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Notes Left Behind

I received an email from a co-worker today that was absolutely beautiful.  I’m so thankful to have recieved this, as it is something that needs to be shared.  I hope by posting and sharing with you that I am able to make even a tiny difference in someone’s life, just as Elena, the miracle behind this message, has done herself. 

The following is the email that was sent by Jeff Wheaton, Manufacturing Engineer, Newell Rubbermaid (pictured below).  Thank you for sending this, Jeff.  Sometimes, it can be so easy to lose sight of what the important things in life truly are.


Most people want to feel that their work is making a difference in the world.  That it is not just about making money to pay the bills.  Well how does making/selling Sharpies make the world better? 

The below story beautifully illustrates how Sharpie markers make a difference in the world.  They are all about enabling people to share feelings with each other.  To give each other “hugs” when least expected and most needed.  I don’t know if Elena used Sharpies for her notes, but I would like to think she did; that my job helped enable her beautiful expression of love for her family.

- J.Wheaton, Newell Rubbermaid.

elena picWhen 6-year-old Elena Desserich was diagnosed with brain cancer, she began hiding hundreds of little love notes around the house for her parents to find after she was gone.  Here’s the story:
Just before her sixth birthday, Elena Desserich (pictured) was diagnosed with brain cancer and given 135 days to live. She lived 255 days, passing away in 2007. After her death, Elena’s parents, Brooke and Keith, found hundreds of notes from Elena hidden around the house — in between CD cases, between bookshelves, in dresser drawers, in backpacks….
“It just felt like a little hug from her, like she was telling us she was looking over us”

Elena left hundreds of notes like these:

elana 1


for mom


grace 1


hearts 1



red and white




See more of Elena’s notes

 Elena’s parents, Brooke and Keith Desserich, have now published these notes in a book called Notes Left Behind to fund a non-profit organization The Cure Starts Now dedicated to fighting pediatric brain cancer.

notes left behind





Purchase your copy of Notes Left Behind.

5 thoughts on “Notes Left Behind

  1. Wow. As a parent and grand mother I value all those little notes that I have received over the years but these notes are gifts and I am touched that you shared them.

  2. Pingback: Communication Made With Love | 10thousandgirl

  3. Wonderful
    After reading this story i got tears in my eyes, its really a heart touching story
    the way a small 6 year kid shows her love towards her parents in her cute letters eve she is passed away.

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