an attempt at self-improvement

so i taught a lesson {RS} on living in peace and harmony a few weeks ago. everyone says teaching is really for the teacher, and it is 100% true. this topic motivated me to do some serious work on myself. when i was thinking about who exemplifies peace and harmony in my life i couldn't help but think of Dane:

my cousin Dane Kartchner lived with spina bifida until he passed away at age 19, 6 years ago.
i couldn't help but think of him as i thought about who has taught me to live in harmony with others. if you didn't fit in anywhere, you'd always fit in with dane.

this is a letter dane wrote santa claus, and found later by his dad. i had never seen this letter until dane's funeral. it broke my heart, at the same time changed my life.
every time i read this letter i can't help but think "live and let live"
and then
laugh and smile and cry.
Align Center
the letter and this quote really did a number on me:

"how can you expect peace and harmony in your home, communities or even the world
if war is raging in your heart?"

goal of my life: have a more peaceful heart.
p.s. happy first day of spring!


collin said...

He could have had another cousin named Emily that we didnt' know about??

I miss Dane. (He actually had spina bifida:)

charity said...

Thanks for posting this! I regret not spending more time with Dane.

Stacey Sargent said...

Oh Emily! Loved this letter to Santa. So sweet! And that quote...made me teary-eyed. So true, and something I need to work on everyday, not that I have a war going on in my heart, but that I too need it to be more peaceful.

So thank you for this post!

Kaitlyn said...

I miss Dane, I got choked up seeing his picture. Thanks for posting this Emily, it was a great reminder of several things I learned from Dane. He was such a great person, always had a smile on his face.

P.S. That letter is priceless, so funny!!!

Kayla R. said...


The Taylors said...

Dane seems like a special boy. It's always people like Dane that influence us for the better!

Kirsten Sue said...

So Sweet.

Joanna Goddard said...

how sweet. what a lovely post.

kkartch said...

I just saw this today, so kind of a late comment, but thanks for sharing those thoughts. I miss him, and I learned a lot from him. He was a great teacher to me.


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