Know You Are Loved Preface

by Carol Hansen Grey

My youngest daughter, Liz, and I were always close even though we were separated by many miles, she in Texas and me in California. My husband and I have flown to Texas to visit her and her family several times after she and her husband decided to move from their home in California and make a new life in Texas. I hated to see them go and for the first time I really understood how saddened my father was when I decided to relocate with my children many years prior from my home in Wisconsin to California.

After Liz moved, we stayed close, talking on the phone almost every day. After the birth of her fourth baby, she went through a depression and that’s when her excessive drinking began. I really didn’t know how to help her except to be loving and supportive via long distance. But I realize now that she needed much more help than I was able to give her over the phone.

When I got the call that she had been court ordered to spend up to 9 months in a residential drug and alcohol rehab facility located four hours from her home in Texas, I felt devastated for her. I knew she needed help, but this ruling was unexpected and felt very harsh. In the rehab facility she was not allowed to receive phone calls or outside contact for the first several months. It was very much like a prison. She was, however, allowed to get mail.

So, I meditated on what I could do while she was in the facility that would let her know how much she was loved. I got the idea to send her a postcard-sized inspirational quote every day. I went online and downloaded several hundred graphical quotes from the Internet, resized them to fit 4-up on a piece of cardstock and printed them out. I ended up printing over 300 cards and kept them in a stack by my rocking chair. Every morning I would wake up 5AM, pick a card and hand write her a personal note on the back. I also bought a box of 4”x3”envelopes to mail them in. I decided to decorate each envelope in some type of cheery design, a few of which are included in the back of this book. Then, I numbered each card I sent with a corresponding number on the envelope so she could easily see if there were any cards missing. (I didn’t trust that she would be given all the mail I was sending.)

My husband suggested that I set up a database with a scan of the front of the card and a field where I could record what I had handwritten on the back. In total I mailed her 255 cards. It is because of my husband’s suggestion that I am able to share this book with you. I decided to redesign 230 of the inspirational quotes I sent her with my own lettering and graphics. Because the original cards I printed out often didn’t attribute the author, I diligently searched to see if I could attribute the quotes. I did find many, but unfortunately not all. So, those I couldn’t find simply indicate “author unknown.” (If any of the readers of this book can supply me with the name(s) of any of the “unknown authors” I would be most appreciative and will include them on a subsequent printing.)

Liz wasn’t allowed to receive any books, so in addition to the cards and personal notes, I often included inspirational articles that I found on the Internet to help motivate and empower her through her journey.

My hope is that this book will inspire those of you who have friends or family in rehab facilities (or even in prison) to help them in their recovery by sending them daily inspirations of love and support.