30 Days, 30 Ways to Feel Appreciation: Truly, the Greatest Gift


Sometimes, we all need to feel appreciation. Have you ever wondered what you mean to the people in your life?



The countdown has begun. In just a few short weeks, I will stand under the marriage canopy and start my life all over again. Right now, my days are filled with starts and stops and endings and beginnings. I have lived in St. Louis for about 30 years. And so much has happened here. 


I’ve had time to reflect on how I have been impacted by those I have met along the way. I am grateful to so many people for the love and support they have given me. Some have been around for more years than I care to admit, and some I have only known for a short time. What is harder to guess is how they feel about me.


My daughter surprised me with a way to know what I have always wondered. She made a countdown for me, starting at 30 days before the wedding. She bought (or at least ordered on my Amazon account) adorable little gift boxes. Each day she hands me one, and I receive a very precious gift. Folded up inside each box is a letter from someone that I hold dear. In that letter, I am privileged to read about memories or thoughts or wishes that person has of me. Each box had held lots of laughter, tears, and sweet memories. 


different colored gift boxes on top of typed letters of appreciation, with the quote, "Friends are the family we choose"


There are no words to adequately describe how grateful I am. These gifts my daughter hands me each day lift me up and fill me with confidence and self-esteem. How many of us ever take the time to tell the people we care about what they mean to us? Do we just assume they know? Is that a fair assumption to make? Do you know what your friends think of you? 


What would happen if we all took a minute to write down our thoughts and let our friends and family know what they mean to us? How many petty fights and hurt feelings could be avoided? How many smiles would we be able to create?


Each letter that I read fills my heart with so much happiness and joy. I can’t wait to call or write the person and share my feelings about them. Some people I have not seen in years, and the opportunity to reconnect is too good to pass up.


Usually, my posts are all about the life lessons I want to teach my daughter. In this, my last official post for St. Louis Moms, I am so proud to say that my daughter has found a life lesson for all of us. Take the time today to write one note to one person. Watch their reaction and see how it makes you feel. You might be tempted to write another one tomorrow. 


To my sweet daughter, I say thank you. You have filled the last 16 years with so much love and adventure. You have made each day worth living. I am grateful beyond measure that I have been given the opportunity to be your mom. I am so excited to see where our next adventure takes us. I love you most.


a letter sealed with wax on a table next to a small wrapped box and tiny hearts scattered around


And to all of you at St. Louis Moms, I also want to thank you. Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts and speak my mind. Thank you for including me in this group of talented writers. I have learned so much about all of you and about myself. I will truly miss being a part of this amazing group. I wish you all of the good things my heart can conjure. 


I might live in New York, but I became a mother in St. Louis. I will always be a St. Louis Mom.

Previous articleMoms Morning Out at Blue Sky Yoga
Next articleBringing Home Mando: My Journey to Pet Adoption
Shifra is originally from Virginia. She went to high school in Silver Spring, MD and lived in Jerusalem for 7 years before making her way to St. Louis in 1992. She has come to motherhood through adoption, fertility, fostering and teaching. She is passionate about children's rights and will advocate to make sure each child gets what they need to succeed. She is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and, later, domestic abuse. She uses her experiences to educate others and to help victims feel safe to come forward and share their stories. She is an active member of the orthodox Jewish community and resides in University City.