Julie Clarke, of Tampa, Florida, began leaving colorful notes with poignant quotes in her 6-year-old daughter Amelie's lunch box last year. It was a sweet way of sending her daughter a bit of cheer during the day, and it let her know her mom was always thinking of her.
That loving lunchtime tradition between a mom and daughter was upended earlier this month, when Julie's husband and Amelie's father, John Clarke, died suddenly at the age of 53 after being stung by a wasp while doing yard work at the family’s home.
The devastated mom and daughter hunkered down at home for a week after his death--and since there were no lunches to pack for school, there were no notes either.
That's when loved ones stepped in. Classmates of Amelie's, friends of the family, and neighbors began sending uplifting, positive letters to Amelie in an effort to cheer her up after the sudden loss of her dad.
“My friend’s daughter, Alice, wrote Amelie a lunch note to make her feel better. It just started to snowball,” said Clarke, who says that same friend has begun posting pictures of the colorful notes and cards on an Instagram account.
Some of the notes even come addressed to Clarke herself, who admits the letters may be helping her even more than her daughter right now.
“She’s so little that she doesn’t completely get what’s happened yet, so I’m kind of keeping them as an ace in my pocket so when she's feeling down I can pull them out,” Clarke said. “It’s so nice to know that so many people are thinking of you and helping you get through the roughest time.”
See more of Amelie's lunch notes in this uplifting video.