How Writing a Letter Changed a Life with Amy W. Daughters and Dana Rivera | EP. 339 Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder? Podcast
My guests this week are Amy Daughters and Dana Rivera. Amy is a native Houstonian and a graduate of The Texas Tech University who has been a freelance writer for more than a decade—mostly covering college football and sometimes talking about her feelings.
Amy’s debut novel, You Cannot Mess This Up: A True Story That Never Happened (She Writes Press, 2019), was selected as the Silver Winner for Humor in the 2019 Foreword INDIES and the Overall Winner for Humor/Comedy in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Awards.
Dana has been teaching 31 years and has 5 children and 6 grandchildren. She enjoys the beach, running, reading, LSU and spending time with her family. She is writing her first book, “This Is Not What I Expected.”
You might be wondering, how are these people related? Years ago, Amy wanted to reach out to her old friend Dana and learned that Dana’s son had terminal cancer. Their friendship was rekindled after decades, just because of a handwritten letter.
4:47 – Dana 101
- She is retired from public school after teaching reading for many years.
- Dana is a grandmother and PE teacher. She considers it her dream job.
6:55 – Amy 101
- She has lived in the Midwest and overseas.
- She mostly writes about college football, but also writes about her feelings.
10:41 – Dear Dana
- Amy wrote a book, “Dear Dana: That time I went crazy and wrote all 580 of my Facebook friends a handwritten letter.”
- More than 30 years ago, Amy and Dana met at a summer camp in Trinity, Texas. They were counselors together for six weeks.
- They reconnected years later, and Amy found out Dana’s son had cancer. Amy started writing her letters.
14:08 – Letters from a friend
- Dana was shocked that Amy was sending her the nicest cards.
- Amy wrote letters for several weeks before Dana’s son Parker passed away at age 15.
29:23 – Lost art of letter writing
- Amy decided to write letters to all of her Facebook friends.
32:32 – What can others learn?
- Try to rekindle the lost art of letter writing.
- It can be tough to write to someone who is grieving. Often, we don’t know what to do or how to respond.
51:01 – Feeling a nudge
- Connecting with people is so important. When you feel a nudge to do it, go for it.
- Challenge yourself – send a handwritten note to two people.
55:35 – Get to know you
- Last time they cried? When they leave each other after a visit.
I mostly write about college football, and I sometimes write about my feelings. – Amy
I believe that every letter that left my outgoing mail is a credit back to my connection to Dana and to Parker. – Amy
Amy created a safe space for me to say this sucks, what in the world is going on? The outpouring of sharing came because she created a safe space. – Dana