Abby Van Metre’s mother, Susie, came up with a very original present for her 18th birthday. But the idea had actually been devised seventeen years before…
Abby always noticed there was a miniature wooden chest at her home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which she had never been allowed to open. What she did not know was that her birthday surprise hid inside.
Susie had the idea of asking family and friends to write letters to Abby instead of giving a present on her birthday no. 1. She didn’t anyway need so many presents at such a young age, her mother argued. The intention was for her to open those messages when she turned eighteen.
The inspiring idea came at a double gain for Abby. When she finally managed to open the mysterious box and read the letters, some were from special people in her life who were not alive on her 18th birthday.
Her grandfather had passed away five years before, and an uncle had also died in car crash some years beforehand.
No one had opened the letters up to read them Abby’s 18th birthday. There were also some photos stashed inside. For Abby, it was the most inspiring gift ever. ‘I was in tears. It is the kind of gift that has more value than money’, she said.
Abby’s 14-year-old sister also has similar box waiting to be opened on her birthday four years from now.