Within the first week, however, he was thoroughly enjoying the incredibly thoughtful and kind words, letters, gifts, and dates with friends and family who wanted to share in the celebration of his 50 years of life. He was overwhelmed by their generosity and affection and is still shaking his head in awe that so many people chose to be a part of sharing in the joy of the years God has given him on earth.
My original goal was to capture a photo of Dennis with everyone who participated in the 50 Days, but it was not a realistic one. Since I collected most of the items ahead of time, very few people actually presented their letters/gifts in person. I was able to document a few of them, however, for which I am thankful!
It was a joy to watch him open or do something every day. Witnessing the effect of the daily affirmations was an excellent reminder of how important, encouraging, and even life-changing a few words of kindness can be in a person's life. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24
Final result? "50 Days of Dennis" was a SUCCESS!
Mom and Dad Eastman
Dennis and Denise - a beautiful brother and sister duo!
Denise has the privilege of saying she actually stunned Dennis into SILENCE when she presented him the gift of an all-expense paid trip to ISRAEL!
I love that they will get to experience this - together.
Dennis' birth family - Mom (Sue), sister Amy, brother Joel, and sister Natalie
Mom and Bill
Doug and Stephanie
The Bracey trio!
Our mentors and friends - Tim and Ginger Geftakys
The Mañalacs - Dennis and Sara taught and coached together at Lutheran High.
She and her boys baked one of the three sweets that Dennis allows in his mouth -
homemade chocolate chip cookies. And they were delicious!
Most creative gift!
50 cans of one of D's favorite drinks - Kerns Guava Nectar - from our Guskes!
Including all of D's life mantras written out on cards tucked in between the layers.
Modeling the (now favorite sweatshirt) gift from my brother, CC, and our nieces and nephews
incuding a classy Cross pen.
Funniest gift! (from the Dusters)
A gift card to Sidecar Donuts attached to a printed image of one of D's lesser-known mantras
(unless you were one of his football players, athletes in the weight room, or workout partners):
"I never put low octane fuel in the Ferrari!"
John and Denise Lopez
50 years looks good on you, D! I love you!