An Open Letter to Those Who Sent Us Mail


To all the kind people who sent us mail during Pedro’s struggle with cancer;

Thank you.

I’ve saved each letter and card in a bulging file folder that goes wherever we go. I haven’t reopened the mail since you sent it, back in 2002, but each piece holds a special place in my heart.

That mail represents the thoughts and prayers of countless people who prayed us through cancer.

Some of you were complete strangers, yet you took the time to write. Those cards always took me aback—that someone who had never met us would take the time to say, “I’m praying for you. I’m thinking about you.” You’ll never know how much those kind words of support meant to us.

The cards and letters from family and friends played a special role, too. Each card that said, “We love you. We care about you,” felt like a bear hug. Thank you for taking the time to reach out.

Back in the days before Facebook and Twitter, phone calls and the written word served as a tangible reminder that we didn’t battle alone.

And to those of you who took the time to leave a note for me, the caregiver, let me explain what you did. You validated MY need for prayers and support. You acknowledged that often times, taking care of someone with a catastrophic illness feels just as life-changing as the diagnosis does to the ill one.

I just wanted you to know how much your words of kindness meant to us, to me. I don’t think I had the presence of mind at the time to respond or acknowledge your gift.


Anita Ojeda


I hope this encourages you, the reader to take the time to send a card of encouragement to someone who struggles. Whether you write to a patient or a caregiver, know that your words will serve as a lifeline of hope.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Lori H

    We never know how something we do may touch someone else. Beautiful share of how you and your family were touched.
    Visiting from FMF

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lori!

  • B Baird

    Prayers, whether said or written, really can lift us up. So wonderful that so many supported you through that cancer fight. I’ve kept all the cards I received when my Mom died – they really did help. Thanks for stopping by!

    • It was fun to meet you :). Written words are so important. I often wonder if the cards I send mean anything because I never hear back…but then I remember my own experience and realize that I never thanked anyone, either. But they mattered, oh, so much!

  • Amanda Farmer

    This is beautiful and having come through chronic illness and other life changing events, I felt like this letter came from my heart! Thank you!

  • what a great reminder of how comforting encouraging notes are. i have received many over my lifetime. so wonderful.sadly, i haven’t written nearly as many as i have received. i need to catch up.

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    What a lovely, gracious testimony, ANita. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    #1 at FMF this week.

  • Tara Ulrich

    Lovely! Such a beautiful reminder for us all. Exactly what I was talking about in my FMF post this week.

  • JeanneTakenaka

    SUCH an encouraging post, Anita. Receiving mail in a situation like yours can be amazing. In any trial a personal note from someone to say they care is soothing to a battered spirit, but especially in one like yours.

    I so appreciated your words here!

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