Love Letters from the Past

The art of the letter and more importantly the love letter is a dying art. Jest, I may even go so far as an art well past its prime to the point of seizing its last breath. It was the anticipation of opening the envelope and seeing emotions pour out on paper as you held onto each word hoping to hear the true spirit of the person behind the pen. The love letter is a symbol of the romantic bond between two hearts who want to immortalize their feelings for all eternity.

As an ode to the pen and all those that have expressed their love through the written word, this is a thank you. Though some loves lasted and others faded with the wind, it is these words that will forever be remembered.

Let us now reflect on a time when we opened our hearts and expressed a level of emotion that committed us to the ultimate risk, the risk of love. Some shattered hearts, while others mended, but we sat on the edge of our seats in anticipation of the next letter and the words that would pour from the pen to our souls.

Enjoy excerpts from Love Letters from the Past:

“In the most simple and true way possible, I love you. Not the kind of love that requires it back, or the kind of love that comes with expectations or strings…Just the kind of love that sets my mind at ease whenever I am with you. The kind of love that washes my body with an alarmingly sweet heat at your touch. Not the kind of love that exists because of what I want or desire, but the kind that exist because of who you are and who we are together; because of who I am with you. I feel safety when I’m in your arms, like the entire army from hell couldn’t come close to me while I’m there. The softness and passion in your kisses seem to lift me from the earth, melting the rest of the world away and leaving only you and I to swirl around in the clouds of ecstacy. The heat of your body next to mine, the feel of your hands on my skin and in my hair. The way your eyes sparkle when you say something clever…These are the things that caused me to drop my guard with you even though my situation basically doomed us from the beginning. The way you seem to always be right, the way I don’t care when I am wrong. How you laugh when you really think something is funny and when you thinks it’s not. These are some of the things that ultimately lead me to love you. I don’t expect anything from you or out of “us”. I don’t need you to love me back. I don’t need any promises or favors…All I need is for you to know how I feel. Nothing more, nothing less. Simple isn’t it?!?”

– Summer

“Your letter was amazingly, awesomely, wonderfully great. I was smiling and laughing out loud the entire time I read it. The people around me thought I was crazy. Oh no! Now they know the truth about me. I got my Cosmopolitan magazine on my lap, some Juicy Fruit gum and the Walkman which I didn’t put on yet.

I wanted to write before we took off because I’m afraid I’ll get dizzy if I write while the plane is moving. I wanted to tell you how great it is for me to have finally found some true, real friends like you and Rock. I really appreciate all that you do for me. It can’t begin to tell you how much better you always manage to make me feel. But I’ll finish this later because we are starting to move. Thank you for always being here for me and for being such a wonderful and caring person.

I’m gonna miss you this weekend. A lot! Love,”

– Stacey

“Thank you for all the support you have given me during this difficult time. I know your thoughts will continue to be with me. Now you won’t have to hear that you spend too much time with me or get hung-up on :). I love you. I never said I needed you to love me the same way. And all I ever wanted was for you to let me love you. To kiss your lips, light a candle, and make love to you again. I would do or give-up anything in the world. Thank you for the year. I couldn’t have asked for a more special one. You are a special person to me with a permanent place in my heart. I have all the faith and confidence in you. Whenever you get lonely keep that with you. Your precious princess…”

– Kimberly

“I know that long distance relationships scare you (Believe me, they scare me too!). But I haven’t and never did ask that of you. All I would like to try for is perhaps a “friendship”. I do care about you and that surprises me considering the fact that I just met you. Please, don’t be scared to talk to me or write. I really do think that you are a great guy. I care and I’m here if you want a friend. Always…”

– Joleen

“You are amazing. I mean it. I was so happy to have you in town and I’m sad your’re on to your next destination – but I know it will be wonderful. You are a true friend and I’m so happy you’re my friend”

– Jen

“I meant what I said this morning, that no one has made me feel special in a long time. You don’t know how much it means to me when your do the little things, like saying “Thanks for going out last night for dinner.” People can buy all the gifts in the world, but it doesn’t even come close to how I feel when I know you think about me. When I read your Christmas card, for instance it meant the world to me for you to say that something reminded you of me and to know that you like being near me. As much as your may hate to admit it, you are a nice person.

So I finally meet a guy who is fun, interesting, has a life and responsibilities, can understand that I have a life with my own responsibilities and wouldn’t you know it, it turns out to be my friends’s brother. The guy he told me not to get involved with because until he is serious, he treats girls like crap…”

– Amy

“As I sit here writing this, I am anticipating your departure. I am very happy that you will be able to spend time with your family and friends. Yet naturally, I am saddened that you will not be with me. I will miss you very much when you are gone. Remember that I am thinking of you and still loving you. I feel an array of different emotions right now. Where do I begin? Maybe one day you will be showing this letter to another love of your life or maybe it will be one you keep as private as your journal. I love you. That is where I wish to start.”

– Kimberly

“I needed to say something, please don’t take this letter as a bad thing. It is not a bad thing. Obviously I’ve been back and forth through all this and obviously I’ve put serious thought into it. It’s a very serious thing for me and I’m sorry to do this but I need time. I’m not asking for forever; just a couple of days. I need it and I’m sorry for that but I have to do this. I need to not see you for a couple of days. I need this.”

– Casey

“How can I say good-bye to a person who aggravates me to no end but also always makes me laugh? I wish you the best of luck throughout your life. I hope you will be happy and I know you will be successful. I already miss you and can’t wait until you come back. My love always…”

– Kim

“It truly is the little things you do that make me love you. The words you write, taping the show, dancing to no music but that in our heads and so much more. I want to be clear about my feelings. No interruptions.

I made that promise before I ever met you and I continued that promise before I really felt you. I want you and need you because I love you. I realize this isn’t necessarily forever, but for now…you were right when you said my name. I am yours because you make my eyes grow and everyone of your kisses still send chills down my spine and butterflies to my stomach. This is all why I want to share this with you. I want to know and I never want to regret having all these feelings and never having found out what it feels like to be with you. You mean the world to me. You have become my world. Whenever you decide you want me, I am here. And I want you so badly I can feel an ache I never knew existed. You are very important to me. I love you”

– Anonymous (I know but I have to leave a little mystery)

“Being that February is “Adopt a Bunny Month” I figured I should do my part…Granted it’s just a card with bunnies on it, but what can you do.

Actually, I was just thinking of you-which I seem to be doing quite often lately, and wanted to try and brighten your day like you brighten mine…(Seriously, I’m not always this cheesy”

– Anonymous (Signed a disclosure agreement not to share :))

We Love You Besse Cooper – Happy 115th Birthday

Tomorrow marks the 115th Birthday of Besse Cooper. 115 Years young and counting.

To think she has witnessed the Industrial Revolution, Presidents from Cleveland to Obama, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Space Race, Computer Age, Telephones, Television, Computers and the greatest evolution of change this planet has ever witnessed. With zest, a smile and a proclamation that she does not eat junk food, Besse will welcome another year with the same love of life she has had for over a century plus.

This is an event to remember, not just for Besse and her family but for all of us.

Take a moment to think about Besse tomorrow and if you are in Monroe, GA, stop by and wishing her another year of prosperity.

Provided by Associated Press:

A birthday party is planned at a north Georgia nursing home for Besse Cooper, who’s listed as the world’s oldest person.

Cooper will mark her 115th birthday Friday in Monroe. Family members and a researcher from the Guinness Book of World Records will attend the ceremony. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Cooper will receive a plaque from the organization that determines the oldest person in the world.
Cooper was declared the world’s oldest last January. In May, Guinness learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died June 21.

Cooper was born in Tennessee and moved to Georgia during World War I to find employment as a teacher. She has 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Her husband, Luther, died in 1963.

Provided by http://www.worldrecordsacademy.org

MONROE, Ga., USA — Besse Cooper, who is 114 years and 5 months old and lives in a nursing home in Monroe, Ga., about 45 miles east of Atlanta.,assumed the mantle of the oldest living person after the death Monday of Eunice G. Sanborn of Jacksonville, Texas, according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which certifies supercentenarians – people who are 110 or older.

She was born in Sullivan County, Tenn., on Aug. 26, 1896, during the second term of President Grover Cleveland.

The previous Guinness world record for the Oldest living person was set by Eunice Sanborn (Texas, USA, b. 20 July 1896).

Guinness World Records also recognized the oldest living man: Walter Breuning (USA), who was born 21 September 1896.

Cooper wears a string of pearls double-looped around her neck and spends her days sitting and sleeping. Her wheelchair has bright pink armrests embroidered with “Ms. Besse, 2010 114.”

One of eight children, she was a tomboy and loved tagging along with her two older brothers, climbing trees and splashing in rivers. She carried that active lifestyle and love of outdoors into adulthood. That, plus good genes, is probably the secret to her longevity, her son said.

She moved to Georgia to be a school teacher during World War I, her son said.

She married in the early 1920s and taught fourth through seventh grades in a two-room schoolhouse until her first child was born. Although she stopped teaching then, she was an avid reader until her eyes got too bad last year. She always insisted that her children get an education.

Married for about 40 years, Cooper has outlived her husband by nearly half a century. They had four children, about a dozen grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild, Sid Cooper said.

Cooper lived on her own until she was 105 and stubbornly resisted leaving her house, Sid Cooper said. Her health has declined steeply in the last year or so, and she can’t hear or see well, he said. Speaking seems to require effort.

“I mind my own business and I don’t eat junk food,” she said at her 113th birthday celebration, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

10 oldest living
1. Besse Cooper (USA) – 26 Aug. 1896 (114)
2. Walter Breuning (USA) – 21 Sept. 1896 (114)
3. Chiyono Hasegawa (JPN) – 20 Nov. 1896 (114)
4. Venere Pizzinato (ITA) – 23 Nov. 1896 (114)
5. Shige Hirooka (JPN) – 16 Jan. 1897 (114)
6. Dina Manfredini (ITA/USA) – 4 Apr. 1897 (113)
7. Jiroemon Kimura (JPN) – 19 Apr. 1897 (113)
8. Ella Schuler (USA) – 5 Sept. 1897 (113)
9. Delma Kollar (USA) – 31 Oct. 1897 (113)
10. Toshi Horiya (JPN) – 8 Nov. 1897 (113)

The Throw it and See What Sticks Approach will not work in your job search!

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

“Hey Mark-

Thank you for accepting my invitation to connect on LinkedIn.

Please let me know how I can help you.

I am a Purchasing Professional in transition. Any suggestions?”

Shortly after sending a LinkedIn request from this gentleman, I received this email. I am certain I am one of many recruiters this individual reached out to. Naturally, this person had no idea what my industry, role support or leverage/networking capability was. He was hoping that someone could link up with him and provide him with the next career opportunity. Without further information about what specific area of purchasing he was involved in (vendor relations, supply chain, operations, inventory, etc.) it was impossible to provide an educated response so I did reach out for further information and at the the time of publication have yet to hear back (Four days later).

It got me thinking that with all the emphasis on the high unemployment rate and the slowing job creation growth rate, maybe the slowing growth rate is not the only concern. My experiences have indicated that for many, we don’t know how to be “unemployed”. The art of the career search is a delicate process of focus, research, marketing, communications and sales. It is a precise and patient process that in the end, if done correctly, could yield you a career move that is far better than your previous role. So why are so many cheating or being just lazy with their approach?

Because they believe they can solve their unemployment dilemma with volume and numbers.

I am here to tell you that the “Throw it and see what sticks approach” rarely works.

Before I committed to my theory, I decided to try a little experiment. Thank you to my physics and chemistry teachers in high school for providing me with the precise know how to effectively conduct the experience, examine my findings and draw efficient conclusions. I took marshmallows, gummi bears and Swedish fish and began. I will say the sample sizes were equal before I began, but the Swedish fish are so yummy. One by one I threw them against the white wall of the house to see if in fact they would stick. My results were conclusive. One hundred percent of the test samples did not stick. Thus, the practice of “throw it and see what sticks” does in fact not work.

Then I decided to extend my social experiment to Facebook. I have a number of Facebook “friends” in the Charleston area. Predominately, they are businesses and the reason behind my many local business connections is for the social calendar it presents. It is an opportunity for me to see what music, theater, and dining options are available to me on any given day or week. Since I have a high number of “mutual friends” I have gotten a number of requests for connecting with people I have never spoken a word to nor do I expect to. I am trying to figure out why. I am not a local business, I am not offering a service. I am just ME! So why? Maybe they just feel like they need to since we have many mutual friends or because of the large numbers of connections they feel they should know more for some reason unknown to themselves. I even see this as a sub-set to the “throw it and see what sticks” approach.

Now what is wrong with this approach? Beyond the obvious that it lacks focus, innovation and research, it is a flawed approach. Given the increasing population and the limited job growth concerns that we will be dealing with for several years to come, organizations are becoming leaner and relying on specialized talent to fill the limited needs. Having industry knowledge, cultural experience, soft skills and technical skills are going to be the key to success in this job market.

Companies are becoming more in tune with the “complete candidate” The complete candidate is a package deal. That is the resume, the career flow, the soft skills, the specific technical capabilities and the social interaction. Social Interaction: What does that mean?

That means:

1. The behaviors and actions on social networking channels?
2. How aggressive and focused is your behavior in your job search process (How many roles do you apply to, how often do you call recruiters, how much effort are you putting into your search.)
3. How well do you know yourself (What are your strengths, what are your areas of improvement? Are you leveraging your strengths?)
4. Are you showing personal and professional growth?
5. What other areas of your life are completing your personality (Volunteer work, community service, communities)

We are no longer summed up by a resume/CV. We are now part of the growing cloud of life; the sum of all our actions. Each choice we make in our careers, training, community and social life is a permanent tattoo on our image or personal brand.

The key to a successful career transition is a clear focus on what has made you who you are and then take that mirror image of yourself to the next level and think different. In a market that is more competitive now than it has ever been before, the critical need to stand out from the crowd and re-invent may be the most important aspect of your search. Your skills will provide your with the tool kit to succeed once you have the job, but your unique approach will get your foot in the door.

When you wake up and sit down in front of your IPad, PC or laptop, think about how you will approach your career search, determine if your current marketing plan is working and then re-invent yourself.

For Becky – Original Poem

She fills my heart with warmth
She coats it with nectar and soothes it with a warm summer breeze

Her voice reaches those that cannot talk
Her legs sacrificed for those that cannot walk
Her generosity feeds the empty stomachs of the poor

The flow of her red cherubic hair flows as she drifts through the jungles of Mother Earth in search of the passion of the journey

She wanders through villages near and far in hopes of providing a better life

She is a vision of a world filled with the humanity of goodness

In time, her weary hand will touch thousands
Memories of the gentle smile will carry on to future generations

In a rare moment, the most extraordinary act is but a smile and a single act of kindness

For I share a heart with an earthly angel

From a distance I can feel her, but cannot stop her from the charity she is blessed with

Dissed by your first crush and other dramatic tales of a class reunion…

The scene was set, High School Class Reunion.

Given the timing of the event, I was unfortunately out of town and was not sure I would return in time for the festivities. The build up of pressure would not hit heightened levels until much closer to the end of the evening. In preparation of the possibility of not making the event at all, I took a few preliminary precautions to show my support and mark my place in the folklore of Hopatcong High. First, with the knowledge of a time capsule, I decided to donate a copy of my newest book. Given that I am a writer, I hoped for a little inspiration to write a poem about the reunion with a large matting so it can be signed by all attending and then buried.

The third was a little trickier. Like most high schools, tradition is a big part of its history and one of the traditional acts, that was typically reserved for the crazy zany popular crowd was the spray painting of the infamous road that lay on the side of a grassy hill just behind the high school. In order to accomplish this, I had to sneak onto school property in the middle of the night with several cans of spray paint and a clever story if I were to get caught. My hometown is a bit on the small side so the chance of a cop drive by was pretty high. As I walked the hill, of course a car drives around the back of the school. Like any good adult performing an act of a fifteen year old, I dropped the bag of paint and lay still on the grass. Fortunately, the car would pass and I still do not know if it was a police car.

I moved quickly and started on the coat of white. As I waited for it to dry, I hid behind a bush and waited for what seemed like an hour but only amounted to ten minutes. Then I used the least amount of artistic ability to add the words the would forever make me a legend or at least Saturday night.

Success!!!! The next morning we took a drive over to document my act of vandalism. I waited until the evening before the reunion and then boom right on Facebook for the class to see. Now, whether I made the event of not, my presence was known and I wouldn’t have to worry about seeing my old classmates.

Little set back in my master plan. I made it home in time with about an hour and a half to go in the reunion so I had to attend. Quickly, I called everyone I knew trying to figure out why we go to class reunions. What I learned was this, apparently, it means more to women than men when it comes to appearance, but ultimately, it is just a night to remember old friends and share stories of each other’s lives. Wish I knew that prior to going. After an hour at the reception hall and several hours at the bar until 2:30 AM, I walked away with a really good feeling.

It seemed fitting that the final song of the evening at the hall was “Never Say Goodbye” Being a Jersey boy and a Bon Jovi song about high school and love gained and lost, it was a perfect way to say goodbye and then debate on which hole in the wall bar to go to.

I did go into the evening with a bit of an ulterior motive. I was going to finally confess to my first crush that she, along with “Love Comes Walking In” by Van Halen got me through most of my nine and ten year old years. She did leave after eighth grade so I didn’t expect her to remember too much about me, but I felt it would have been sweet to tell her that she was in fact my first crush. As several of us stood outside the reception hall, she introduced herself to me as if she never knew I existed. Crushed! Devastated! Ego Shot! Ok, I am totally adding dramatic effect for sake of the story, but for a brief moment, almost 4 seconds, I was upset.

The rest of the evening and ensuing evenings through the magic of Facebook was a series of very nice comments, re-connections and new connections.

Overall, the night was not about popularity, social status or even number of kids. It was a night of past, present and future coming together to remember where we all came from.

To Hopatcong High School Class of ’91. Thank you for the new memories. Go Chiefs!!!