Dear family and friends of Patrick and Julie,
My name is Jaime (Horstman) Barnard, and I have known Julie since our wonderful days at Wheaton College. She has graciously allowed me to share on her blog and make a request to those who know and love her and her sweet Patrick and Cecilia. I have a daughter just a few months younger than Ceci, and as I have prayed and wept (along with thousands of others!) for this family, an idea came to mind.
Would you consider taking the time to write a letter to Cecilia? Would you share your memories, stories, thoughts and love for her daddy? I am imagining giving Cecilia a treasure chest full of letters that, someday, will give her stories and memories to help her remember and know her amazing daddy. Perhaps you grew up with Patrick and can share stories that might make her giggle? Perhaps you went to high school with Patrick? Perhaps Patrick befriended you in a time of need and there is a story to share? Perhaps you could relay one characteristic of Patrick that you feel best describes him? The letter may simply describe the look you saw in Patrick's eyes the day she was born, or the way he carried her or hugged her.
It does not matter how much or little you write or if you know Patrick well, as an acquaintance or as a friend of a friend. As you write these letters to Cecilia, try to focus on Patrick and how you do know him and what you want Cecilia to know about him. As we all wade through the heavy emotions that surround this difficult time, it is my hope that these letters would be full of joy, peace and hope. Rather than focusing on the challenging days at hand, let your letters be a way for Cecilia, in the harder days to come, to travel through time to places and situations that will warm her heart with stories and memories of her daddy.
It is my desire that Julie and those closest to Patrick NOT have to be a part of the logistics of collecting these letters. Their hours and days are full. So, please send ALL letters to the following address:
c/o The Barnard Family
701 Holiday Drive
Fortville, IN 46040
Yes, the letters are coming to Indiana! When the letters stop coming, depending on how many I receive, I will find a way to contain them ... in some sort of treasure chest or book for Ceci. Be it five or five thousand, I will make certain these letters are delivered to Julie and Cecilia. If, for various reasons, you wish to send an e-mail letter, I would be happy to print it off and add it to the collection. Please email letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org You may also use this email address to communicate with me if you have any questions or thoughts.
Thank you again Julie for allowing me to do this for you and Cecilia.
All my love,