One year ago, I was on a plane traveling to see my middle child, Anne, graduate from college. She chose to attend school in northern Maine, so I had a long plane ride from San Francisco to contemplate her journey and what I wanted to say to her. Anne was not my first child to graduate from college. Her older brother Matt did so three years before, so I knew I wanted to capture my thoughts and share them with her in writing.

Graduation is a major milestone, whether it’s from college, high school, 8th grade or grad school. What they all have in common is they involve transition, for your child AND you. It’s important to mark that.

But I know (having been there, more than once) that when you’re busiest and most emotional, it can be hard to say what you feel. It can be hard to put in words all the things you want your kids to know.

What if you could give them something tangible that would make them see and feel all the love you have for them, the ways you admire and believe in them? A gift that would let them hear your voice when they need it the most.

You can do just that by writing them a letter from your heart as a graduation present. Your letter will be a hug from you that they can take with them wherever they are; they’ll feel your love and support every time they read your words.

The main thing I learned from writing that kind of letter to Matt and Anne is that the letters had a lasting impact. My words were there to support them through good AND hard experiences and showed them my deep love and admiration. I have written many letters to my kids since, to support them, share values, stories and love. And our relationships are stronger and our connections deeper as a result.

And the best part is they’ve written letters from their hearts to me for my birthday, Mother’s Day and the holidays. These tangible gifts are more precious to me than anything they could buy.

Many graduations have already happened, but you are not too late to give your graduate a letter from your heart. In fact, I wish I had been able to include my thoughts about graduation itself into my letter to Matt. So I wrote my letter to Anne after graduation so I could include some of the details of that special day – how proud I was watching her walk with her class and seeing her shake Vice President Joe Biden’s hand (yes, Joe Biden spoke at her graduation).

So whether you write before or after graduation does not matter, what matters is you don’t miss the opportunity to reflect on your child’s journey, mark this milestone and share with them what you see, how you love them and what you hope and dream for them.

I want to support you in writing your letter. Are you ready to write?

Legacy letters last a lifetime and help you express just how much you care for the people in your life. I invite you to grab a copy of Deepening Connections with Legacy Letters where I show you how to craft one from the heart.