She tells everybody how amazing her parents are. The thing is, she hadn't said it to her parents.
Elva "Lala" Torres is a soldier in the U.S. Army.
Growing up, she says, her parents always did all they could to bring out the absolute best in her. They saw something special in her that Lala often didn't see herself. No wonder having to leave home was the hardest part for her.
But even though her parents, Raoul and Marta Torres, now live more than 2,000 miles away from her in Layton, Utah, they send her loads of love and encouragement in their own little way — by mailing care packages.
"I am halfway across the country from my parents, but it doesn't feel that way," Lala says. "Getting care packages from them motivated me to keep going during those moments when I was ready to give up on myself."
That's why Lala wanted to show her parents just how much they mean to her. So she decided to flip the script and send them a reverse care package.
She included some goodies and mementos and, most importantly, heartfelt letters to both her parents with everything she's ever wanted to say to them. She even threw in a special surprise you'll have to see for yourself — check it out:
When Raoul and Marta received their daughter's care package, it was pure magic.
They opened the box to see all sorts of amazing photos, a bottle of sand from the same beach where Lala and Raoul had trained — Raoul was also in the military for 27 years — and handfuls of little green toy soldiers that Lala played with growing up.
The best item in the box, though, might just be the beautiful letter that Lala wrote for her parents.
"Dear Mom and Papa,
Even though we may be many miles apart, I wanted to send you a couple of items to let you know that your love and wisdom carries with me wherever I go. When I told you I was thinking about joining the military, you taught me to never question my potential. You showed me that I could dedicate my life doing whatever it was that I was truly passionate about. I haven’t had the chance to walk beside you in a while, but I still feel as safe as I did when you were by my side. Thank you forever.
For many people, it can be challenging to stay connected with family — especially when the distance between them is so far.
But sometimes, all it takes is something small — a sweet text message, a random video call, or even a special care package — to let loved ones know how big an impression on you they truly make.
Want to send a reverse care package of your own to someone you love? Head over to MinuteMaid.com right now for some awesome ideas and inspiration to get you started.