

I recently read a blog by my favourite blogger Hannah Brencher (she’s amazing & has a TED talk).  Her blog post was all about reminding us, her readers, her community, her people, of an important message.  It was a message about life, love, taking the time to love the people that are in front of you now…in this very moment.


I want to do the same…in my very own, unique way.  I want to inspire people to go for their dreams, I want people to honour life stories…those before them & their own.  I want to be a leader for showing up authentically and vulnerably, and I want people to express themselves creatively…however that looks: through the lyrics of a song, through the hands crafting a quilt, through the colours on a canvas, through the lens of a camera, through a poem, a handmade candle, or a lovingly home-cooked meal.

Most of all, I want people to live the exact life they were born to live.  I want people to write their own Life’s Letter and to find their inspiration like I’ve found mine…connecting to my Grama, a bold, bubbly, courageous life-lover that I realize now is a big part of who I am, too.

With a granddaughter’s love & admiration,




* life’s letter typography logo hand designed by Haley Laronde – haleylaronde(at)gmail(dot)com


6 thoughts on “My Life’s Letter

  1. Right on, sista! Love it, and I can feel both the energy and love you have around the story of your own life, as well as the sense that this is something anyone can do–to really cherish their life’s story and legacy. And that’s really what life is all about. <3

  2. Thank you for so openly and beautifully sharing your passion for this quest and for the people (us!) that you are inspiring along the way! I’m making up a story that the time you’ve spent in London with Grama is changing and transforming you in deep and effervescent ways. I love this letter and what you’re sharing here! More, please!! 😉

    • Thanks, Lisa! This time here is ABSOLUTELY transforming me in ways that I am feeling now & will continue to feel for the rest of my life. Thank your support, encouragement & LOVE oxo

  3. Cecile Verheyen says:

    Hi Carly…as Always I loved this letter… you will never have the occasion to ask all your questions to you grandma directly anymore!! We all want to do this at certain moments…but we can’t!
    You are certainly very inspirational for lots of young people……!
    You are so talented !!!! and I’m very proud of you and happy to have met you!
    And yes “love” is the most important thing in live…not only in a relationship …but I’m sure you found the love of your live..and you and Adam will be very happy together!!!
    Wish I would have met you earlier when I was alot younger !!!
    And a little secret between us..when I met first Melissa..she was only 17 or 18 …I had the same feelings! It immediately clicked between us..and you see: she and Brad are the most beautiful couple and family I know. And then I discovered that you and her were big friends before. Isn’t that amazing???
    I have to stop, since my comments will become a “life letter” to and that is not what it has to be.
    Love you and Adam and hope seeing you once together in Antwerp !!

    • Thank you Aunt Cecile. Your words mean a lot to me. It is pretty amazing that Missy & I have been friends since we were little & now we will be sister-in-laws. 🙂 What you point to about LOVE being the most important thing is absolutely TRUE! I feel so much LOVE and have since day one of being over here. LOVE to you xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *