The power of a personal note

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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I’ve only been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans three times in my life.  The first time I went I was 16 and went on the bus with a few friends.  We tried to bum ride home, but that was a disaster.  We didn’t get home until 4 a.m. the next morning.

The time I remember most was in 1955 while serving in the Navy. My ship came to New Orleans for the “Big Party,” and stayed four days for supposedly rest and relaxation. My friend, Bob, from Kentucky and I decided to take four days of “leave time” and stayed in Reserve at my house. We were free to go and come as we pleased and, believe me; we took advantage of our freedom.

I remember nothing of the parades or anything else. We stayed drunk for four days. When our ship left New Orleans, I was so sick and miserable thinking about not spending time with my family, especially my mom and dad.

When we arrived at our home port in Key West, Florida, feeling guilty about my behavior, I wrote to my dad and asked him to forgive me. I shared how I had the best dad in the world and was sorry I didn’t consider spending more time with him when I was home. I also told him how much I loved him and couldn’t wait to see him again.

The problem is, I didn’t get to see him again, because he died suddenly at age 48, two weeks after my visit. The only consolation I have is that many years after his death, my brother found the letter I had written to him and gave it to me.

I’ll never forget an article I read in the “Reader’s Digest” years after that titled “The Power of a Personal Note.”  I’m grateful that I took time to share my heart with my dad before he died.


 If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 504-881-0113, or e-mail