Was on my way home from a trade show recently, listening to the radio, stopped at a red light, waiting for it to change.
My cell phone chirped, and I looked over to see that a text had come through from my daughter, Melanie, telling me she would give me a call later on that evening. Had called her earlier in the day, because I needed to hear her voice.
My eyes filled with tears as the light changed.
Was thinking of the mother and father who, just a few miles away from where I was stopped, who would never again have the chance to talk to or hug their daughter Jenni-Lyn, or tell her that they loved her.
The story made national news the day after Thanksgiving. Jenni-Lyn Watson, a beautiful, vibrant young woman, had come home from college to spend the holidays with her family. Less than 24 hours later, she was reported missing by her parents.
Good Morning America did a segment to help get the word out. Internet sites sprang up. Flyers were everywhere. Yellow ribbons filled the neighborhood where Jenni-Lyn lived.
People didn’t want to expect the worst. Everywhere you went, you saw the looks on the faces of those around you. Nothing needed to be said. You could feel the tension in the air as we all watched on TV while the authorities conducted a massive search near pretty suburban neighborhoods.
Everyone hoped. But then, exactly one week and a day later, Jenni-Lyn was found. An entire community felt the pain and anguish of these parents, whose life changed forever in an instant.
I don’t know this family personally. Will probably never meet them. But the need I had to send them a card – to let them know I was simply thinking about them – was a strong one.
Turned on my computer and sent one out in seconds. Would I have done this had there not been a way at my fingertips? Honestly? Probably not.
May have thought about it. But then every day life would have taken over – as things in our lives always do – and I probably would never have done it.
Was never a big card sender. But now, when something happens, good or bad, it has become second nature for me to send a card to recognize, thank, express condolences, or simply tell someone, like my daughter, Melanie, that I loved her.
Our lives are busy, especially this time of year. If you are thinking about someone specific when you read this, that’s your prompting. Do something about it … today. Send a card, my treat.
It may not have been a hug in person, but with Melanie 3,000 miles away, for me, it was the next best thing…