Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dear Ashley

Dear Ashley,
 I first want to let you know that finding your unexpected gift this year was an experience I will never forget...
It was a very special kind of "prize" when I stumbled upon it, because I knew, this moment was going to be for you. 
 It was a precious journey for me.
Thank you!
I walked into a beautiful old church in Paris.
I was overwhelmed with emotion.
I could not help but think of my Dad. 
I thought of your brother in pure silence under amazing huge grey arched ceilings and stone walls. The sun showered in like heaven through old wavy glass stained glass windows.
I walked slowly until I found Saint Christopher,
 for you.
He stood on the left side, on a small alter all his own, holding a child in his arms. 
Candles were burning for loved ones... 
 I lit one for your brother.  I lit one for my Dad. 
 It was warm.  It was peaceful. 
 There was a huge brilliant presence of being HOME.
I felt so small.
My heart felt bigger than words I can share with you.  
I burned a Sainte Therese candle for your brother...
I knelt down and said a prayer. 
 I asked Saint Christopher to hold him close for you, always to keep him warm, happy and safe.    
Our candles burned all night long...
I went back the next morning to bring yours home to you, though now empty you can add a candle to burn again.
Always remember....
Your brother is Here.  He is There.  He is Everywhere
I promise you he is!
At the flea market in Nice I found your vintage religious souvenir.
 statue de sel 
A salt statue of Sainte Therese to sit by your candle.
Big Hugs
All my love to you sweet Ashley, stay strong.
Please send me your address to


Ashleys comment: 
I entered this amazing contest last year and will do so again today, although my desired treasure has yet to change. I have a little vignette in my home dedicated in memory of my brother whom I lost in November of '09', he was only 27 and I still can't get the grasp of my on-going life without him. If I am so lucky to win, I would love a religious figure of sorts, something old, something that tells a story...I am so thankful to enter this contest....Good luck to all who enter!!

Ashley just sent me over pictures of her brother.
Jonathan William Casedy
Jonny with his son...
Jonny fishing...
both were his Heaven on Earth.




  1. I just read this post, and was overcome with emotion - what a beautiful, incredible gift you gave to Ashley, as well as yourself! Just had to say so. By the way, where did you find the Sainte Therese de Lisieux candle, I wonder if I can get those online? I took her name as my confirmation name, years ago! With love, Juliette

  2. This post has definitely been added to ones that I find most touching...

  3. Janet,
    What a special gift you have given Ashley and how kind of you to not only think of her but also you thought of her brother.

    I know she will treasure this gift always.


  4. Dear Janet, I am sitting here in tears, tears of thankfulness, tears of joy, tears of sadness, all at once I'm experiencing these moments, I won a giveaway I so wanted to win, but I won to keep a memory alive.....I am so thankful for your generous thoughts, lighting a candle for my brother is the true prize I have won, to say a prayer for him is more than I could ask for, but I didn't did on your own and I cannot express how so very thankful I am for you to do brought my brother to Paris with you in memory (I should have known he would get to go to Paris before me =) Thank you, thank you, thank you! Xoxoxo ~Ashley

  5. You're an angel. So touching... something very special for both of you.

  6. your heart is so deep, dear Janet; beautiful post~

  7. You are such a very Dear Soul, Janet, for what you have done, for Ashley and for yourself. I am in complete agreement that our loved ones are always with us, such as My Dear Mommy! It is difficult to live our lives without Our Dearest Ones, but they do truly follow us and protect us. I believe that performing this rite in such a special place has just made it that much more sacred.
    Most Special Hugs to you,

  8. I am forever grateful to you Janet....God bless you Xoxoxo ~Ashley

  9. Oh my goodness...what a touching story and what an incredible kindness you share with all you meet. You my dear are amazing. We all can learn something from you. oxxoxo HUGs and may your week be blessed dear one.

  10. My daughter sent me the link to your blog,she said she just had to send it to me.

    It is so moveing,I am so emotional. Dear Ashley I am thinking of you at this sad time. Janet you are such an Angel to do this for Ashley,I will be back very soon. xx hugs to you both

  11. C'est Parfait! Your present and request helps to heal all of us who has lost someone we have dearly loved. Thank you , Merci.

  12. What an incredibly moving post and generous spirit Janet. Your gift to all are your beautiful photos and the sharing of your heartfelt thoughts.

  13. Janet - This really touched me. What a kind and thoughtful gift to Ashley. God bless and CARRY ON THE GOOD DEEDS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  14. Janet, this post has touched me so much. I have shivers reading it. I have just returned from Florence and had the same feelings and overwhelming emotions when I left a candle burning for my son, who is going through a difficult time in his life. I also did a post,A Candle Left Burning. We are all connected by such a simple thread. N. xo

  15. Beautiful words, beautiful pictures, bless you Janet xx

    Ashley, love and best wishes to you xx

    Thank you both xx


  16. So beautiful, so fitting, so perfect... you two were meant to come together for this reason. Now you both have an angel in heaven looking over you.
    I love this story and connection.
    God Bless you both!


  17. Janet...You are such a sweet and generous person...I am so happy for Ashley that you could remember her lovely brother in Paris....A beautiful post and what a wonderful soul you have.... xv

  18. What a gorgeous tour of Paris - it's my favourite city & I can never get enough of it! I just stumbled across your lovely blog & have signed up as your latest follower. I look forward to popping back for some more inspiration!
    Melissah from Scrapbook