* THE PLAIN MANILA GIFT – by Erica Kosal

The gift came disguised as a plain manila envelope with pencil marks scrawled on the front of it, outlining my work address. The gift came on the day I was returning to work after a much too-short maternity leave.

new young family 8

The gift came on the morning that I was overwhelmed contemplating what my future held: my very ill husband was undergoing treatment for Lyme Disease that was hitting his neurological and muscular systems badly, my 2 year old son and my infant daughter were not getting to know their daddy, and I was needing to juggle my full-time job at a liberal-arts college in order to pay for medical bills.

The gift was buried in the giant stack of mail that awaited my return to the office. Most of the mail was the typical professional type. Most of the mail was easily discarded into the recycling pile. I remember feeling my anxiety ease that morning as my “look through” stack got smaller and smaller. Then it happened. The strange unprofessional envelope was discovered. It was thin and the handwriting was somehow familiar.

I looked at the writing more  closely. Because I am a professor and tend to see a lot of writing samples, I have learned some general flags over the years. For example, males in general (although there are certainly exceptions) tend to have a looser style to their text. The writing is more angled, sharp, and one letter falls more closely to the next than with the “typical” female script. After looking at the address for a few seconds, I decided it was written by a male. Then I looked at the return address. It was from a beach town in my state. I didn’t know anyone from this town. Then I looked at the name: D. Night. “Could this be the same Dan I knew from graduate school?”

I wondered what happened to Dan. We were both in the same statistics class one semester and ended up in a study group together. He was that type of guy who connected with everyone. He smiled big, shook hands firmly and honestly, and always spoke kindly. We lost touch after graduate school as we each went our separate ways.

Curious if this was my long-lost friend, I opened the envelope. There was a single sheet of paper in it, with Dan’s tight script again.





Dr. Erica Kosal speaks on and writes about resiliency stemming from her husband’s serious illness and battle for his life. She is the blogger of Traveling Troubled Times, and the author of the book: Miracles for Daddy: A Family’s Inspirational Fight against A Modern Medical Goliath (2012, Burro Publishing). It is available for purchase at http://www.miraclesfordaddy.com Erica and her husband also maintain a website, Bounce to Resilience, which is designed to provide information and help to people experiencing extreme stress.

Listen to this interview with Erica.

Get more info, ‘how to’s’ and ‘what if’s’ about Lois’ Tales2Inspire project



About loiswstern

I was in education for just over 20 years when I unexpectedly pursued another passion and entered the world of authors and journalists. I have since published two non-fiction, full length books on different aspects of beauty, but also avidly endorse the confluence of Inner and Outer beauty. I have written feature articles for Long Island Beauty Guide and LI Woman, and have served as Editor-at-large for MakeMeHeal.com, the largest Internet site for plastic surgery and beauty needs. I enjoy researching what's new in the world of aesthetics & anti-aging and devote one of my blogs: www.FabulousBeautyBlog.wordpress.com to sharing cutting edge, hype-free information. I devote my second blog to my other passion: writing, collecting and sharing stories to warm the spirit and inspire the soul. To this end, I have created an 'Authors Helping Authors' project/contest, to create books for inspiration, the first of which is titled: Tales 2 Inspire ~ Beyond Coincidence. It is a jewel of a book, filled with inspiring stories and full color original photos and/or drawings. If you're a talented writer with one inspiring story to share, visit www.tales2inspire.com to learn how to participate. FREE to enter. All you need is the talent and perseverance to do so. Lots of positive platform building opportunities for the winners. Learn more at: www.tales2inspire.com.

Posted on January 11, 2013, in "Tales2Inspire Writer's Contest", Tales2Inspire Contest, TALES2INSPIRE WRTERS CONTEST, Words to Inspire and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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