James Breakwell has four daughters under seven years old.
The hilarious writer has become famous for documenting his daughters’ antics on Twitter and recently published his very first book entitled “Only Dead On The Inside: A Parent’s Guide To Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse.” The book’s release came 14 years after Breakwell was given some serious encouragement from a stranger named Chris. He helped James accomplish his dream of becoming an author… and the young father never forgot it.
We don’t always get to thank the people that deserve it, but James decided to put his thanks into words and pen a letter to Chris — the person who encouraged him so many years ago. What it says is so important.
James included a copy of the letter with the very first of his books and sent it to Chris. The letter has since gone viral for all the right reasons.
You’re probably confused right now. You received a book you didn’t order on a topic you don’t care about by an author you don’t recognize. Let me explain.
Many years ago, I gave a speech at my high school graduation. You weren’t there to see me—you were there for your daughter, who was in my class—but you politely listened to me talk anyway instead of getting up to go to the bathroom or faking a heart attack.
Later, you asked me for a signed copy of the speech. When I asked why, you said you thought I would be something someday.
You might not remember making that request. In fact, I’m sure you don’t. And if I asked you where that signed copy of my speech is today, you’d give me the same answer I give when my kids ask what happened to their old artwork that used to be on the fridge.
But what matters is that for a brief moment a long time ago, you believed in me. You were the first person to ever ask for my autograph. I silently vowed then and there that when I wrote a book, I would give you the first signed copy.
It took a while. A very long while. Actually, let’s not dwell on how long it took. This is supposed to be an uplifting letter, not a depressing one. But fourteen years and two failed careers later, I finally found a publisher who believed in me as much as you did.
This is that signed book. I’d love to tell you I became a success like you predicted, but the truth is this modest book might be as far as I ever make it. But at least I got far enough to fulfill a silent promise you didn’t even know about, and to me, that means everything in the world.
Thanks for believing in me before anyone else did. Sorry it didn’t earn you a better book.
I’m not crying, you are.
James’s letter quickly went viral for obvious reasons. The humble show of respect and gratitude struck a chord that made us all reflect on those who have encouraged us in the past. Who has been your biggest fan? Reach out and thank them today!
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