Occasionally somebody comes into our lives and leaves an indelible mark on it. We may not realise it at the time, but from that moment on we are different—better—than before. At its heart, this is what the “Life Lessons” series, compiled by Tracy Ruckman and Suzanne Williams, is all about. In these four books we read true stories of people who have played a part in shaping someone’s life, be they a parent, grandparent or teacher.

There is something very special about reading these stories. For a moment you step into another life and are granted the privilege of taking a peak into a cherished relationship. For me it felt a little like walking on sacred ground. It’s a heart-expanding experience, one that makes you more conscious of—and grateful for—the people who have been, or are still a precious part of your own life. The Amazon book reviews I read echo my own experience in this; the word that creeps up a few times is ‘heart-warming.’ In these books we see love in action and, in a world where love and hope are often in short supply, it’s inspirational.

One of the contributing authors to this series was Barbara Parentini. She shared her thoughts with me on how significant it was for her, that the story she wrote about her father was included in the “Life Lessons from Dad” book.

It meant a great deal to me to contribute my story about Dad. He’s nearly eighty-one years old, and suffers with an exotic dementia, and near blindness. “The Gift of Words,” shares my story of the months of reading the Bible over the phone to him. Once the book came out, I read the story to Dad in person. He said, “Thank you, Barbie. I didn’t deserve it.” A short while later as he walked through the room where I sat, he searched for me a moment and said, “Thank you, Barbie.” Those words meant so much to me. For a man who’s been given little recognition in life, this proved to be another way I could share with the world what an amazing human being and man of God my Dad is. I’m so proud to be his daughter!

As much as I have enjoyed reading these special tributes, I’ve come to appreciate the books for another reason, and that is the realization that they make very thoughtful, personal gifts. This coming Father’s Day I can throw out the pair of socks and tie, and instead give the relevant “Life Lessons from Dad” book. At the end of the school year, the teachers will have one less box of chocolates, but be able to draw from the inspiration of “Life Lessons from Teachers.”

The Life Lessons books are enriching because they show us what is truly important in life—family, friends, laughter, special connections and moments. They remind us that one of the reasons we exist, is to touch the lives of others in as deep a way as those the stories were written about.

The books are publised by Write Integrity Press and are available in print or digital formats.

To order them on Amazon:

Life Lessons from Grandparents

Life Lessons from Dads

Life Lessons from Moms

Life Lessons from Teachers